Well, the folks at SIGGRAPH (a yearly convention for researchers who specialize in images and interactive techniques) have done it again and amazed the goddamned pants off me. First they debuted the software that took a 2D image of a face and could generate a realistic 3D model from it. Then they took that same software, and added realistic mouth movement creation; now not only could we see Mona Lisa in 3D, she could smile at us, and even show teeth that weren’t there in the original painting.
Now a group of researchers have presented their software package that allows the user to stretch and shrink photos without looking like they’ve even been touched. The software determines least-energy paths along the image (non-straight lines on the picture that don’t have a lot of value) and removes them if you’re shrinking the photo, or replicates them if you’re stretching it. The result is a completely realistic looking picture that can be resized to almost any size you want.
Keep your eye out for this software hitting the shelves. It will be a godsend to grandmothers who want to take that 1″ x 1″ picture of their grandkids and blow it up to the size of their desktop.