Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Got Blurry Photos? Adobe Photoshop’s Newest Tool Could Fix Them

Tired of having to delete blurry pictures taken with your smartphone or camera? Adobe is developing a new feature for Photoshop that could end your problem of blurred photos forever.
The new feature was demoed at the company’s MAX 2011 event (Edudemic was there and was truly amazed), drawing gasps of amazement from a crowd that witnessed a blurred photo, retouched and perfected in seconds. Advanced algorithms calculate the movements of the camera at the time the image was taken, enabling the user to ‘fix’ the image by unblurring it – saving what would ordinarily be a disappointing, dud image.
As the video below demonstrates, Adobe has come up with a new algorithm that can analyze a blurred image and figure out how to correct it. It can handle all types of scenes and even sorts out fuzzy text making it readable again. There’s also a bit of chit-chat with Rainn Wilson, the host of the Adobe Sneak Peak event.

How It Works
Although just an early prototype, it looks as though the system is a three-step process. First you load some predefined parameters that suit the image type, then you analyze the blurred image, and finally you hit a button and the image magically unblurs.
The technique used is thought to be blind deconvolution, which aims to progressively improve the image by iterating over it many times and using a point spread function. That’s why the analyze step is required in order to perform such processing. Interestingly, this same technique can use multiple images as a source, suggesting Photoshop could add such an option to this unblur feature.
This is just a very early version of the new feature, and we fully expect Adobe to remove the predefined parameters step before it gets added to a future version of Photoshop. But other than that, it already looks ready to go and is sure to be a new killer-feature for Adobe’s graphics editing application.
Photoshop CS 6?
I’d expect / hope that this new unblur feature is included in Adobe Photoshop CS 6 so be on the lookout if you could use a feature like this. As a guy who takes too many blurry photos, I know I could!

Though it was showcased at MAX, Adobe has no official release date for the anti-blur feature, though suffice to say it is likely to get a very warm welcome when it is finally available to the public.

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