Using Photos To Enhance Video

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 18, 2008
Updated • May 23, 2018

From time to time I read an article on the Internet about a new technology or software that makes me jump up and down and clap my hands at the same time.

In other words, a technology that blows me away. This time, it is a new method for enhancing video by using photos of the same scene to create effects like high definition resolutions, enhanced exposure, object removal, object touchup or high dynamic range.

Video Enhancement

Computer scientists at the University of Washington have developed a software application that automatically enhances a video by using several photographs of the same scene.

This takes the higher resolution and detail of photos in comparison to videos into account to create stunning videos.

Take a look at the original images in the upper row and the enhanced images in the lower row.

The photos highlight the different options available to users of the program. From left to right those are:

  • Super-resolution which improves the resolution of objects
  • High dynamic range of better lighting effects
  • Enhanced exposure
  • Object touchup
  • Object removal

While it might be nice to see the differences on photos, it is more interesting to see a video with moving pictures and a voice explaining the technique in greater detail.

The technique has a few limitations. It currently works only on static scenes, meaning scenes with no moving objects except for the camera and lighting. It furthermore takes roughly 5 minutes to compute one 800x600 frame.

A code dump of the project is available on the project's website which might be useful as a reference for implementing the algorithm.

You can also download the paper in pdf format, the source code, and talks (slides with videos or only slides) that provide you with additional details about the technology.

Using Photos To Enhance Video
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Using Photos To Enhance Video
Computer scientists at the University of Washington have developed a software application that automatically enhances a video by using several photographs of the same scene.
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  1. Chuba said on October 23, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    In reply to anon’s statement about this system putting people out of a job that is utter BS.
    The system helps videographers enhance they’re videos with this technic, so the guy making the enhancements still has a job to do, only it makes it a bit easier.

  2. Bruno said on August 21, 2008 at 1:39 am

    ^^ impressive :o
    but… I don’t forget that it’s a video about … a tool to create fake videos and demos are always perfect.

  3. anon said on August 19, 2008 at 1:06 am


    It may not mean much for the film industry except that the professionals who do this already lose thier jobs.. just speculation as I have no idea but it’s possible.

    Although this is very impressive.

  4. iampriteshdesai said on August 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    This is cool, thanx Marvin. There is one website which takes your grainy mobile video and improves it.
    Have you seen Photosynth? It is a Microsoft product and sure as hell cool. Also cool is Celestia. Windows Live Gallery will have a new feature by which it will recognise faces and you can save photos as Martin’s photo’s.
    Computers rock!!!

  5. rruben said on August 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Wow this is indeed stunning! Can you imagine what this means for the film industry. Very cool!

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