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Beauty machine’ makes everyone pretty

Researchers say device transforms any woman's photo into model-likeness

By Robert Roy Britt

updated 2:31 p.m. ET, Fri., Nov. 7, 2008

Researchers have created a "beauty machine" they say can turn a woman's photo into the likeness of a cover model with the push of a button.

The goal is not just to toy with pictures. Sure, the new computer software could help editors distort magazine cover photos even more than they already do. But it could also guide plastic surgeons in efforts to achieve some perceived level of perfection in a patient.

Or the software might even be incorporated into future digital cameras to make us all appear gorgeous, the researchers suggest.

"Beauty, contrary to what most people think, is not simply in the eye of the beholder," said lead researcher Daniel Cohen-Or of the Blavatnik School of Computer Sciences at Tel Aviv University.

Pretty by numbers

Attractiveness — for men or women — can be objectified by a computer and boiled down to a function of mathematical distances or ratios, Cohen-Or said, admitting that the work is likely to be controversial.

"Beauty can be quantified by mathematical measurements and ratios. It can be defined as average distances between features, which a majority of people agree are the most beautiful," he said. "I don't claim to know much about beauty. For us, every picture in this research project is just a collection of numbers."

All this is actually backed by a study, published recently in the proceedings of Siggraph, an annual computer graphics conference.

Cohen-Or and colleagues asked 68 Israeli and German men and women, ages 25 to 40, to rank the beauty of 93 different men's and women's faces on a scale of 1 to 7. The scores were entered into a database and correlated to 250 different measurements and facial features, such as ratios of the nose, chin and distance from ears to eyes, according to a statement from the team. From this, they created an algorithm of "desirable elements of attractiveness" that then spits out the new you.

The beauty machine is more subtle than a typical Photoshop makeover, they say. The machine does not seem to work so well on celebrities, however.

"We've run the faces of people like Brigitte Bardot and Woody Allen through the machine and most people are very unhappy with the results," Cohen-Or said. "But in unfamiliar faces, most would agree the output is better."

Link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27596308/

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I looked at the before and after photos and really didn't see much of a difference. The eyes were moved a little further apart in one, and another got a much fuller lower face. I'd like to see more examples before I comment on what this software can really do, but the three examples all seemed to make the women look more "white" and less "ethnic," which really isn't what I personally find attractive.

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Seems pretty pointless, IMO. The sample pics did things like moving eyes - not something I'm aware that plastic surgury can do yet :rolleyes: .

Sounds completely like something the artistically-challenged could use because they could not do it on their own, yet it's still pointless- like so much 'new tech'.

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They could just put some at the local bars......

Though I dislike the stuff, that "machine" could also be alcohol...

...what do they say about waking up the next morning and having to "chew off" your own arm? :rotflmao:

Edited by trinacriabob
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You know, there is a point to all this: some people are naturally photogenic and often look better in pictures, while other people 'freeze' in front of the camera and look terrible. My sister, for example - she is a nice looking girl, but in pictures she comes across as model quality. Me, on the other hand, I only have 2 or 3 pictures of myself that I can honestly say I couldn't use to haunt a house, but judging by the number of guys I have to fight off me in bars, I must be a catch (the BF thinks so, anyway) - then explain the scary pictures. TAKE OFF THAT MASK!

The only nice pictures I've seen of myself is when I don't know the camera is snapping. Why is that? Is it the subject? Is it the photographer?

Edited by CARBIZ
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I was asked to work on a prototype for the software described in the OP of this thread. Seemed innocent enough. Lift my shirt, *flash* and go on with life. Little did I know at that point I would REALLY BE LOSING MY NIPS. I still rub there once in a while, forgetting...

I was thinking of gluing a couple of pepperonis to my chest, so I can feel NORMAL again.:(

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As I am singleminded of purpose right now, I cannot hear what's playing in the background. I can only hear the soundtrack in my mind.

MUST. HAVE. NIPS. :omfg:

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The only nice pictures I've seen of myself is when I don't know the camera is snapping. Why is that? Is it the subject? Is it the photographer?

Easy to explain. You're not tensed up. Ditto for me.

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