Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Data-Driven Enhancement of Facial Attractiveness

New software "automagically" alters photos of human faces to conform more closely than they do at the beginning to objective standards of good looks.

"Professional photographers have been retouching and deblemishing their subjects ever since the invention of photography. It may be safely assumed that any model that we encounter on a magazine cover today has been digitally manipulated by a skilled, talented retouching artist. Since the human face is arguably the most frequently photographed object on earth, a tool such as ours would be a useful and welcome addition to the ever-growing arsenal of image enhancement and retouching tools available in today’s digital image editing packages. The potential of such a tool for motion picture special effects and advertising is also quite obvious," write the developers.

But what can possibly serve as an "objective" standard of good looks? How about a database of human observers' responses to various pictures: "Which is better looking?"

For the "scientific" explanation of the project . . . and some sample photos . . . check out the following 4:06 video.

Most of the changes are subtle. But I have to agree, they make a (positive) difference in most subjects' looks!

Another brief article by the developers.
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