‘Photo Wake-Up’ makes stills come eerily alive

Moonwalk GIF
Photo Wake-Up can turn a photo of an Apollo moonwalker into an animation that has the astronaut walking out of the frame. (UW / NASA Image)

What would it be like to see pictures of moonwalkers, comic-book characters and painted portraits get up and walk right out of their frames? It’s an eerie thought – but Photo Wake-Up, a software application developed by computer scientists at the University of Washington and Facebook, gives you an idea how it would look.

And someday, the app could come to an augmented-reality headset near you.

The project has been in the works for months. It won a share of the spotlight last November at UW’s annual Madrona Prize competition, and made another media splash a month later when the team put out a preprint paper.

Next week, the researchers will be presenting their results at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Long Beach, Calif.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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