Fotowoosh released as Facebook app

06 Dec 2007

Fotowoosh, a technology that can convert a single photograph to a 3D model is now available to use on your own photos. The company behind it has released it as a Facebook application. Earlier this year they released the demo movie. Take a look at it if you haven't seen it.

Pretty cool, in my opinion. This tutorial from videocopilot.net is a good example of something it could be used for, although he does it by hand instead.

I suspected that the photos they used for the demo movie were chosen to be easy on the algorithm. Now that Fotowoosh is available on Facebook, I did some tests with my own photos. The results vary, as you'll see if you follow the links below.

Note that the camera movements in the following movies are made automatically by Fotowoosh. I could not record them myself, which of course limits the possible uses of the material. (I highly suspect a "Fotowoosh professional" that can export as a 3D model instead will appear soon enough.)

This one turned out best.

This one could work if the camera movements were very small.

This one too.

This one fails although it is a large outdoor panorama.

This one seems like it has a too complex depth structure for the algorithm to figure out. I guess this one has the same problem.

Perhaps the reflections in the water is what makes this one not work.

This one is a pretty flat photo and doesn't work well.

This one isn't an outdoor photo, and doesn't work at all.

This one is very simple, but still fails. Perhaps it's too dark?

On one image I got an error that said that it wasn't wooshable at all. (Yes, they invented a verb for the process.)

To wrap this up, wooshing is a cool effect, and I guess the image processing algorithms behind it took some thinking to work out. The question is whether it's possible to find a nail for this hammer. Wooshing could be used as a quick solution for adding just a little depth to a still image, by moving the camera just a little so the artifacts aren't too visible. So far, the results aren't good enough to be usable in a context where quality is important. If you want high quality you can use an algorithm that you feed with more than one photograph instead. They can work very well, at least with manual tweaking. Perhaps with further development, wooshing will be useful for something other than just a cool effect. But being a cool effect is enough for me. I like cool effects.

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