Google’s PhotoScan App Now Automatically Removes Glare From Your Old Photos

Fed up of photographs that have glare across them? The ones where parts of the most important object is not visible? Fret no more, because Google has a new app out now, which gets rid of glare completely.

Previously with glossy prints, you would find glare somewhere when you covered the pic with glass or even plastic in a photo album. Even taking four or five shots – as photoscan recommended – and merging them into one was not a guarantee that the picture would be glare free. The process would also only work on flat images although Google did try to make it work using an optical flow. It was never 100% successful.

Google’s latest app lets you take one single shot using your smart device. The algorithm does the rest. It removes the glare by taking into account the surrounding colours and then making sure that they are matched in with the rest of the picture. It calculates the surrounding colours and parameters and works from there. So, instead of taking a series of shots of the same image and hoping that you will get no glare, with this app you need to take just one shot, run it through the app, and you will have a glare free picture!

Left: A regular digital picture of a physical print. Right: Glare-free digital output from PhotoScan
Left: The captured, input images (5 in total). Right: If we stabilize the images on the photo, we can see just the glare moving, covering different parts of the photo. Notice no single image is glare-free.
Left: Detected feature matches between the reference frame and each other frame (left), and the warped frames according to the estimated homographies (right).
Comparison between the warped frames using homographies (left) and after the additional warp refinement using optical flow (right).
Comparison between the glare removal result with (right) and without (left) optical flow refinement. In the result using homographies only (left), notice artifacts around the eye, nose and teeth of the person, and duplicated stems and flower petals on the fabric.
The grid setup for grid optical flow. A point p is represented as the bilinear interpolation of the four corner points of the cell that encapsulates it.
Left: Illustration of the computed flow field on one of the frames. Right: The flow color coding: orientation and magnitude represented by hue and saturation, respectively.
Flipping between the homography-registered frame and the flow-refined warped frame (using the above flow field), superimposed on the (clean) reference frame, shows how the computed flow field “snaps” image parts to their corresponding parts in the reference frame, improving the registration.
Regular minimum (left) versus soft minimum (right) over the registered frames.

Not every phone will support the update, particularly some of the older phones, but all newer models will be able to download and install the app (iTunes,  Play Store). You can also download the app to tablets, and work on your photos instantly to give you glare free pictures to share with friends.

Source: DIY Photography