Objects in photos transform into movable 3D

photo to 3d CU

photo to 3d CU

A new imaging technique will let you select an item in a photo — from a small chair to a large taxi — convert it into 3D, and reposition it in the original image as desired.

Developed at Carnegie Mellon and the University of California, the technique taps into libraries of stock 3D models. You simply alter the model to better fit the image, and then viola!: more photo manipulation than you otherwise thought possible.

“We present a method that enables users to perform the full range of 3D manipulations, including scaling, rotation, translation, and nonrigid deformations, to an object in a photograph,” the researchers say. Also, “as 3D manipulations often reveal parts of the object that are hidden in the original photograph, our approach uses publicly available 3D models to guide the completion of the geometry and appearance of the revealed areas of the object.”

You can read more here, or watch a video demonstration and explanation here.

photo to 3d

Ricoh revs Pentax Q

pentax q

pentax q

Ricoh Imaging says its new Pentax Q-S1 is the “ideal everyday camera” for the style-minded customer who is looking for the portability of a compact along with the added benefits of interchangeable lenses.

The “stylish, petite body” houses impressive specifications, the company adds. It has a 12-megapixel sensor, ISO 12800, and shake-reduction. Features include Bokeh control and Smart Effects.

There are 4 standard color combinations and 36 additional body and grip colors. It’s $500.


Martha Stewart “loves her drone”

drone camera

parrot bebopdrone

We’ve written a lot here about unmanned aerial vehicles — UAVs or drones — and their increased use for photography from on high. However, we’ve not mentioned any famous users… until now, as Time ran Martha Stewart’s own report on her infatuation with her drone.

“Last year, while celebrating my birthday in Maine, I was given a drone fitted with a high-definition camera,” she writes. “After a quick introduction to the mechanics of operating the contraption and a few words about its idiosyncrasies, I loaded the appropriate app on my iPad and went down to the beach. In just a few minutes I was hooked. In near silence, the drone rose, hovered, and dove, silently and surreptitiously photographing us and the landscape around us. The photos and video were stunning.”

Stewart was primarily looking at her own home and property, but enjoyed the “unusual vantage points” that “would have otherwise been impossible without the use of a private plane, helicopter, or balloon.”

Her full article here is of interest as she notes historical use of “guy-wired telescoping towers, extension ladders of dangerous lengths, and hot-air balloons from which intrepid photographers could capture remarkable image.”

Stewart also posts images on her blog at Marthastewart.com.


Flickr to directly market user photos

flickr logo

flickr logoYahoo’s Flickr photo sharing site is licensing users photos and featuring them on prominent news sites, including Yahoo’s own properties.

The program promises to generate additional income through commercial licensing, TechCrunch reports. Flickr will work with “photo agencies, editors, bloggers and other creative minds who are seeking original content.”

Flickr already offers similar services through a partnership with Getty.

There’s more information here and here.

flickr screen

Small business marketing: Ten techniques

Business Success Logo

Business Success Logo

“Having the best, most innovative product on the market is not enough to drive traffic to your office or store,” says a marketer at a trade show display company. “It takes a carefully planned strategy to effectively promote your products or services.”

In an article at Duct Tape Marketing, she offers 10 techniques to “help increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, and gain new customers”

Among the ten are:

1. A measurable goal
2. Know your target market
3. Get involved in networking events
4. Grow your social media presence
5. Join volunteering groups or start your own

The full details on all tens tips are here.

Sony, Fujifilm camera revenue rising


fujifilm_logoAnd here we’ve gotten used to news of camera sales revenue declining in light of greater smartphone market penetration… but the Imaging Resource reports both Sony and Fujifilm improved their business in that area last quarter.

Following similar good news from Olympus, Fujifilm and Sony “report that in the past fiscal year, both sales and earnings generated by their imaging businesses have risen. Again, it’s pretty evident what this can be attributed to, namely both companies’ orientation away from compact cameras and towards premium models, especially interchangeable-lens cameras,” the site says.

Fujifilm’s imaging division’s operating income rose 8 percent.

Sony’s imaging division’s operating income rose to $169 million.

The full story is here.


Sony’s affordable action cams come to America

sony w810

sony w810

Sony shipped the WX220 and W810 cameras to Europe and elsewhere earlier, but is now bringing them to the U.S. as well, along with a revamped action camera.

The pocket-sized WX220 “is extremely slim and compact” the company says, with a 18-megapixel sensor and 10x optical zoom with image stabilization. It also has WiFi, shoots 10 frames per second, and sells for $200.

The W810 has 20-megapixel CCD sensor, 2.7-inch LCD, and a 6x optical zoom. It’s just $100.

The ActionCam AS20 has a 15mm-equivalent f/2.8 lens, 16.8-megapixel sensor, and optical image stabilization. It’s $200.


Mobile Photo Connect adds workshops

mobile conference

mobile photo connectThe Mobile Photo Connect conference expands in 2014 with a second day focused on workshops from vendors with relevant APIs and SDKs.

The overall summit will focus on how photo app developers, imaging vendors, mobile device manufacturers, and others in the ecosystem can create innovative solutions.

Topics for the conference include photo organizing, mobile photography startups, storytelling, and the popular photo app Show & Tell.

PMA’s Association of Imaging Executives is a sponsor.
Speakers include Ralf Gerbershagen, CEO of Kodak Alaris; Chris Lee, the product manager for photos at Dropbox; Rudy Burger, managing partner at Woodside Capital; and Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto.

The conference is October 15-16 at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco.

More information is here.


MIT develops vision-correcting displays

MIT corrects vision 3

MIT corrects vision 1

Are you squinting at your phone? I am, and I’m tired of it. Fortunately new technology could solve the issue not just with bigger fonts, but with an overlay screen that could tailor every device to your own individual optical prescription.

MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects — no glasses (or contact lenses) required, MIT reports. “The technique could lead to dashboard-mounted GPS displays that farsighted drivers can consult without putting their glasses on, or electronic readers that eliminate the need for reading glasses, among other applications.”

MIT corrects vision 2

The solution “basically puts the glasses on the display, rather than on your head,” the chief scientist behind it says. “It will not be able to help you see the rest of the world more sharply, but today, we spend a huge portion of our time interacting with the digital world.”

The display is a variation on a glasses-free 3D technology, and projects slightly different images to different parts of the viewer’s pupil. “A vision defect is a mismatch between the eye’s focal distance — the range at which it can actually bring objects into focus — and the distance of the object it’s trying to focus on,” MIT says. “Essentially, the new display simulates an image at the correct focal distance — somewhere between the display and the viewer’s eye.”

MIT corrects vision 3

The full story is here.



Printicular provides 4 million prints



More than four million prints have been made from mobile phones using the Printicular apps, developer MEA Mobile reports. “Millions of prints means millions of smiles,” the company says.

The free Printicular apps let you order prints from a mobile that is picked up at Walgreens in the USA, or for delivered to your home worldwide.

Printicular “shows that physical prints are still the best way to turn digital images into the memories people want to cherish,” the company says. “Printicular now generates over a quarter of a million prints a month, and growing.”

The company also released new PhotoCard and Poster printing apps.