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Google ­ses Algorithms to Create Slr-Like Photos

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A "selfie" in which the foreground is focused and Lens Blur softens the background.

A new algorithm developed by Google can generate images with depth of field similar to that of photos taken with a typical SLR camera.

Credit: Rachel Been

Google has developed an algorithm that can generate photographic images with a depth of field quality similar to pictures taken by a single lens reflex (SLR) camera.

The company says the Lens Blur app bundled in the Android-based Google Camera app can simulate a larger camera lens and aperture by capturing a series of frames when shooting a picture. The app then uses algorithms to produce a three-dimensional model of the objects in the photo, which can be employed to create depth within the image.

Google's Carlos Hernandez says the software does more than blur a few areas of the picture. He notes there are several distinct algorithms in operation when snapping pictures with Lens Blur, including estimating the camera's position, the objects in the photo, and then triangulating other variables. He says the software gives foreground objects a crispness and the background a blurriness typical of SLR camera shots.

From The New York Times
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