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Change gender, try on a tattoo and turn into anime: what we have learned to do in modern photo applications

A selection for those who played enough with Snapchat.

On May 9, Snapchat launched a new filter that allows girls to look at themselves as a guy, and guys as a girl. Many users of social networks are interested in the ability to “change sex”, and someone even created fake pages in Tinder to play others.

Snapchat is considered the inventor of the latest chips in social applications – the same Instagram copied from him stories, “masks” and self-deleted photos in personal messages. Although at one time, Snapchat acted in a similar way: I boughtthe Looksery application developed in Ukraine, whose team came up with most of the “masks”. In the case of new filters, the situation is slightly different: the developers from Snap were clearly inspired by the FaceApp application, which two years ago allowed to “change the gender” and look at one’s aged.

TJ recalls applications that at different times allowed to experiment with appearance – from changing sex and age to becoming anime and 3D effects without special technology.

Meitu – turn into anime

App Store / Google Play

Chinese photo editor Meitu was launched back in 2008, but was widely known in January 2017. The application has a “mask” that makes the user look like an anime character: with enlarged eyes, rosy cheeks and altered face proportions. The main advantage is that the photo editor processes images in real time, that is, you can try on the effects before you take a photo or shoot a video.

In addition to the basic anime styles like Angelic and Fairy Tale, Meitu has “masks” with bunny ears and a painful look — when a user has a red face, cheeks grow and virtual snot begin to walk. These are the basic filters that are available for free, the rest are open on a paid subscription.

FaceApp – look at yourself old, with a smile or a different gender

App Store / Google Play

FaceApp is one of the first mass applications that allows you to change the appearance with the help of neural networks, made by a native of Yandex. It gained popularity due to the opportunity to try on a plausible smile, change the sex and look at yourself in old age. In 2017, social networks everywhere featured collages of four photographs that even reached TV.

If we compare FaceApp with the Snapchat filter, the Russian development is already inferior. New “masks” process the image from the camera in real time and make men women, and women men much more realistic. FaceApp can still surprise those who have only found out about it, because it rewrites its appearance quite plausibly.

Fuzion – to become part of the screensaver of the “Real Detective”

App Store / Not available on Android

“This detective story” is known not only because it has received some of the highest ratings among TV shows, but also due to its recognizable opening credits. Frames from the show are shown with a superimposed pattern of American landscapes or buildings due to which they look stylish and recognizable. The screensaver became so popular that it was even copied for the Russian television series.

Fuzion application allows you to rotate this effect with a photo of the user. It works on the basis of the TrueDepth function in new iPhones, that is, it uses the front and infrared cameras, as well as the projector of points, which is necessary for the operation of Face ID. Hence, there are two conditions at once: only photos taken in portrait mode and on the front camera are suitable, and also only on the iPhone.

Fuzion, of course, reduces the time for those who wanted to make a photograph of themselves in the style of the “Real Detective”. But he has uncomfortable limitations. Firstly, in the application’s advertisements , pictures taken on the main camera, and not on the front one, are shown – the user will not have these. Secondly, there are only seven background patterns and they are quite similar, and a full library costs money. Let’s wait until such a filter appears in Snapchat.

Teleport and analogs – change hair color

App Store / Google Play

Viktor Koch is a Ukrainian who in 2017 created the Teleport application. It used the neural networks to change the user’s hair color in the photo and, if desired, complemented the image on the background. In 2018, the creators of the team and technology were bought by the creators of Snapchat, and Koch earned $ 8 million.

A year later, Teleport is not found in the App Store, but there are quite a few of its analogues in the store. We took Hair Color as an example, but all such services work roughly the same way: they recognize the hair in the picture and allow them to change their color. Unfortunately, there is no full-fledged copy of Teleport. In accessible free applications, neural networks work worse and often also color a piece of skin together with hair.

inkHunter – try on a tattoo

App Store / Google Play

Unlike previous applications in the collection, inkHunter does not change the face or appearance of the user, but has a clear application function. This is a virtual tattoo fitting room that projects the desired image onto a skin area. To do this, you only need to draw a special sign on the arm or leg – three stripes in the form of a smiley – in order for the neural network to recognize it.

Due to the fact that InkHunter works through augmented reality technology, sometimes the quality of the displayed tattoo is rather low. It can not be properly scaled, deployed or brought closer to really see how the picture looked on the skin. This is probably due to the fact that after the success of the application in 2016, it is no longer developed and nothing is heard about the developer activity.

FaceTune – change face proportions

App Store / Google Play

FaceTune is one of the biggest hits in the photo processing area, created by theIsraeli Lightricks team. This is not just a photo editor with retouching features right on your smartphone, but also a platform with advanced tools: the ability to tune your face, whiten your teeth or remove bags under your eyes.

Even the free version of FaceTune amazes with a list of features. For example, you can “narrow” the shape of your face so that it seemed thinner, or paint it in any color, imagining you are going to a carnival. The photo editor does not impose filters or “masks”, but offers tools: you need to apply the desired effects like a brush and try not to overdo them.

The application has simplified the work on improving the appearance so much that the media even started controversy. On the one hand, FaceTune is suitable for those who do not own Photoshop, on the other hand, it makes it too easy to hide flaws, which makes natural beauty rare.

DPTH – take a 3D picture without special equipment

App Store / Google Play

After Apple began introducing portrait mode with bokeh into iPhones in 2016, everyone wanted to have it. Even earlier , cameras appeared with a 3D effect, which, however, cost quite a lot of money – the price tag starts at 15 thousand rubles. Both functions require a dual camera, but the DPTH application solves this problem.

DPTH was created by the Russian RoadAR team in February 2019. Thanks to the built-in neural network in the application, you can adjust the depth of field, the quality of the blur and the “bulge” of objects in the photo. The program automatically generates a depth map, allowing you to leave the desired figure, person or person in the center of the composition.

The main advantage of DPTH is that you can both take photos inside the application and process the finished pictures. The blur function is available in the free version, but you have to pay for 3D effects. Among the shortcomings: if during the adjustment of the three-dimensionality we begin to move the image, then blurring and artifacts appear on it. So the first time will have to learn how to work with it.

Example of a 3D effect in DPTH

Prisma and analogues – turn into a picture or a cartoon

App Store / Google Play

Another big boom of photo apps with neural networks happened thanks to the startup Prisma in 2016. The Russian team has created an application that processes images in real time, turning them either into works of art, or into eerie caricatures. Since then, the authors have attracted investment, expanded and continue to developwith other projects.

In addition to Prisma, which had been forgotten for three years, there are similar applications that turn the person in the photo into a cartoon character. One of the latter is called Avatoon and was launched in May 2019. Unfortunately, the application is still paid and works in test mode. But if you really want, there are less quality and free analogues: for example, PaintLab or Artista Cartoon .Prisma effects example

Face Swap – swap face with another person

App Store / Google Play

Another feature that Snapchat can borrow for its filters is the replacement of faces from two users. In 2017, Microsoft created the Face Swap app for this: taking selfies and inserting instead of celebrities’ faces or placing them on popular photos. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the service is not available in the Russian App Store.

But there is at least a convenient alternative – Face Swap Live . The application allows you to swap faces with another person in real time. With the photo open on the laptop, the change will not work – the algorithm understands that this is a virtual, not a real user. A few years ago, a movie also swirled , where two twins exchanged faces, but nothing had changed.How replacing faces works in the case of twins. Original


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