Seam carving comes home

The remarkable "seam carving" image resizing technique that I and everybody else posted about a month ago has now been implemented in at least two ways.

First, there's the Liquid Rescale plugin for GIMP.

[UPDATE: Picutel's "Smart Resize" is a Photoshop plugin that does the same thing. You have to buy the full version if you want to work with images bigger than 640 by 480, though.]


Second, and much more interestingly for casual dabblers, is (of course).

Rsizr lets you watch the seams being carved before your very eyes in a Web browser.

It's not the fastest process I've ever seen, since this is a rather computationally intensive technique (since it's doing it in Flash, I suspect it may be based on one of the open-source ActionScript seam carving implementations mentioned here). If you want to mess about with Rsizr, I therefore recommend you use images no bigger than 1024 by 768, even if you've got a firebreathing computer.

Note also that after you've done the seam-carving, you still have to click the image and drag its border to actually resize it. Well, I think you always have to do that; Rsizr's pretty much documentation-free at the moment.

But it definitely does work.

Original image

It allowed me to turn this 1280 by 850 pixel original...

Seam-carved version

...into this 855 by 640 pixel version. Click the images for full-sized versions.

The reduced-size version now has rather cramped composition, and the terrain looks a lot more hilly than it really was. But all of the major image elements - the sharp trees, the two buildings, the man and the boy - are preserved almost unchanged. They're just closer together than they were.

The server's being hammered a bit at the moment, so the "Save" function takes rather a long time to work. It's easy enough to get around that, though - once you get your image the way you want, just take a screenshot of the window and cut the image out of it.

(I presume there'll be a decent free Photoshop-plugin image carver Real Soon Now. In other news, one of the guys who came up with the idea has been hired by Adobe.)

3 Responses to “Seam carving comes home”

  1. jan Says:

    It might be an interesting experiment to apply the filter to every frame of a movie clip. How are your GIMP scripting skills?

  2. ex-parrot Says:

    I tried scripting the gimp plugin with PHP to make an AJAX version of this but the server load was immense. It's going to be a while before this technology is used on every man and dog's webpage I suspect.

  3. ex-parrot Says:

    If you want to try and set my server on fire, I won't give you the AJAX version but give this a whirl:

    It should be obvious how to change the parameters.

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