Dynamic resizing of image content

by Andy Polaine on September 4, 2007

This technology developed by Ariel Shamir from the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science resizes the content of images in the same way that web pages are dynamically scalable. It’s easier to explain once you seen the video, but basically it intelligently adds or removes pixels so you can squash or stretch an image without it distorting.

It seems to have been doing the rounds of the interweb for a few days, but I’d only just noticed it from Tom Coates’s link to the Guardian article.

Of course it raises some pretty interesting questions about the validity and veracity of photographic images, especially when used as evidence, but this kind of thing has been going on for years before the widespread use of digital tools. Stalin was famous for manipulating photos and there is of course the famous National Geographic moving-the-pyramids one that was one of the early examples of digital manipulation (and in a ‘scientific’ journal).

I think it is also a great example of how one way of thinking in an area (web design) influences the way that one sees other disciplines (image manipulation). Before web browsers, the idea that pages (and thus images) would have fluid layouts would have seemed absurd.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Knott September 5, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I think it’s a nice effect but I’m not sure it’s that useful… What if you could take a nicely composed printed page layout, a layout that a designer has composed a certain way for a reason, and then resize it by removing the white space. You lose a lot more than the white space.

A webpage layout is different, the content is what matters in most cases and the quality of content isn’t scaled when you scale a liquid layout…

2 Andy Polaine September 5, 2007 at 3:47 pm

I agree that I’m not sure it’s terribly useful apart from removing ex partners after a messy split.

I think a lot of designers would disagree with you about web pages being about content over layout – the same is equally true/not true of printed material too. We’ve just got used to the idea of web content being flexible because browsers are/were shit and not everyone has/had the same size screen, so it was a kludge in many ways to start with.

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