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Scalado's Remove technology takes distractions out of photos

By dpreview staff on Feb 14, 2012 at 22:57 GMT

Mobile imaging company Scalado has created a multi-shot technology that identifies differences to allow unwanted objects to be removed. The 'Remove' technology, currently being shown-off in the form of an Android app, is the first object removal software on a mobile device, it says. The technology allows passers-by to be selected or automatically removed, or cars to be simply edited out of the scene you're trying to capture, without the need for Photoshop.

It is essentially the opposite of Casio's discontinued Dynamic Photo mode that removes the background from behind your subject. Scalado's technology is focused on mobile devices but, given camera maker's enthusiasm for showing-off the high-speed multi-shot capabilities of CMOS sensors, we wouldn't rule out this technology coming to a camera near you soon.


Press Release:

Scalado excitedly introduce the world's first object removal innovation in a mobile device

Scalado, a world-leading provider of high-performance imaging technologies, applications and services for the mobile industry, have today announced the release of a new revolutionizing product named Remove. Remove is a technology that automatically highlights and removes any unwanted object from a captured photo. It is the world's first Object removal software to be released on a mobile device.

Remove solves common photographic problems with unwanted objects in captured images, such as people getting in the way of our camera shot. Remove detects and selects the unwanted objects which simply can be removed automatically or by touching the selections on the screen or after capturing the image.

"After Zero Shutter Lag, Burst, and Rewind Scalado continue leading and changing the capturing landscape by bringing in new unique and needed capturing innovations", says Fadi Abbas, CMO/VP BizDev and Co-founder of Scalado, -"What differentiate us is the combination of customers who believe in our superiority, leading industry partners and continuous innovations"

Last year Scalado released several innovations, e.g. the Rewind technology which allows the users to capture perfect group shots by automatically selecting the best shots in a burst and merging them into one perfect image. Rewind is already shipping in millions of mobile phones.

"Our team has been working hard to maintain its leading innovation position in the camera capturing field", says Sami Niemi, CTO and Co-founder of Scalado, -"Remove shows that our technologies are setting the guidelines for the whole market".

Scalado will premiere showcase Remove, the first of many new innovations planned this year, at the 2012 Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, February 27th to March 1st.

Comments

Total comments: 39
RussAdams
By RussAdams (Jul 23, 2012)

July 23, 2012

Remembered reading about Remove, went looking for it and cannot find the app anywhere...

Anyone actually get their hands on Scalado Remove?

Russ

0 upvotes
Ceesprof
By Ceesprof (Feb 27, 2012)

Again this brings up the question about the truth in photographic imaging. Maybe we better believe artists with their sketchbooks than a photographer. Merely the existence of this software makes the truth in photography questionable.

0 upvotes
Jeff Peterman
By Jeff Peterman (Jul 25, 2012)

What "truth in photographic imaging?" People have been editing photos since the beginning, way before digital came along. And with this App, would it be "true" if you had someone install a rope off-camera to keep people out of the view when you took the shot? After all, this is something that wouldn't exist in reality because of the busy street, but was created by the photographer and his/her assistant.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Feb 20, 2012)

wow

0 upvotes
amicus70
By amicus70 (Feb 20, 2012)

That's a good app. But I think, you don't have to use it on every photo. It depends of what you want to say with the picture: like in the sample it's good to remove the other people because everyone could have a look on the second core of the picture: the art in the background. But I think this app is very unuseful when you take a picture of a crowded street. Nevertheless everyone have to decide for themselves, if he or she want to use this program.

0 upvotes
Russell Dawkins
By Russell Dawkins (Feb 18, 2012)

I think it would be occasionally very useful to have at hand on any camera. I don't understand the reflexive naysayers - this is clever!

0 upvotes
synapse5
By synapse5 (Feb 17, 2012)

This app is not first of this type. I alredy using app which can remove unwanted objects from images. It is Inpaint
http://www.theinpaint.com

0 upvotes
Gary Sanchez
By Gary Sanchez (Feb 18, 2012)

Does inpaint work any better than smart fill in photoshop?

