Photoshop can do some pretty amazing things, but you generally have to have a basic knowledge of the program before you can create something really spectacular. A group of five Chinese Computer Science and Technology students at Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore have created a tool that can makeÂ just about anyone look like a PS pro with no need to a lengthy learning process. Their Photosketch software takes a very rough sketch of what you want to appear in the finished photo and matches elements from other photos to create a masterpiece mashup.
Tao Chen, Ming-Ming Cheng, Ping Tan, Ariel Shamir, and Shi-Min Hu, the authors of the program, made it possible for the average person to simply draw a primitive sketch, label each component, and wait for the program to search for the internet for appropriate matches using a combination of labels and image recognition. The program refines the search results, then the user refines them even further.
When you’re satisfied with each piece of the photo, you bring them together to create a remarkable finished piece. Sure, it’s not perfect, but how else are you going to easily create a picture of Salma Hayek in Loch Ness using two flying squirrels as jet skis?
It sounds a little too good to be true, for sure, and especially since the project’s site was crippled by the huge demand for the program. But as the above video shows, the methods used by the program seem to make sense. Of course, the results are pretty typical of what you could expect a mid-level PS user to come up with, but the real benefit is in having the program do all of the work of searching for appropriate photos.