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This software makes real first-person footage look like a video game

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Microsoft engineers have created a way to convert first-person footage, filmed with a camera like a Go Pro, into what they call "hyper-lapse videos, i.e., time-lapse videos with a smoothly moving camera."

The result resembles the fluidity of a first-person video game, in which a virtual camera is perfectly steady, unlike a real camera, susceptible to the movement of the person handling it.

According to the researchers, the small shakes of the person filming become more noticeable when the film is sped-up. Their algorithm reconstructs that path a camera takes — where it faces in the world while filming — then optimizes a new, smooth path for the video. From there, the algorithm generates "proxies for each input frame," which is to say it creates an idea of what the camera would see if it were traveling on that smoothed path.

"Finally," the researcher's explain on their Microsoft site, "we generate the novel smoothed, time-lapse video by rendering, stitching and blending appropriately selected source frames for each output frame. We present a number of results for challenging videos that cannot be processed using traditional techniques."

The result is striking. According to the site, the researchers hope to make the algorithm available as a Windows app. Now someone give this power to Chicken the Dog!

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