0 upvotes
NineFace
By NineFace (Feb 17, 2012)

very interesting

0 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (Feb 17, 2012)

Yeah, and how did they remove people sitting still on Eiffel Tower Photo?

1 upvote
chris00nj
By chris00nj (Feb 16, 2012)

I think the best thing about old photographs is the people. My Mom has some old Kodachrome slides of the Roman Forum from the early 1960s. Everything looks exactly like it does today, except everyone is wearing a coat and tie on vacation.

1 upvote
Marktax
By Marktax (Feb 16, 2012)

I agree. All the people who WERE in those old slides from the 1950's looked very civilized and unharried. But there were few enough that the landscape around them also looked untrammelled -- as if it still existed for its own sake and not as a backdrop to human activity on overdrive.

1 upvote
Marktax
By Marktax (Feb 16, 2012)

Seems like yet another way to use digital manipulation to make the world look better off than it is, or in this case, less crowded. I once discovered a cache of about 1,000 pristine Kodachromes from the 1950's, taken by a world traveller. The most notable thing across the whole collection was how obvious it was that the world had about half as many humans as now. Half as many people, half as much clutter, half as many cars, prams, and power lines, half as much trash, etc. St. Mark's Square in Venice almost empty of people at noon, because it was . . . pretty much empty. We wrap ourselves in comfortable misconceptions about our planet when we photograph the world as it is, then make it look like it isn't.

2 upvotes
Wiggle Foot
By Wiggle Foot (Feb 16, 2012)

With some minor modifications, they could use this technology to clean up old movies. The beauty is, most of the process could be automated.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Feb 16, 2012)

haha, this sure beats using ND filters, and getting all moving subjects to blur-from-movement out of the scene but requiring the use of longer exposures, much too long for a quick short portrait moment...

very useful when some obnoxious passerbys like to on purpose clutter ones perspective (happens at product shows all the time... loiterers wanting to obscure your subject... can be annoying). and when time is a luxury, and too short, moments or opportunites do not repeat often when ideal (empty of clutter)

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SteveGJ
By SteveGJ (Feb 15, 2012)

Shouldn't this just be called the Stalin app as he famously made people disappear from photographs.

9 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Feb 15, 2012)

Technology will make 'skill' and/or the 'photographer' redundant.

2 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Feb 15, 2012)

No brainer.
I can do Remove Picture immediately.

1 upvote
lajka
By lajka (Feb 15, 2012)

Insofar I can remember there was a case of a photographer who lost his pice when it was discovered that he removed an element from his winning shot. What if I use Remove in camera, a cheat or not?

0 upvotes
LiSkynden
By LiSkynden (Feb 15, 2012)

Yeah cool, but the video ... isnt it obvious that the girl is not in the same scene even :P I mean watch it again and see how many people is passing by behind but none in front of her.

0 upvotes
jovial jay
By jovial jay (Feb 15, 2012)

The girl is in the same scene. The guy in the white t-shirt walks around her, and the wind in her hair is blowing in the same direction as the flags in the background and at the same strength.

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Feb 16, 2012)

agree... the girl definitely is IN the scene, just as much as every other static element (the background)... what the software does is accumulatively track all moving subjects relative to a static background, and records moments when those backgrounds are exposed, thus, background 'static recovery' is really what is happening, and all moving subjects are track as 'candidates' for removal. minor movement where background detail are NEVER exposed, such as those BEHIND the girl, do not qualify as candidates for removal but left as being one of the 'main static foreground subjects'.

0 upvotes
Varun123
By Varun123 (Feb 16, 2012)

Check the small space between here hand(left) and her body, when taking pictures you coud see the background color changing based on the people passing behind here, but the final result does not show that actual backgroud, it shows the black color of the clothes worn by a guy who was behind the girl

0 upvotes
Toh
By Toh (Feb 15, 2012)

Only if they would make such functionaries available on high quality cameras. Hopefully someday cameras would be made to allow loading of 3rd party apps. The potential would be endless if enough cameras are made to run on some common OS, such as modified Android or the likes.

