New software makes Hollywood special effects easy to use for amateur filmmakers

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London, August 22 : Microsoft has unveiled prototype software that can enable amateur video makers to create movie special effects easily at their homes.

Using the software called Unwrap Mosaics, a person can add a moustache to a family member in a video as easy as scrawling on a digital picture.

The program will not require the editor to draw a tattoo, for example, frame-by-frame on a person's arm because it makes the change throughout the video, making it ripple realistically with their skin.

"We thought it would be good if you only had to draw your edit once and (the software) propagate the information from that single edit through the whole video," New Scientist magazine quoted Alex Rav-Acha at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, as saying.

Unwrap Mosaics virtually strips the skin from a selected object in a video, producing a 2D surface that can be easily edited using photo-editing software. It reverses the process after any edits are complete, wrapping the edited skin back around the 3D object.

The edited effects then move with the object throughout the movie, as they are attached to the skin.

Rav-Acha and his co-workers have successfully tested their software on a range of videos.

"There are professional tools that can do these kind of edits but it's an incredibly skilled procedure. We believe that with this procedure anyone should be able to edit video," said Andrew Fitzgibbon, a member of the software developers' team.

The team presented their work at the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles last week.

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