Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Technology

Software brings photos to life

By Julie Clothier for CNN

story.bath.jpg
The computer software allows video to be transformed from this...
SPARK
Find out how tech is changing our lives  Click here
ON CNNI TV
Click here  for Spark show times on CNN International.
YOUR SAY
Send your thoughts on this story to spark@cnn.com or read what other viewers have to say
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Arts, Culture and Entertainment
Computer Software
Arts (general)
Great Britain

(CNN) -- Computer scientists at the University of Bath in England have come up with a way to make even the dullest of holiday snaps, quite literally, animated.

John Collomosse has designed software that can transform videos into cartoons, and photographs into cubist portraits.

Traditional animation methods are labor intensive and time consuming, but Collomosse's technique requires very little human intervention for the transformation to take place.

The user chooses from a selection of artistic styles -- including cartoon, oil painting, sketch or cubist -- as to how they want to transform their photograph.

Collomosse created the program for his postgraduate studies, with the help of his supervisor, lecturer Dr. Peter Hall.

He told CNN that for the process to happen automatically, the computer had to be able to identify important features of the photo.

"The central role of the project was to turn video into cartoon. We asked, 'To what degree can we produce a cartoon-style image?'"

Collomosse said until now human intervention was needed to create different styles of images out of photographs, using computer software such as Adobe Photoshop to do so.

"For a cubist image, for example, they would need to pick out the features of the photo, such as the eyes, nose and mouth in an image of a face," he said.

"We had to teach the computer to identify what the important elements were."

By giving the computer an "aesthetic sense," Collomosse said they were able to create a series of automated artworks with new effects, including Picasso-style cubist pictures.

Work on the software began in 2001, and was completed last year, although Collomosse said the program was still a prototype and a lot of development would be needed to turn it into a commercial product.

Potential commercial applications in the future included using it as a "novelty item" in photo booths, where customers could transform their ordinary photos into works of art, he said.

Animator Neil Glasbey, of London-based company Framestore CFC, told CNN that the idea would be a fun tool to use on home videos.

"I think the idea of taking a home video and turning it into a cartoon could be really useful, particularly for the younger generation."

He stressed that for the idea to work, it would need to be simple and easy-to-use.


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Burgers, lattes and CD burners
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.