LOS ANGELES, CA (SIGGRAPH 2012) - Walking down the aisles of SIGGRAPH, I was wondering how I was going to cover the vast exhibit all by myself when I was snagged by a vendor. No doubt he noticed my media badge and asked if I would like to see the product. Snagging happens often, but it's usually a overly enthusiastic young thing doing the snagging.
I look at Howard Taub's business card he has PhD (solid state physics, no less) who looked more at home with guys with pocket protectors rather than ponytails (the latter more prevalent at SIGGRAPH). I was curious. Taub was representing Tandent, a company best known for vision technology. But they had created and were marketing Lightbrush, which seems to quite magically removes shadows from still pictures.
Suppose you have taken a picture of a building but due to the light of day, one side is in shadow? With Lightbrush, you initiate the process by picking a point in the image that is fully lit and another that is on the same material in a shadow area. The software seems to figure out where the shadows are in the image and then removes them --or more accurately, the shadow information goes to a separate Illumination file. I'm sure Howard would be able to explain the technology from what I gather, there is much detail stored even in the shadows that can be brought to light. Pun intended.
Lightbrush was on a show special for SIGGRAPH 2012 at $1500. The standard price is $2500 for a fixed node license, $3500 for floating. It will make sense if your firm is spending hundreds of hours using Photoshop for shadow removal.
Lightbrush is available for the Mac and the Windows version is due Q4.
You can get more information here: http://tandent.com/site/lightbrush.html