As someone who does all kinds of clever things in Photoshop to extract an image from it’s background, I had a little frisson of fear when I read about this.  Programmers in China have seemingly taken all the hard work out of the process by devising a piece of software called Sketch2Photo.  You draw a little picture of the different objects you’d like in your photo, the programme dashes around the internet to find suitable images and then stitches them all together.

Copyright issues aside, the results on their demo page are suspiciously good. They’ve matched the lighting and colour, even managing to work in some handy little shadows. This is where I get a tad dubious about the whole process. Cutting something out of a photo and putting it against a different background is the easy bit, making it look like it was always there is where the real work begins.

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These photos, by Beijing artist Liu Bolin, are preposterously mad and preposterously amazing. There is no technical tomfoolery going on here and they haven’t been made in Photoshop. It’s just a camera, loads of paint and pure originality.

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