Thoughts of a geek

16 September 2007

‘Liquid rescale’ algorithm for content-aware image resizing

Filed under: Computers — qwandor @ 10:14 pm

I recently came across (on this blog, through Planet KDE) this rather impressive video, which demonstrates a dynamic image resizing algorithm invented by a couple of researchers at the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science in Israel. It allows images to be rescaled without losing important details (e.g. people) by first removing unimportant parts (e.g. grass in the background), according to an ‘energy’ function. The algorithm is apparently fairly simple, but does give some quite striking results. It also allows to seamlessly remove unwanted parts of an image (e.g. a power pole obstructing a view), by giving it a negative ‘energy’ so that that part will be removed first when the image is shrunk, and then (if wanted) enlarging the image again. I highly recommend watching the video to see how it works, as it is rather difficult to explain otherwise.

There are already a number of free implementations: a standalone Java program with a similar interface to that demonstrated in the video (which is rather slow, but still fun to try), and a GIMP plugin.

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