Software has been developed which can allow non-technical users to place objects into existing photographs with lighting effects, including shafts of light, and cast shadows.
Kevin Karsch, researcher, and a team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created and developed the software, a study of users to judge how realistic the results are, and a demo video.
Since this was presented at SIGGRAPH Asia 2011, and especially since Ed W Lynch posted about it on Laughingsquid, we have gotten questions at PhotographyUncapped about the relationship of this software to Adobe Photoshop’s Vanishing Point feature, and whether this new technology might be featured in Photoshop CS6, or Photoshop CS-next?
Adobe has had its Vanishing Point feature in the last three versions of Photoshop; Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS4, and the current version Photoshop CS5.
Photoshop Vanishing Point works in a two-dimensional space. After you define a couple of surface planes (or more planes) you can move existing features in a photograph from one plane to another, somewhat realistically.
The new software technology allows users to not only define a few surface planes in the image, but also light sources, and shafts of light coming into the space. Then, when the object is placed in the photo, the software can render the incoming light on the object, and changes to the ambient light caused by the object. It also will render shafts of light and cast shadows onto the object, and the associated effects on its surrounds in the image. It will even render light reflected by the object onto its surroundings including a color cast if appropriate.
This new technology is definitely advanced over the Adobe Photoshop Vanishing Point. Whether it will be included in the next release of Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CS6 extended is anyone’s guess at this point. Adobe is generally tight lipped about new features, until they are ready for a little bitty hint, that is. We have seen absolutely nothing regarding this for Photoshop as yet.
Stay tuned for updates on all things Photoshop.