with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Eye Movement Controlling Camera Functions in the Future

Today, technology is available within modern cameras that detects where the eye is looking through the viewfinder for focus and even zoom the camera’s lens. Research at Rutgers University may bring the ability to actually edit the image within the viewfinder with the movement of the eye.

Based upon the thesis called “The Art Of Seeing: Visual Perception In Design And Evaluation Of Non-Photorealistic Rendering”(PDF) by Anthony Santella, of Rutgers University, users will be able to use their eyes to crop images.

In all eras and visual styles, artists control the amount of detail in the images they create, both locally and globally. This is not just a technique to limit the effort involved in rendering a scene. It makes a definite statement about what is important and streamlines understanding. Our goal is to largely automate this artistic abstraction in computer renderings. The hope is to remove detail in a meaningful way, while automating individual decisions about what features to include. Eye tracking allows the capture of what a viewer looks at and indirectly, what they find important. We demonstrate that this information alone is sufficient to control detail in an image based rendering, and change the way successive viewers look at the resulting image.

This is still in the theory stage, and a lot of assumptions are being made. Still, the determination to automatically improve the end results of a photographic image with computer analysis combined with psychology and physical response to artwork…a part of me feels like while auto-everything is nice for the family photographer, this modern convenience may make it too easy to NOT think about the individual artistic expression in photography. Just something to think about.

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