Forget turning photos into paintings, this software copies another photo’s style

adobe cornell deep photo style trasfer adoberesearch
In this screenshot from the research report, the original image is listed first, the reference image second and the new software's result last, with previous programs in between. Adobe Research / Cornell University
Turning a photo into a painting is now simple thanks to artificially intelligent apps like Prisma, but research from Adobe and Cornell University suggests that style transfers could work from photo to photo. The research team developed a deep photo style transfer program that used a reference image to adjust the original image, mimicking the reference photo’s lighting and colors — even the weather, time of day, and season.

The research, published on March 22, builds on the artificial intelligence behind applications like Prisma, but instead aims to apply photorealistic effects instead of making that photo look like a certain painting style. Previous efforts to conduct automatic style transfers from photo to photo were either inconsistent in style matches or unable to handle a variety of different photos without obvious distortions. Photo-to-photo style transfers often resulted in distorted lines and perspectives, so instead the team from Adobe and Cornell developed a system that only considers color and lighting.

The new method, along with disregarding everything but that color and light information, also segments the photos into different parts, so the light in the sky of the reference picture is applied to only the sky in the second picture, even if the sky takes up a different amount of space than in that reference image. Since the system segments aspects, the effect is applied to the sky, not to the same area the sky takes up in the reference photograph.

By separating out the parts of the image and considering only color and light data, the software was able to successfully take a photo of a cityscape taken on a cloudy day and turn it into a cityscape at dusk, even turning the lights on inside some of the buildings. Since the system considers color, effects like shooting during golden hour could be mimicked, along with turning a summer photo into a fall scene.

The potential software appears to be more consumer-oriented than something that might make its way into Photoshop or Lightroom, but the program leaves opens up some interesting avenues. If a snapshot of a kitchen can be turned into a magazine-worthy image by copying the style of a professional interior photograph, what happens to that professional photographer’s career? Where is the line between style transfers of classic paintings and copying current copyrighted work?

The provided samples appear much more realistic than comparable programs, though many of them still have a few oddities. The researchers said their approach produced more photorealistic results than previous attempts, but identified further areas to develop the program, including enhancing the image segmentation and developing the system to run in real time.

Photography

Photography news: Best spot for fall photos, new firmware from Fuji and Nikon

Where's the best spot to take fall photos? Michigan, according to social media and a Nikon contest. The results and more in this week's photography news, including significant firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T3, X-H1, and GFX 50S.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees
Product Review

DJI has always been the king of drones, and the new Mavics are almost perfect

After flying both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom for over a week, we’re convinced that these are two of the best drones that DJI has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…