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Have you ever set up a perfect family picture, but each time you snap, someone is looking away or making a funny face? Well there’s a promising new photo app, GroupShot, that can help. GroupShot allows photographers to select a batch of group snaps taken in succession and then swap out the closed-eyed or gape-mawed with the best head shots in the bunch to create a new image with everyone looking their best. While the app has a few issues, the technology behind it is astounding. GroupShot is a fantastic addition to an iPhone photographer’s toolkit with the financial backing, according to TechCrunch, to keep making it better.
GroupShot is obscenely easy to use. Select a series of group photos — at least two — and the app selects the better background (although it can be manually exchanged for another). Then it’s a matter of drawing crude circles around the face you want to replace. A complex algorithm gets to works behind the scenes offering a selection of facially recognized alternatives. A simple tap selects the new face, and then the app performs its hocus-pocus.
GroupShot comes loaded with sample images, and on those the effects are seamless. My personal experience was not quite as smooth. When using old group shots not intended for this purpose, the app did brilliantly on the facial recognition front, but left obvious seams in the finished product. The output resolution was rather too low for good printing as well.
The remedy for me was using a camera replacement app like Camera+ or Camera Genius with burst mode, instead of just asking everyone to stay still for a while. If the images in the batch are evenly scaled and head angles remain fixed, the results are nothing short of magical.