Google+ Photos Can Now Automatically Create Animated GIFs, Panoramas, HDR Images And Better Group Shots

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Google, GT
Tags: , , , ,

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Photos have always been at the center of the Google
+ experience and at I/O today, Google announce a
major update to Google+ Photos that now makes use
of the many of the tools the company acquired when
it bought Nik Software last September. The focus of
this update is squarely on automating a lot of the photo editing and sharing process. Google+ can now,
for example, automatically enhance the tonal
distribution in an image, soften skin, sharpen certain
parts of an image and remove noise – and all of those
computations happen in the cloud. As Google’s Vic Gundotra told us before the event
(and reiterated today), “you don’t take a photograph,
you make it.” Users spend thousand of dollars to
make photos great, he noted, but photography is still
labor intensive and organizing photos is often still a
hassle. “It takes time, and most of don’t have the time,” Gundotra said. But what if Google’s data
centers could be your darkroom? So what if Google could automatically fix your image
sand pick the best ones and highlight them
automatically? That’s another new feature the
company is launching today. The system can now
analyze your images and kick out blurry photos,
duplicates, images with bad exposure (which it will try to fix). It can also recognize good images with certain
landmarks, for example, and detect faces and see if
people are smiling and/or of those people are in your
Google+ circles. It will also try to make some
decision based on aesthetics. What used to take
hours of work, Gundotra said, now happens automatically in the cloud and take seconds. Using all of this, the system can make greenery pop,
soften skin tones, clean up the color of the water and
apply local enhancement to contrast and other
features automatically. It can also automatically
remove red eyes. Users can, of course, apply all of
these enhancements separately as well. The original images, of course, always remain
untouched and users can easily toggle back and forth
between the enhanced version and the original. Now that Google offers everybody 15GB of free
storage, users an also upload 15GB worth of full-size
images to Google+ Photos. In addition, the
autobackup feature provides unlimited storage space
for photos at sized under 2048px. Auto Awesome In today’s age of animated GIFs, the Google+ team
also decided to get in on the game – but with a twist.
The system – which is apparently called “Awesome” –
can automatically detect when an image is part of a
series and stitch it together in one image or an
animated GIF. “If we detect that you took a series of photos, in burst mode or otherwise, we can stitch
them together,” Gundotra told us. To recognize these
images, the system does a bit of analysis to make
sure the background hasn’t moved. This is about more than animated GIFs, though. This
new feature – which Google calls “auto awesome” –
can also automatically create a group photo from a
series of photos and pick the one where everybody is
smiling. It can stitch together landscape photos to
create panoramas and create HDR images from a series of photos where it detects bracketed
exposures. All of this happens extremely fast, too,
thanks to the power of Google’s data centers. All of these features are going live today and Google
has already gone back and created “awesome”
images for all of your existing photos in Google+.

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