Monthly Archives: February 2018

Google releases data to help improve HDR imaging

The smart folks responsible for HDR+ on the Pixel 2 are sharing a big dataset in order to help other developers create better high-dynamic-range imagery:

Today we’re pleased to announce the public release of an archive of image bursts to the research community. This provides a way for others to compare their methods to the results of Google’s HDR+ software running on the same input images. This dataset consists of 3,640 bursts of full-resolution raw images, made up of 28,461 individual images, along with HDR+ intermediate and final results for comparison.

[O]ur hope is that a shared dataset will enable the community to concentrate on comparing results. This approach is intrinsically more efficient than expecting researchers to configure and run competing techniques themselves, or to implement them from scratch if the code is proprietary. 


Rather fascinating: “What ‘Super Mario’ Looks Like at 380,000fps”

This is my kind of nerdery:

Old TVs render an image by actually drawing the entire frame from top to bottom at speeds so fast the human eye can’t detect it, but Free and Gruchy’s cameras can. Mario is almost indistinguishable at 380,000 FPS, but it’s amazing to watch beams of light shoot across a screen in slow motion, slowly building the Mushroom Kingdom we all know and love.


[YouTube] [Via]

Audi’s AR app lets you draw a racetrack in your living room

This app (sadly unavailable in the US, it seems) looks really creative & fun:

“To achieve a seamless transition from the TV ad to Augmented Reality we use computer vision to detect the quattro coaster TV ad. Then, we sync and position the augmented content on the screen. What’s interesting is that the car remains in the room even after the ad has ended. [more]

Here’s what it looks like in action:



[YouTube] [Vimeo]

Motion Stills gains a fun new AR mode on Android

Hooray! My first real project to ship since joining my new team is here:

Today, we are excited to announce the new Augmented Reality (AR) mode in Motion Stills for Android. With the new AR mode, a user simply touches the viewfinder to place fun, virtual 3D objects on static or moving horizontal surfaces (e.g. tables, floors, or hands), allowing them to seamlessly interact with a dynamic real-world environment. You can also record and share the clips as GIFs and videos. 


For the nerdier among us, we’ve put together a Research blog post about The Instant Motion Tracking Behind Motion Stills AR, and on CNET Stephen Shankland gives a nice overview (and has been tweeting out some fun animations):

The Motion Stills app can put AR stickers into any Android device with a gyroscope, which is nothing special these days.

I’ve long been a longtime fan of Motion Stills, posting about it for years. I’m so glad to get to work with these guys now. There’s more good stuff to come, so please us know what you think!

(BTW, the 3D models are among the many thousands you can download for free from

Endless Instagram repetition, the musical!

According to a recent survey, more than 40% of people under 33 prioritize “Instagrammability” when choosing their next holiday spot. Of course, a ton of the results look incredibly similar, perhaps inducing cases of vemödalen (“the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist”). They’re so repetitive, in fact, that Google researchers have built 3D timelapses from overlapping imagery.

Maybe more people need a “Camera Restricta” to “prevent shooting unoriginal photos.” Or maybe we shouldn’t sweat it, because “there are many like it, but this one is mine,” and because “in the end we shall all be dead.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