Digital Cameras Guide

Lytro Reveals New Perspective Shift and Living Filters Features

Lytro Reveals New Perspective Shift and Living Filters Features

Lytro, maker of the Lytro Light Field camera, has announced new light field capabilities for the camera. The new creative tools, called Perspective Shift and Living Filters, will be available via a free update to the Lytro Desktop app on December 5th, and will work with living pictures previously taken.

Perspective Shift lets you change the point of view in a picture after it's been taken. You can move the image in any direction, and the living picture moves as if you're tilting the camera around in the original image. Angles are limited, but it provides a three-dimensional feel to a two-dimensional image, and you can even see a little more around the subject.

One interesting side-effect of applying Perspective Shift is that all image planes snap into focus in a living picture, akin to a focus-stacked photo. At the moment though, this all-in-focus feature is just part of Perspective Shift and not yet available as a separate option, if you want to export JPEGs you'll still need to select a focal point like before. Lytro says that all-in-focus is a popular feature request and may debut as a feature by itself one day.

Check out this video to see it in action, and play with the interactive living pictures to see for yourself how Perspective Shift works.

In addition to Perspective Shift, Lytro also announced Living Filters. With a single click, you can apply one of nine interactive filters to change the look of your living pictures based on the light field. Unlike traditional digital photo filters, Living Filters are interactive. For example, you can apply the Glass effect on your image, and everything out of focus will appear to be behind a piece of frosted glass. You can change where the effect is applied by changing the focus point.

Some Living Filters like Film Noir look like they're a straight global effect, but when you click around the image you'll notice that some subtle local effects, like the filter's vignette, will change as you shift the focal point. To apply a filter, you'll need to apply it using the updated Lytro Desktop app, and then re-upload the filtered image to Lytro.com.

While Living Filters are interactive, once a filter has been applied viewers cannot change filters on the Lytro website. Lytro has a gallery of Living Filters images, here's the list of all of them:

  • Carnival: Twist and distort your picture as you refocus and change perspective as if you’re in a funhouse of mirrors.
  • Crayon: Add a touch of color to a monochrome version of your picture. Click to focus and add color into your scene, or change your perspective and add color back into your scene as you explore.
  • Glass: Put a sheet of virtual glass into your scene. Everything in front of where you click will be unchanged, and everything behind will appear to be behind a piece of frosted glass.
  • Line Art: Reduce your scene to a grayscale outline, seeing more detailed lines where you refocus.
  • Mosaic: Create a tiled mosaic in the out-of-focus parts of your scene as you click or change your perspective.
  • Blur+: Significantly enhance the amount of blur in the out-of-focus parts of your scene.
  • Pop: Make parts of your scene pop out with extra detail and vibrancy when those areas are clicked.
  • Film Noir: Add a moody and stylized black and white look to your pictures, with a little bit of extra detail and color where you click.
  • 8-Track: Bring back the ‘70s with this filter that adds an aged, vignetted look to your pictures. Click to un-age parts of your scene and see them come back to life, disco suit not required.

The Lytro Light Field camera originally debuted in late 2011, and was only available on its website. It hit local stores in mid-October this year, with retail prices of S$648 for the 8GB version and S$778 for the 16GB version.

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