Project Showroom is a technology preview that establishes a vision for a service for home furnishing suppliers to enable their customers to visualize their products in real-life room settings. It is our software as a service approach to kitchen design software and bathroom design software. Last week in the blog posting, Life Imitates Art Redux, I asked if you could tell the difference between a real photograph and a synthetic photograph generated from a computer model.
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Well, 50% of you guessed incorrectly. So it's a safe assumption that the model looks reasonably real. Some of what you told us included:
- This one is much more difficult to figure out than the first round! [Project Showroom: Life Imitates Art]
- The second one appears to be more realistic because of the blown out window. The photographer needs to do some exposure blending (HDR or LDR) to correct this.
- I agree it's very hard to tell. I think the second one is the rendered one. [Oops.] I imagine that a real photographer for a manufacturer should know about HDR, so there is too much light coming from the window in the second one.
- Yeah, I'll second that this one is more difficult. Not being right up on the towels [rendered towels] makes it much tougher to distinguish. Also, the pro photographer doing the light balancing makes them both look almost too perfect. Honestly, I would assume they both were either rendered or heavily photoshopped.
- If I have to choose one, I'll take a stab and say the second one though, but that is mostly because I think you are trying to trick us by using a bloom effect and a shortened focal length to seem more like a camera was involved.
- I'm certainly no expert in this area, but my guess is that the top one is rendered. My reasoning is that why would you make a rendering with that much light from the window.
- I was going to say the 2nd one was the rendered image, but it's very hard to tell between the two though. For me, looking at them, the vase in the 2nd picture, not only seems out of place but almost as if it's not part of the picture.
- I'm going to go with the second one being the real one. Clearly, no one but a silly human would put a flower pot under the table.
- The view angle is the giveaway, the 2nd is the rendering. [Oops.] I've never understood why computer renderers insist on using a more narrow-angle than a typical 35mm/digital camera. To me it seems to imitate the view angles of a typical camera (54 degrees, give or take, with no zoom) is one of those little extras you shouldn't overlook.
- It would be funny if you put up two renderings and had us debate which one is real or not!!
- I think the bottom one is real, due to the light levels coming from the window. A renderer would surely do something about that. Also to the right of the window are a couple of built-in ovens, the display controls look more realistic than the one in the above image.
- I think the second one is rendered. [Oops.] There are a lot of little things in the second that don't seem quite right, like the finish on the floor. Even so, the quality that makes it "not quite right" is an over-precision - everything is almost too well defined.
- I’m going for the top one. The bottom one is prettier, but the top one is less perfect and looks more ‘Real.’
- It was really hard to tell. The one thing that made me wonder about the top image is that the plates do seem to be floating just above the counter. Other than that, I was pretty sure it was the real deal. Very impressive!
We're happy that this technology shows promise as a virtual showroom for buying household appliances. With regard to the title of this posting, there's a butter substitute product sold in the United States that goes by that name. Based on our results, it's safe to say I can't believe it's not a photograph.
Sharing the results of the feedback you provided is alive in the lab.