When is a photograph not necessarily a photograph? That would be when it’s a Photosketch. Above average sketchers have probably thought of their work as being comparable to photographs but now some students in China have taken this a step further. A new piece of software developed by students at universities in China and Singapore has given even average artists the ability to turn their stick figures into photographs. It’s a photoshopped version of a photograph but early adopters everywhere are raving about this newest technological advancement.
An aspiring artist, or just about anyone, sketches a few objects, say, a dog or an elephant along with a background, a golf course perhaps, and possibly a human or even a basic shape. Each element is then labeled. The Photosketch software searches the internet for images of these objects or elements and assembles them into a photograph. The creators claim to have developed an image blending algorithm that seamlessly combines the varied elements into a realistic looking photograph. In order to accomplish an image of the right scale and composition, the algorithm attaches a numeric score to each element and arrives at the final version by a best fit sort of process.
Of course this bends the definition of photograph by quite a bit since it is generally thought that photographs are representations of reality. Folks are already imagining endless possibilities for generating appropriate and inappropriate “photographs” of themselves with celebrities. Others imagine setting celebrities in all manner of humorous and compromising situations – though celebrities are often in compromising positions of their own accord. And the more creative types envision this being the perfect tool for creating an alibi. See, who says I wasn’t where I said I’d be, the proof is right here in this photograph.
Photosketch demo here.