Sign up for the newsletter

Signup for the Newsletter

Email

Tandent Vision Science releases Lightbrush

Friday, August 31st, 2012 | Posted by Jim Thacker


 
Tandent Vision Science’s new tool, Lightbrush, breaks down photographic images into reflectance and illumination components, making it possible to edit surface colour and lighting independently.

Tandent Vision Science has released Lightbrush: a new application designed to ‘reverse engineer’ images. The tool separates photos into their reflectance (that is, inherent colour) and illumination components.

Lightbrush is Tandent’s first foray into computer graphics. Co-founded by the legendary Ray Dolby, the company’s Trillien technology is used in everything from satellite imaging to face recognition.

New ways to edit images
Being able to break a photo down into its components opens up interesting new possibilities for image editing.

The Tandent website shows examples of softening or reducing the intensity of the shadows in an image without losing the underlying surface detail – neat, but something you could achieve in Photoshop, albeit more slowly.

However, the site also notes that you can completely redraw shadow boundaries, which would be much trickier.

But perhaps the killer use case, at least for anyone who has struggled to do this manually, is to convert photographs taken in strong lighting into shadow-free neutral illumination suitable for use as textures.

From poorly lit source photograph to instant evenly lit texture. Neat, huh?

Specifications, platform, price
To get the most out of Lightbrush, you’ll need to feed it Camera RAW data. It can export TIFFs, EXRs, or an (unspecified) layered format for editing.

At the minute, the software is OS X-only, although a Windows version is due by the end of the year.

Pricing may be more of a sticking point: at $2,500 (or ‘special Siggraph pricing’ – still currently available – of $1,500), Lightbrush isn’t cheap, particularly since there doesn’t seem to be a demo available.

But price aside, it’s an interesting tool. If anyone has tested Lightbrush in production conditions, we’d be interested to talk to you.

Read more about Lightbrush on the Tandent Vision Science website

Read fxguide’s article on Lightbrush (includes a little more technical detail)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  • http://www.TheAfterImage.com Perry Harovas

    Oh. My. God. This is going to make our work SO much easier. I am a huge supporter of apps like this that make seemingly simple things even easier. Yes we have been able to edit photos of textures for years in Photoshop. But all the hand editing of colors to get rid of shadows has certainly made me decide to choose one photo over another. That choice was often the result of the schedule I had. Now, that won’t be a component anymore, and the best photo will be come the best texture map. The color extraction is really amazing. Thank you for posting this story, Jim!

© CG Channel Inc. All Rights. Privacy Policy.