Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Google Releases Motion Stills App For iOS,May Come to Google Photos

 

Google yesterday released a new iOS app called Motion Stills, in hope of making live photos on the iPhone even better than Apple did. This new app takes your existing live photos, made with an iOS device, and stabilizes them so that your live photos look like they’ve been created using high-end stabilization equipment. The end result is an extremely fluid, and easily sharable, GIF or short video.
Google was hoping to take technology designed to run in massive data centers and make it usable in the palm of your hands, and I would have to say they were extremely effective. The effect this app has on your existing live photos is pretty magical. 
See how it goes from shaky disaster to stabilized work of art? Yeah, that’s Google puttin’ in work on the stabilization algorithm or something. Need a better explanation? This is the foreign language spoken throughout the app’s announcement post where Googlers try and tell us how this all works:

We pioneered this technology by stabilizing hundreds of millions of videos and creating GIF animations from photo bursts. Our algorithm uses linear programming to compute a virtual camera path that is optimized to recast videos and bursts as if they were filmed using stabilization equipment, yielding a still background or creating cinematic pans to remove shakiness.
Our challenge was to take technology designed to run distributed in a data center and shrink it down to run even faster on your mobile phone. We achieved a 40x speedup by using techniques such as temporal subsampling, decoupling of motion parameters, and using Google Research’s custom linear solver, GLOP. We obtain further speedup and conserve storage by computing low-resolution warp textures to perform real-time GPU rendering, just like in a videogame.

One of the best parts of this app is the fact that you don’t need an internet connection in order to use it. Not only was Google able to bring massively complex, automatic video editing processes to the palm of your hand, but they were able to do it without the need to use any data at all. All processing is done on the phone itself. If you do have an internet connection, however, Google has also made it extremely easy to share your newly created content across basically any app. Just a few presses of a button and all the world can take a look at your artistic achievements via GIF or video form.

Seeing as live photos are exclusively an iOS feature, this app, which launched yesterday, is exclusively for iOS. For those of us with Android devices, however, we may be seeing the awesome functionality of this app make its way to some existing Google apps in the coming months. According to Google, based on feedback that they receive, they “hope to integrate this feature into existing products like Google Photos.”

If you own an iPhone, you can grab Motion Stills here.


Source: Google Research Blog