Thanks to the magic of machine learning
Google Images is indispensable, charming, and sometimes a little frustrating when it reminds you of the way things used to be. Among other things, Google Photos featured “Memories” that combine photos of a type, time, or date, sometimes with fun effects. One such image is Cinematic Images, which creates a dramatic slow-motion zoom or 3D effect from a 2D image. Soon, the missing background details in those cinematic photos will be filled in for an even more magical effect thanks to machine learning.
Cinematic photo filters were first introduced at the end of 2020, and if you haven’t seen them in action before, they are actually pretty cool.
You can’t actively search for the effect to apply to an image on purpose, but Google Photos can automatically choose a good image (it always looks like a portrait), and at the end, convert that 2D image into a 3D video with slowly zooming in on the effect applied to the subject. However, in this 2D to 3D extrapolation, a single flat image does not accurately describe all the texture details that would be necessary for the background content or behind the foreground objects in the new 3D scene. Sometimes you’ll see little bits in the background that end up stretched or blurred to fill the gap, which is why Google is making a change that allows Google Photos to fill in details that weren’t captured all on their own, through machine learning — perhaps with something similar to what the Pixel does The new Magic Eraser.
In the example provided by Google, this means that the 3D effect can be Way More dramatic, providing more flexibility for the virtual camera to move through the scene.
Google has also re-announced the new People & Pets tool, which is now coming out this week for Android. It allows you to enjoy a constant stream of images of specific people or animals in your life. So, if, like me, you are constantly taking pictures of your cat without a particular reason, you can also enjoy having it on your home screen without a particular reason. (This whole concept likely Works best for people with more interesting children or pets.)
The feature announcement was placed today in a longer post on Google’s blog, which also highlights other existing features, such as the ability to set Memories to exclude specific times, people, or types of memories – including those cinematic ones we just mentioned. So nothing is stopping you from just blocking every reminder of how things used to be back.
Better late than never
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