Check It Out: Pictures Restored by Adobe's Image De-Blurring

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[Photo: via Jue Wang]
If you were skeptical about Adobe’s magical de-blurring tool shown off at Adobe MAX 2011, witness these amazing before-and-after comparisons provided by Jue Wang, the senior researcher at Adobe who originally presented the de-blurring tool that could--and I truly hope will--be in Photoshop CS6.

Above is a shot of Hwanho Sunrise Park in Pohang, South Korea that Jue posted. As you can tell, the image of the left quite badly blurred, possibly by motion on top of camera shake, but the one on the right has recovered the fine details of roof and even the lines between the tiles on the ground.

Adobe’s de-blurring tool works by analyzing an image for how the camera moved during an exposure. From that information, it creates a "blur kernel" that shows the camera’s trajectory and how long the camera stays at each spatial location.

The de-blurring tool is only designed to correct for camera shake and not blurring created by motion (leaves shaking in the wind, for example) or the subject being out of focus. An image of a sculpture is much crisper after restoration, but the woman on the left is covered in artifacts because of motion blur caused by her walking along.

Wang also points out that Adobe's algorithm is still being refined and there are cases where it will think an image is not blurred at all. This is because the program cannot find any reliable edges to produce a blur kernel.

In the case of a photo shot with a telephoto lens, it did only a fairly “reasonable" job--so far, at least. It should be interesting to see what sort of results come our of a tilt-shift or fisheye lens.

Be sure to check out Jue Wang’s site for the high-resolution images, full explanations, and where he even uses the tool to restore Robert Capa’s film camera image of American soldiers D-Day landing on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.

Still think they are fake? Leave a comment.

[Jue Wang via ProDesignTools and Peta Pixel]

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This story, "Check It Out: Pictures Restored by Adobe's Image De-Blurring " was originally published by PCWorld.

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