Monday, May 24, 2010

Indistinguishable from magic

Arthur C. Clarke formulated three "laws" of prediction. Law No. 3:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Meet the magic of Adobe Photoshop CS5's "Content-Aware" automatic fill.

A pair of ducks spent the afternoon by our pool. The Wife and I believe this is the same pair who spent several days by the pool last year. Maybe. Maybe not.

Anyway, I recently received my copy of Adobe Creative Suite CS5. On the Photoshop side, the big talking point has been the ability of the software to examine the content surrounding an area of the image and imagine what that area would look like if you deleted the existing content and replaced it with content-aware fill. I have watched several videos of this, but it is just something you have to see to believe.

I created a rough outline of the duck in the foreground. That's what would be the marching ants if this were a moving picture. And then I hit shift-delete, which brought up this dialogue box. This says the fill contents will use "Content-Aware." That's the default for this. All I did was click on OK.

And after my computer thought about all of this for maybe 30 seconds, I was left with this. Honest. All I did was loosely mark the boundary of what I wanted to remove, pressed shift-enter and then clicked OK.

If you look at the picture at full size you will see a little blurring in the grass that lets on that something happened. Also, the cement that replaces the duck is a straight copy of the image to the right, including the plant that extends into the concrete.

Now, no disrespect meant to the dog and his trick tongue (here), but this is real magic.

Day 166 of 356

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