By Evan Ackerman
For those of you (and there were a bunch of you) who took a liking to the Smart Image Resizing technique we showed you back in August, it’s now available in Flash form thanks to rsizr.com (and as a GIMP plugin, see below). Now, I’ll be totally honest: I was blown away by the demo video in August, but I’ve been messing with this Flash thing for about an hour now trying to make a nice example image and it’s not turning out that well. From what I can tell, you need a very specific sort of image for the seam carving to work without visible artifacting unless you’re only making small edits. This could be fixed with some sort of blending algorithm, but even without one, it’s not exactly quick in the processing department. Also, if you’re picky with your pictures like I am, it takes several iterations of seaming to produce good results, especially since it’s somewhat unpredictable. Feel free to post in the comments if you have better luck.
Also, I want to point out that the authors of the rsizr site don’t explicitly state (not that I can find, anyway) what their relationship is to the inventors of this technology. They do give credit for the technique to Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir, but it’s unclear whether they received permission from the inventors (both of whom are now working for Adobe, by the way) to adopt their idea and algorithm (which was published in an academic paper) in a pseudo-commercial manner. As long as it’s free, I suppose it’s not really a big deal, but I guess I just feel like Avidan and Shamir deserve a bigger share of the awesomeness that they created, you know?
I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, and it’s certainly a very well done and useful implementation of the technique. You can check out rsizr for yourself (for free); you’ll need to have the latest version of Flash installed. And if you’d rather have a version for GIMP, check out Liquid Rescale.