Tomorrow is Today: The End of Blurry Images?

Have a look at Adobe's new technology for de-blurring images. Also note the photo is taken outside the Kodak theatre, where we host the DFCon meeting (thanks to the eagle-eyed SALSA-ite Sandy Perry for spotting that)! Thanks to Charlie Sorrell and Wired Magazine. 

Adobe's new deblurring algorithm is like something out of science fiction

There are two things that work with photos in sci-fi movies that still don’t work in real life. One is saying “enhance” to your computer and having it magically zoom in and conjure new pixels from nowhere. And the other one is removing the blur from an image.

Thanks to the brainiacs at Adobe, the next version of Photoshop may actually take care of the second one. Above you see the before/after results of the new deblur tool (click to see it full-sized). The plugin — currently in the early prototype phase — first examines the image to work out what kind of blur it has. This generates a grayscale map which can be visualized as a line, with direction.

Then this information is used to correct the blur. The Photoshop team is keeping hush-hush on the details, but the main problems seem to be that combination blurs are very tricky to decipher. Thus, if you take a photo of a speeding car, it may blur. If you shake the camera at the same time, that will blur everything, not just the car. Separating these from each other requires a lot of processing power.

If you can stomach some idiot actor trying to be funny and heckling the poor technician who demoes the tool, you might like to watch the video of it in action. Deblur works especially well on text. This could certainly help with the shaky shots I take of menus and business cards with my cellphone camera.

The tech might be too far off to make it into the next version of Photoshop, but at least it has made it into the near future, instead of the far-future of movi

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