I'm thinking that if Apple were to come up with some higher end Apple cameras that allow such apps, the camera manufacturers would have no choice but to follow suit. Hopefully someone else (Samsung/Google?) would take the lead for a change.

2 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (Feb 15, 2012)

Roberto,

It says above "Scalado will premiere showcase Remove, the first of many new innovations planned this year, at the 2012 Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, February 27th to March 1st." and also "The 'Remove' technology, currently being shown-off in the form of an Android app, is the first object removal software on a mobile device" so it sounds like it will be coming soon for Android. Don't know about iOS for iPad, etc.

Phil

0 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (Feb 15, 2012)

Great! Now such tedious distractions as the Eiffel Tower can be removed :-)

2 upvotes
olyflyer
By olyflyer (Feb 15, 2012)

...or that ugly sculpture group in the last photo :-) "Optimistorkester" in Malmö, Sweden.

0 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (Feb 15, 2012)

where are these apps downloadable ? are they available already ?
Thanks

0 upvotes
spidermoon
By spidermoon (Feb 15, 2012)

Me too, i can't find the apps on the market. Scalado web site is awfully slow.

0 upvotes
OliverGlass
By OliverGlass (Feb 15, 2012)

Niiice. I hope they release a Photoshop plug-in of sorts. It could be a nice alternative to the "Edit, Fill" CS5 feature.

0 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (Feb 15, 2012)

I think it won't be available for photoshop, it uses video frames taken before the shot to see the differences.. (I guess..)

2 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Feb 15, 2012)

The new photoshop will have this function.

0 upvotes
roby17269
By roby17269 (Feb 15, 2012)

Photoshop Extended has had this same function since CS4 for sure, possibly since CS3 or even earlier. But it is disabled in the non-Extended versions

0 upvotes
taffytubby
By taffytubby (Feb 15, 2012)

What is wrong with waiting for a minute until there's a clear moment? Have we got a case of 'no time to compose and image just image and create the composition later'. Seems a bit shallow. Great if you are a dumb-ass tourist ticking off the sights in the tour guide but absolutely pointless for enthusiast photography.

2 upvotes
phipop
By phipop (Feb 15, 2012)

stupid app (one more)

0 upvotes
Fred Dominic
By Fred Dominic (Feb 16, 2012)

I think photoshop can currently do this very easily.

Take a rapid series of shots from the same scene (i.e., burst mode). Make sure that there are an odd number of shots in the sequence (e.g., like 7 or 9 shots) while telling the subject to be stationary.

Then do a median filter on the series of images. I.e., not median over space but median over the set of pixels (i.e., each pixel will have 7 or 9 instances of that pixel, and each set of such pixels is then replaced by the median over that set).

What will result is exactly what is being advertised here. I've done this a number of times now in Photoshop, you have to use the the stack mode method and then select median, instructions can be found at:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/WSA1E7602F-1D34-4ecf-B2FE-2BB344D6937Ca.html

Of course, having it easily done on an iPhone is a different thing (but then so is anything you can do on an iPhone :-).

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Feb 16, 2012)

For PS just take a number of frames from a tripod and then hide with masks what you dont like.

0 upvotes
Sordid
By Sordid (Feb 20, 2012)

taffytubby,
don't know where you're living but I know a few sights you'll never get a clear shot of.
I'm from Vienna, Austria and it's impossible to take a picture of St. Stephen's Cathedral without at least a few dozen people obstructing your view.

0 upvotes
nmenschel
By nmenschel (Mar 2, 2012)

Marktax, you are right on!!! I would add, as a photojournalist, this clearly hurts the profession more and saddens me. Avedon said: "All photographs are accurate, none are truthful." Now they aren'e even accurate!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 39