I don’t often have the patience to sit through embedded videos in blogs (a personal weakness of mine), but sometimes the video is too good to ignore. TechCrunch posted one this morning illustrating a new way to resize or retarget images. The technique is very simply explained and involves eliminating the paths of pixels that are least important to the content of an image. The process also works in reverse where you can add paths of pixels to extend the size of an image without substantially altering the content.
I clipped out screenshots, which you can see below, but if you have the time, I highly recommend watching the whole video. The end also shows how to preserve or remove specific content elements in pictures. Talk about serious potential to alter forensic evidence!
I can see numerous practical applications for this technology, not the least of which is enabling the feature for stock photos used by layout artists on the Web and in print. Of course, we will no doubt see an image protection function soon so that certain images can’t be altered. That’s as it should be. Think, however, about how much the retargeting technology could improve thumbnail pics. It would be a great feature for reviewing and sorting through images quickly.