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Video of Diminished Reality Will Blow Your Mind

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Graphic designers who digitally retouch photographs are always in demand. There will never be a shortage of black sheep in wedding photos or cellulite ripples in Maxim shoots. Although it requires time-tested skill and a subtle touch, the process can usually be whittled down to a single artist at a computer.

If that process is extended to video, however, you could potentially need a team of artists, programmers, and editors to fine-tune a long list of factors. Despite the rampant development and improvement in consumer-grade CGI, a good eye and expertise is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, doctored footage would look less like Avatar and more like Anaconda.

But software designers at Technical University of Ilmenau in Germany may have rendered a few members of that team obsolete. reported on a program that will remove objects from video in real time. By simply circling the unwanted object mid-shot, the software identifies the item and blends the background over it -- similar to Photohop's smudge tool -- effectively masking it in the video. The "Diminished Reality" effect is repeated so quickly -- every 40 milliseconds, to be exact -- that there's no delay in recording.

Extensive frame-by-frame post-production work is no longer required.

Beyond amateur and professional video shoots, the implications for this technology are staggering. Android and iPhone party apps, altered Skype calls, live on-the-street news stories without distracting passerby, etc.

Or it could be a fantastic hoax and I've gotten my hopes up all for nothing. Judge for yourself:

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