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Adobe's "Magic" Is Gimp's Old Plug-In

Date/Time Permalink: 03/27/10 12:26:30 pm
Category: Reviews

Suddenly the graphics world is all atwitter about this miraculous new feature they're previewing in Photoslop. A Photoslop team guy has a video up with a "sneak preview" of what they're calling "Content-Aware Fill." As soon as I saw it, I remembered some plug-in that I'd tried in Gimp long ago, but couldn't remember what it was.

Then I saw the Real Uqbar post about Gimp's resynthesizer, and the light went on again. Here's the home of the resynthesizer plug-in, and here's a Gimp resynthesizer tutorial, just one of many.

On Ubuntu, I installed gimp-resynthesizer from Synaptic and was up in seconds. But what is resynthesizer good for? Well, let me put on my Gallagher hat:

"The amazing Mastertool Corporation, a subsidiary of Fly-By-Night Industries, has entrusted - who? Me! - to show you the handiest and the dandiest kitchen tool you've ever seen, and don't you want to know how it works? Well first you get out some ordinary apples. You place the ordinary apples between the patented pans. Then you reach for the tool that is not a slicer, not a dicer, not a chopper or a hopper - What the hell could it possibly be?"

Resynthesizer!

Can it make the knothole in this barrel disappear?

barrel before-and-after

Yes! It is just that easy! Can it remove this stupid caption?

stupid caption before-and-after

Yes, given that I color-selected the white text, grew the selection by four pixels, and then ran filters...map...resynthesize with both horizontal and vertical tiling turned off, the results are stunning without even the need for touch-up! It is just! that! easy!

I also notice that I inadvertently killed the highlight dots in his eyes, too. Because they were the exact same shade of white - what a coincidence! So now his eyes are less shiny and he looks kind of mad at me for doing that to him.

But can we remove floating debris from this reflective water surface?

river before-and-after

Yes! Those unsightly stray branches are gone without so much as rippling the water surface! But can you remove George Bush's nose?

nose before-and-after

Yeb! Yeb, do cad deboob Deord Bud'd's dose, add ded do cab bap hib talg fuddy.

But wait! Don't tell me! No, it cannot be! You couldn't possibly... make an entire battleship vanish???

battleship before-and-after

Yes indeed! While we clearly have some manual smoothing left to be done to the horizon (just copy 'n' paste that chunk to the far right over the rough patches and finger-smear out the seams, it's good enough), you have to admit that that was an amazingly smooth vanish for compensating for one-fourth of the image's area! As a bonus we removed the two buoys floating in the foreground because, heck, why not?

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