Innovation That Matters

Animation software

University scientists bring pictures to life with new software


Researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a software that can automatically animate a still subject on a single photo.

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Digital photos have taken over the traditional photograph and being able to edit and modify them has almost become the norm. Alongside the growing popularity of filters and photo-modifying apps, we have also seen innovations enhancing smartphone’s performance, such an image-based keyboard app that facilitates shopping and a camera attachment that allows users to spot skin damage.

Woking alongside Facebook, researchers from Tel Aviv University have come up with a new way of making an emotionless picture, appear to evoke emotion. The software not only can evoke moving emotion on a still image or photo, it can also be activated on pictures and paintings too. Unlike Apple’s Live Photos, which animates a still image adding a three-second .mov video file, this software doesn’t need any video footage of the subject in order to function. The technology uses a ‘driving video’ (of a different subject) and develop means to transfer the expressiveness of the subject into the target portrait. In contrast to previous work that requires an input video of the subject of the image or photo to re-enact a facial expression, this technique uses only a single target image.

The use of the mobile phone and the device’s camera is endless and users are hungry for more, so it won’t be long before we see a real-world application of this technology on the social network. What other applications could there be for a software that adds emotions to still imagery?



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