I've been reading through a ton of hyperbole about Adobes Photoshop "Content Aware Fill" for some reason lately ("magical", "incredible", "amazing" and others are fun to read).
I don't think I would be too far off in assuming that Adobes implementation is likely based off the wonderful work of Dr. Paul Harrison. Dr. Harrison's PhD thesis just happened to yield the code that gave GIMP users the Resynthesizer plugin, which has provided us a "Content Aware Fill" for quite a while now (since before 2005).
If you've ever spent any time with the Clone Tool or Heal Tool in GIMP, and haven't tried out Heal Selection with Resynthesizer, then you might find the results of this filter very helpful.
One of my other hobbies besides photography happens to be web programming. I've been doing it in one form or another for many, many years (anyone else remember the first time animated .gifs were cool?). As a hobby it has been a ton of fun, and many of the newer capabilities just make it more so.
Anyway, in case you hadn't noticed I at least took the time to use interesting and pretty font faces on this site (in my opinion). It was literally hours of agonizing over different choices, weights, faces, readability, etc. I finally settled on two main fonts for this site that I thought worked reasonably well together:
Yanone Kaffeesatz for titles, and
Philosopher for my body text.
Google web fonts is a lifesaver here!
Reddit user Janne mentioned in a post of mine about the idea of "Averageness", and linked to the Wikipedia page describing it. This got me thinking about trying these commands on something like faces.
So I needed a set of faces that were all semi-similar enough to create good averages with. Well, if you haven't seen the work of photographer Martin Schoeller you are missing out! He has a series of close-ups that are shot with very similar lighting styles and compositions of famous people (and not-famous), that is simply mesmerizing to see.
So I grabbed some random images to try this out with:
In GIMP to prepare the images all I did was aligned the images based on the subjects eyes (tried to get them on the same level, and the same distance from the centers).
At that point the fun begins! All I had to do was pick and choose whose faces I thought would be fun to see averaged together. To begin with, here is the image matrix from above, but with averages calculated for each row and column appended to it:
Those four images represented the four decades from the 1960's to the 1990's (left to right). The prints were made with code that he wrote in C on Unix based SGI machines.
These "Amalgamations" (to coin his phrase), are simply stunning to me. So in the sincerest form of flattery, I had to see if I could replicate the results in some fashion with more modern tools (Jason began his work blending the Playboy images back in 1997).
My first thought was to approach this using GIMP. After a few tries and experimenting I found that a better approach would be to use ImageMagick instead. It's just better suited for this type of processing.
Let's have a look at the results before we delve into the ImageMagick commands...
A recent interesting problem was posted to me where someone had created artwork to be turned into a custom wood puzzle as a gift.
The problem that needed to be fixed was that a photograph created by the puzzle maker was taken with a small P&S camera with (likely) auto white balance under fluorescent lighting.
The images came out with a really nasty orange tint to them. So the question posed to me was if my recent post on color curves could help fix them to match the original artwork.