Computational photography is responsible for most of the amazing strides our smartphone cameras have taken in the last decade. Here’s how it works, and how it makes our photos so much better. The Magic of Computational Photography Computational photography uses digital software to enhance the photos taken by a camera. It’s most prominently used in smartphones. In fact, computational photography does the heavy lifting to create the great-looking images you see in your smartphone photo gallery. The rapid improvement in smartphone cameras over the last few years can largely be attributed to improving software, rather than changes to the physical camera sensor. Some smartphone manufacturers, like Apple and Google, continuously improve the photo-taking capabilities of their devices year after year without ever drastically changing the physical camera sensors. Why Does Computational Photography Matter? How a camera digitally captures a photo can be roughly divided into two … [Read more...] about What Is Computational Photography?
Youth photography contest
When it comes to smartphone cameras, it’s not all about the hardware anymore. Modern smartphones automatically use “computational photography” techniques to improve every single photo you take. Using Software to Improve Your Smartphone Camera Computational photography is a broad term for loads of different techniques that use software to enhance or extend the capabilities of a digital camera . Crucially, computational photography starts with a photo and ends with something that still looks like a photo (even if it could never be taken with a regular camera.) How Traditional Photography Works Before going any deeper, let’s quickly go over what happens when you take a photo with an old film camera. Something like the SLR you (or your parents) used back in the ’80s. When you click the shutter-release button, the shutter opens for a fraction of a second and lets light hit the film. All the light is focused by a physical lens that determines how everything in the photo will … [Read more...] about How Computational Photography Improves Smartphone Photos
Are you about to start a conversation with someone? The acronyms WYD and HYD are the shortest ways to initiate a back-and-forth with a friend. Find out what they mean, and how to use them here. The Definitions of WYD and HYD WYD (not be confused with World Youth Day, an annual event organized by the Catholic Church) stands for “what are you doing?”. HYD stands for “how are you doing?” They’re typically used as greetings or to start a conversation with someone. In some ways, the two initialisms are interchangeable, however, there are some essential differences. You can use them in both lower- (wyd) and uppercase (WYD), but lowercase is more common among young people. You can use both of these acronyms (and phrases) the same as you would other idiomatic expressions, like “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?” HYD has a very similar meaning to the acronym HYF (“how are you feeling?”). Among internet slang terms, these two function uniquely in that they’re complete sentences—they … [Read more...] about What Do “WYD” and “HYD” Mean, and How Do You Use Them?
First released in 1991, the Game Genie let players enter special codes that made video games easier or unlocked other functions. Nintendo didn’t like it, but many gamers loved it. Here’s what made it special. Genie in a Bottle Game Genie is the brand name for a series of video game enhancement devices developed by Codemasters and sold by Galoob in the U.S. The first Game Genie model worked with the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and launched in the summer of 1991 for about $50. Game Genie devices for the Super NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, and Game Gear followed. Like a genie of legend, the Game Genie made your wishes come true. To use one, you first plugged a game cartridge into the Game Genie unit and then plugged both devices into your console. Upon powering up, you saw a screen where you could enter a series of alphanumeric codes. These codes injected data between the game cartridge and the system , changing how the game worked and effectively reprogramming it on … [Read more...] about What Was the “Game Genie” Cheat Device, and How Did It Work?
You can’t believe everything you read—or see. Social media is rife with manipulated or “Photoshopped” images. Here are some telltale signs you’re looking at an altered image. Airbrushing Is Easy to Spot Have you ever seen an image that just doesn’t look right? Trusting your gut might not be the most scientific approach, but you’re probably better at spotting a fake than you realize. If you see an image that sounds alarm bells, you might want to look a bit closer. You’ll probably spot some telltale signs that it’s been manipulated. Airbrushed images often fall into “ uncanny valley ” territory. Even if you have perfect skin, most light sources cast small shadows on fine wrinkles, pores, and other slight imperfections. When these imperfections are digitally removed, so is the appearance of natural lighting. Professional retouchers often strike a balance between perfection and realism, but amateurs and mobile apps rarely do. Apps, in particular, depend on existing skin tones … [Read more...] about How to Tell If an Image Has Been Manipulated or Photoshopped
Thirty years ago—on January 15, 1991 —an American college student named Tim Sweeney released ZZT , a low-key adventure game with a revolutionary element: It shipped with a free, built-in game editor. ZZT’s success spawned Epic Games, Unreal Engine, and most recently, Fortnite . Here’s why ZZT was special. What’s a “ZZT,” Anyway? Tim Sweeney’s passion for programming began on his Apple II when he was a kid. After getting his first IBM PC in 1989 during his freshman year of college, he dove head-first into programming the new machine. While creating an MS-DOS text editor using Turbo Pascal in 1990, he decided to make the project more fun by adding game-like elements. That evolved into ZZT , which was released as shareware in 1991. The genius of ZZT in the early 1990s was that it wasn’t just a cute ASCII-based adventure. With every copy of ZZT downloaded, players also got an in-game world editor for free. That’s because ZZT’s text editor roots meant … [Read more...] about Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT: Meet Epic’s First Game