Wednesday, December 1

Review of multi-flash imaging with the non-photorealistic camera

So some boffins at MIT have come up with camera that makes line drawings. Neat! It works by using the shadow parallax caused by having 4 different flashes go off in sequence, and taking 4 separate images. That gives it a really, really good idea of where the edges of things are, so it can draw lines along them.

They want to use it for things like making technical drawings and so on -- personally, I don't see why you couldn't adapt something like this for forensics, or for just dicking around. I mean, you don't actually need 4 flashes to do this -- it's a parallax effect, right? So you could do something like:

(1) switch your camera to linedrawing mode
(2) aim it at the target
(3) hold down the trigger, and move it in a loose circle

and compensate for not having the flash by having a lot more images to compare. Or maybe the phone knows its position (embedded RFID maybe?) and chooses to take 4 different pictures, with flash, at the cardinal points of the ellipse you wave it in.

it's like a stupid human trick, only it's a computer doing it!

1 comment:

JeremyHussell said...

At a first glance, I think this thing might work partly because it knows the exact angles between the four pictures. If you just hold down the trigger and move in a circle, is there a way to figure out the exact angle between any two of the frames?