Researchers at the University of Washington have created a way to take hundreds or thousands of digital portraits and in seconds create an animation of the person's face.
The tool can make a face appear to age over time, or choose images from the same period to make the person's expression gradually change from a smile to a frown.
The researchers were inspired, in part, by people who snap a photo of themselves each day and then align them to create a movie where they appear to age onscreen. They sought an automated way to get the same effect.
One version of the tool is already available to the public. Last year during a six-month internship at Google's Seattle office, co-author Rahul Garg, a UW doctoral student in computer science and engineering, worked with Kemelmacher-Shlizerman and Seitz to add a feature called Face Movie to the company's photo tool, Picasa.
The Face Movie version includes some simplifications to make it run more quickly. It also plays every photo tagged with the person's name, but not necessarily in chronological order.