Google turns 2D photos into 3D video

deep stereo

There have certainly been many stills-to-video conversion tools, and even 2D-to-3D techniques — but “DeepStereo” takes it all many steps further.

The algorithms made by Google researchers can take multiple standard images, analyze them for scene and texture data, create a 3D simulation of the setting, and finally generate a new video that freely moves through the simulated space.

It all looks very realistic. See for yourself here.

The detailed research PDF is here.

Petapixel has more here.

On the PMA Podcast: Fly4me takes off

fly4me crewNeed some aerial imaging but don’t want to buy and crash an expensive drone of your own? “Let us fly for you,” suggests a new service. “The future of on-demand drones is here.”

Fly4Me is an online marketplace that matches customers with verified (and insured!) pilots. “You will be able to review pilot profiles and start receiving bids within 24 hours of your proposal,” the company says.

And once the drone is in the air, “you will be able to have a fully interactive experience by leveraging our ground-breaking technology,” Flight Stream, which lets you “connect with your pilot during the flight to get a view from the cockpit. You will also be able to comment on flights in progress, ensuring that the drone goes exactly where you need it to.”

The company adds that it can provide “footage that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s for a wedding, graduation or birthday party, our drones deliver high-quality images that will enhance any private event.” It’s also pursuing real estate, mapping, and other areas.

The service says is already approved by the FAA.

In this episode of the PMA Podcast, co-founder Adam Kersnowski, who tells us why they started the company, and what it can offer to photo service providers everywhere.

You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.

Or you can tune in now with the player below.

fly4me faa

“Professional-grade” VR camera system designed


While companies like GoPro plan to capture immersive 360-degree videos by combining existing cameras into multi-cam rigs, others are making all-new imaging tools for “capturing cinematic virtual reality experiences.”

Palo Alto-based Jaunt says it’s “developed a new series of cameras designed from the ground up to enable the next generation of filmmakers and visual creatives to produce the highest quality cinematic virtual reality content.”

The Neo camera system has a large-format sensor, custom wide-angle optics “specifically designed for 3D light-field capture,” and a fully synchronized global shutter sensor array.

The first systems will be available this August.

“Vertical Street View” goes up El Capitan

google el cap street view

From the comfort of your office chair, now you can see what it’s like to climb the world’s most iconic rock wall: Yosemite’s El Capitan.

Google’s latest in-depth “Street View” project followed climbers 3,000 feet up the mass of granite, and yields an immersive panoramic experience. Google says it’s “our first-ever vertical Street View collection.”

They team used the clunky Street View camera “meant for the inside of a restaurant” and used “tried-and-true climbing gear like cams and ropes to make sure the camera wouldn’t fall to the ground.”

google el cap 2

One of the climbers says now, “These 360-degree panoramic images are the closest thing I’ve ever witnessed to actually being thousands of feet up a vertical rock face—better than any video or photo.”

Here’s more information.

Here’s a great video of the climbers.

(I was just at El Cap today. Wisely, I refrained from climbing.)


Throw this camera into a bad situation

bounce imaging 3

Afraid of what lurks around the corner? Throw this camera in ahead of you.

The Explorer was invented at MIT a few years ago — and it’s now being sold by the Boston-based spin-off firm commercializing the idea, Bounce Imaging.

The softball-sized tactical sphere is equipped with multiple cameras and LED lights inside its rubber shell, which give a quick assessment of a dangerous situation. The app on a mobile device even stiches together the multiple viewpoints into one larger panoramic view.


The company is now sending out 100 Explorers to police departments nationwide. Other first responders will receive them in the near future, MIT reports. Upcoming models may also add sensors for radiation, temperature, and carbon monoxide. The base price is now about $1500.