Researchers from the University of Washington
and Microsoft Research have devised a method of automatically and seamlessly
combining features of multiple photographs, including photographs that
The method, dubbed Interactive Digital Photomontage, automatically
finds seams between parts of two or more source photographs after a user
provides rough guidance.
The software allow users to, for instance, make a composite photograph
from several pictures of a group of people, according to the researchers.
The system also allows users to make infinite depth-of-field images
of microscopic subjects. Macro lenses that take extreme close-ups have
short depths of field, making it difficult to get the whole picture in
focus at once. The software can stitch together images captured at different
focal lengths to form a sharp composite, according to the researchers.
The method uses a graph-cut optimization technique to choose good
seams for segmenting source images, and a gradient-domain fusion technique
to smooth color differences along the seams once the composite is put
It also includes a suite of software tools that allow the user
to specify high-level image objectives for particular areas or globally
using a paint-style interface. To make a composite photograph from several
pictures of a group, for instance, the user selects the best depiction
of each person by drawing a line over it.
The method can be used practically now, according to the researchers.
The researchers are scheduled to present the work at the Association of
Computing Machinery (ACM) Siggraph 2004 conference in Los Angeles, August
10 to 12.
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