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This Adobe algorithm can steal any photo’s ‘style,’ and it’s incredible

Published Mar 31st, 2017 10:03PM EDT

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Adobe’s Photoshop editing software is already the undisputed standard in image manipulation, but if a new, in-development photo feature becomes part of the standard toolkit, it’s going to completely blow everything else out of the water. Researchers from Adobe and Cornell have partnered to create what they call “Deep Photo Style Transfer,” which essentially steals the very soul of a photograph and applies it to a different image, duplicating the lighting and overall look of the photo while retaining the key elements of the host image. In short, it’s absolutely stunning.

The feature, which is still being developed but appears in a new technical paper describing its function. The complex algorithm has been tuned to accurately detect features of both the reference image and host image in order to accurately mimic lighting effects, color, and contrast. The result is a photograph that looks real, but is in fact a composition of two different images.

Here’s a particularly fantastic example of the tool at work, via the research paper. First, the original host image:

And the reference image which the style will be taken from:

After using the software to strip the style from the night shot and apply it to the host, the final result looks like this:

It’s a really impressive tool and would surely be useful for many photographers. There’s no confirmation at this point whether or not the Adobe will be able to implement the intelligent algorithm into any of its apps or software, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.