Adobe experiments with the possibility of 3D face rotations — on a 2D image

Adobe’s research team isn’t slowing down — a new teaser video showing the ability to 3D rotate a face in a two-dimensional image is the third glimpse in three days into what the software group is diving into next.

The video demonstrating the facial rotation, uploaded January 12, comes after Adobe demonstrated a Siri-like voice assistant for Lightroom on Wednesday and a 3D spinoff of Photoshop on Tuesday.

The latest video shows an artist painting on a portrait using a tablet. She taps and holds the screen to adjust the angle of the face, revealing parts of the face that weren’t actually captured in the photograph. After rotating, she continues painting, then rotates back to the front, allowing the paint to blend more seamlessly along the edges.

The ability to tilt the face — at least in the video — is only slight. It doesn’t, say, involve tilting the face far enough around to see the ears. After all, approximating the shape of a face for a few centimeters to fill in a few pixels around the curves of the face would be more feasible than asking a software program to generate ears that aren’t actually included in the original image data.

Editing a face in 3D isn’t unheard of — but that was if you already had a 3D scan of the face to work with. In the teaser, the program appears to be working with a two-dimensional image, approximating pixels on the edge of the face that weren’t actually captured in the angle of that photograph. The feature doesn’t look like something to fix a posing error — the artist returns the face to its original position — but instead something to help facial edits blend around the edges of the face.

Adobe quietly released all three videos on YouTube without a press release or official announcement, perhaps because the features all appear to be works in progress. In the video’s description, Adobe calls the face-rotation feature “a new application.” Later in the same description though, the company says “Adobe Researchers are aiming to bring this technology to Creative Cloud and mobile apps families as soon as possible,” so the stand-alone feature would likely be easily used with current programs using the Creative Cloud.

The teaser joins an earlier Siri-like voice capabilities inside Lightroom, as well as what appears to be a 3D version of Photoshop that allows graphic artists to start with a blank canvas and draw in three dimensions. Of course, researching a possibility doesn’t always mean that it is going to actually make it into consumer’s hands — but one can hope.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

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!
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Movies & TV

The ‘Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer is here to fork with your emotions

Disney released the first teaser trailer for its latest addition to the Toy Story franchise. The quick glimpse of what's to come shows all our favorite toys back in action, as well as a strange -- and seemingly unhinged -- new character.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Photography

Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
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.
Photography

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.
Mobile

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.
Photography

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
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.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.