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Siggraph Roundup: The Next Wave of Photo Tech Revealed

Today marks the last day of Siggraph 2007, one of the most renowned annual computer graphics conferences in the world. The 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in San Diego, Calif. features exhibitio

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August 9, 2007 – Today marks the last day of Siggraph 2007, one of the most renowned annual computer graphics conferences in the world. The 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in San Diego, Calif. featured exhibitions and lectures by the world’s premiere scientific minds. This year’s conference includes research ranging from computational cameras to the Microsoft Surface, a touch screen tabletop computer. Read on to find a list of headliners at this year’s Siggraph.

Traditionally known as the launching pad for innovations in computer graphics, this year’s Siggraph featured experimental work of new cameras, software, and even an electronic fashion show. In the Siggraph Papers program, scholars discuss recent research. Out of the 455 submissions from around the globe, 108 papers were selected for the Papers forum. Presented photography research featured included ways to refocus pictures, increase dynamic range, and change depth of field.

"Photography was a big trend at Siggraph this year, especially computational photography," said Siggraph spokesperson Brian Ban in an interview with "That’s where the latest breakthroughs are happening."

Computational Cameras

Mask-Enhanced Cameras for Heterodyned Light Fields and Coded Aperture Refocusing - Developed by scientists at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) and Northwestern University, this dappled, or spotted, photography method uses coded aperture in a modified camera. With the ability to capture 4-D light, the mask-enhanced camera can refocus pictures after capture, according to scientists.

Image and Depth from a Conventional Camera with a Coded Aperture – This method, developed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, uses a modified camera and coded aperture to gather photo information. The technology promises to recover high resolution detail and depth of field in an image.

Multi-Aperture Photography – Developed by MIT and MERL scientists, this paper describes a camera that uses various aperture settings to capture multiple images simultaneously in order to demonstrate depth of field and focus.

Related content

Active Refocusing of Images and Videos – Presented by researchers from Columbia University and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, this paper explores refocusing still and video images using single-view depth estimation.

Image Analysis

Image Deblurring with Blurred/Noisy Image Pairs – Presented by Microsoft Research Asia and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, this deblurring technique uses deconvoluted images to reduce noise.

Scene Completion using Millions of Photographs – The system developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) complies photos from Web databases to fill in missing portions of photographs.

Photo Clip Art – Also presented by CMU, this software technique adds cut-outs to digital pictures, sourced from the Internet’s photo library, for seamless photo composites.

Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing – This software aims to readjust the size of a photo based on its content. Exhibited by MERL researchers, this method uses aspect-ratio change, object removal, and image retargeting.


Veiling Glare in High Dynamic Range Imaging – Presented by researchers from Stanford University, this method reduces glare that limits dynamic range of images. With a high-frequency mask, the technique can also reduce noise in photos.

**Other Technology at Siggraph

***The Surface* – This 30-inch display tabletop surface, developed by Microsoft, allows users to retrieve information with the touch screen interface. The Surface features object recognition to read barcodes and allows multiple users to sort through digital photo albums.

kameraflage – Presented at the Unravel fashion event at Siggraph, this tech-inspired garment allows digital cameras to detect designs on the clothing that are invisible to the human eye. With kameraflage, designs on the clothing would show up in a digital photograph, creating 'a new of expression is enabled for people who are limited by dress codes or those who simply wish to add an interactive element to their wardrobe,' according to a Siggraph release.

The technology presented at Siggraph ranges from theoretical concepts to actualized, real forms, according to Ban. Researchers share information with their competition in what the spokesperson calls an "open source philosophy." Even more, members of the community are invited to attend Siggraph, joining the 25,000 computer graphics and technology professionals.

"The precedent of the level and quality of the research is so high," Ban said. "If you are presenting something at Siggraph, it is going to be technically significant."

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