Liquid Resize: Cool Idea, but does it work?
Grandiose rumors have been flying on this one for well over a year, but now it's fact. Liquid Resize was sold to Portland based onOne software (Genuine Fractals, Phototools, Focal Point, etc.) and Liquid Resize is now in demo form as a free disc image (DMG) download. Liquid Resize began as the brainchild of Austria based husband-wife team of Ramin Sabet and Irmgard Sabet-Wasinger, and is based on the work of Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir that made its first appearance in a video released at Siggraph 07. I have embedded that video at the end of this post.
Liquid Resize is a "content aware" image resizing application that allows you to resize an image without traditional geometric limitations while minimizing any distortion that would typically result from changing the original aspect ratio of an image. In short this means you can shrink the width of an image, and not the height. If you were to do that before, the image would be half as wide and would appear skinny (duh). But through algorithms and perhaps voodoo, this supposedly works.
The innovation of the idea itself reminds me of the quality of thinking and the work Blaise Aguera y Arcus presented in the form of Seadragon (how we look at and interact with images and information) and Photosynth (visual information can can be smoothly browsed regardless of data amount involved or network bandwidth).
Try LiquidResize for yourself. It may blow your mind. It did not mine. I found it to work better with some images than others, but by no means did it work well in any usable way that would get me to pay money for the full Photoshop Plugin. Not as it stands. I would if it worked well. And considering the hype, I would say I am disappointed thus far.
It will be interesting to follow the story and see how it's received, how the software changes (as the site claims it will before it becomes a full fledged product) and if anyone likes it. I really appreciate the thinking behind it, and hope it eventually will deliver on the promise. And it does sound promising.
Thanks Chris for the tip.