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Smart Image Resizing Cuts The Useless Out Of Your Pics

Smart Image Resizing Cuts The Useless Out Of Your Pics

smart image resizing By Evan Ackerman

Like it or not, most of the time when you take a picture, a significant portion of the image is (for lack of a better word) useless. Or rather, there are lots of areas of the image that aren’t conveying any important information. Obviously this excludes you artsy-picture types, but if you’re just trying to show and/or explain something (which most of the images on the Internet, excluding porn, are probably trying to do) wouldn’t it be useful if you could make images smaller by selectively removing the least important pixels? Ariel Shamir of the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science in Israel has developed some software to automatically do just that, in realtime no less. Watch and be amazed:

So it’s obviously still a work in progress, but it’s already pretty clever and seems to have a working automated mode as well as a decent user interface. What with the population of itty bitty mobile devices capable of Internet browsing exploding like a rabbit warren underneath a Viagra factory, a little piece of software that can work behind the scenes to dynamically re-size images (in the same way that HTML dynamically re-sizes) could have a huge range of applications.

[ Content-Aware Image Resizing (PDF) ] VIA [ Neatorama ]

  • Alex

    Seems like a faster photoshop.

    However, I don’t like the retargeting, it seems to mess up the picture.

  • adamshegrud

    OMG I want this in the GIMP right freaking now.

    That is cool shit right there!

  • Aakash

    Is this something that I need to download, or purchase… or is it something that we just use on the web? It would be neat to have image and video manipulation programs that were easy and quick to use. Thanks for the info about this.

  • John Summers

    Doesn’t microsoft have something like this already?

  • Duke

    I wonder how expensive this algorithm is. Seems like it’s going to take quite a lot of processing power, what with averaging gradient density & calculating a gradient path. That would put it out of range of, say, an iPhone dynamically retargeting an image to its preferred size. (Until processors are crazy fast anyway.)

    But this technique is a shoe-in for image editing (photoshop / gimp / etc).

  • Andrew Pollack

    That is completely sick. In a good way. This is amazing by itself, but combined with face recognition which could then be weighted with some kind of bicubic resizing you have what looks like it will be the “standard practice” within a few years.

  • Nicolas

    Very impressive it would be a very powerful After Effects tool. I’d really like to use this application it would make things like rotoscoping easier and in some cases unnecessary.

  • Jon Hess

    Very impressive demo.

  • Gee

    Macs can probably do it better

  • Joe Mart

    ^^^ Mac idiot. This is image processing not drawing flowers!

  • James Justin Harrell

    Oh man, that is crazy! I’m amazed that it can so effectively produce such realistic images when altering them so drastically. This makes programming seem like an exciting and fun career.

  • tim

    Programming IS an exciting and fun career. Where’ve YOU been?

  • 12_Centuries

    This was incredible. And I don’t think it would necessarily take a lot of processing power. Didn’t he mention an indexing of paths? Such information could be contained in the image data for on-the-fly transformations. Sure, the file size increases, but bandwidth is no longer as bad of a bottleneck as it once was.

  • Anthony Milner

    Aaah this has totally turned my image world upside down. Pure genius.

  • Flipped Out.

    ?oo? u?op ?p?sdn pl?o? ?? p?u?n? ?ll??o? ??

  • Martin

    All i can say is…
    That is Fantastic.

  • B

    Stunning looking, it would be good if there was some full size pictures to show off though

  • myspace animations

    Such information could be contained in the image data for on-the-fly transformations.

  • anon


  • king

    The calculated paths and such could be contained in the image data, but another possibility would be storing it in a metadata file separate from the original. Compatible browsers could then selectively request the data. If this becomes popular, I can envisage a “package” image format, similar to the .app format on macs, containing the image and metadata, of which part or whole can be transmitted to the remote browser depending on the browser request.

  • Anonymous

    It makes things look weird. Like the example with the mom and kid. They’re proportioned oddly after the process. I guess I’m just old-fashioned.

  • Ash Haque

    That list bit where you erase the guy / girl are pretty amazing!

  • Anonymous

    Erased…from existence!

  • julio gaye


  • Bunggo

    I have only one word to say about this…

    That was awesome, awesome to the max!

  • Sasper

    “Penis enlargement” on the fly ^^

  • D

    thats more than one word?

    Cool as hell though, all the time I have criticized movies where secret government agencies paint people out of security images with a single click, and this can do it dynamically. Amazing how simple the principle is, it does seem strange its not been done before. And yes software is a cool career !

  • Jon Krueger

    Great stuff. But you don’t mean “content aware”, you mean “image feature aware”.

  • SID


  • mercedes parts

    Cool as hell though, all the time I have criticized movies where secret government agencies paint people out of security images with a single click

  • Irmgard

    If you are looking for a software to try out seam carving, take a look at

    The program that you can download there (for Windows and Linux, and free) is already highly optimized concerning speed, and apart from enlarging or decreasing image size you can also use masks to protect or delete certain parts of your image.

    Have fun,

  • DropTheBitchAndMakeTheSwitch

    Look for the useful submenu item called “Divorce.”

  • Nestor

    Remarkable stuff, I can’t believe it’s so effective. Can’t wait for these kinds of filters to become standard in photo apps

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