I’ve long been a fan of the Picasa software and its online sibling and have been keeping my photos there for some time now. You can see the public ones at picasaweb.google.co.uk/mjdaniels. I like the simplicity of its interface, the ease with which you can ‘fix’ a photo, correct red eye, sharpen the image and so on, and in recent releases I’ve found the ‘people’ function excellent.
In short, you can ‘tag’, as in Facebook, the faces of different people so that you can build up a portfolio of all your friends and family really easily. What is extremely clever is the way in which it will attempt to recognise the faces of everybody in your photographs, and it seems to do so with reasonable accuracy. Amusingly, it gets confused when it’s faced with, for example, a picture of my dad, me or my eldest son; presumably, the voodoo behind the technology that recognises faces gets confused with common family features, but it is very quick and easy to point the software in the right direction.
This latest release features Face Movie, in which it will build a ‘movie presentation’ of a particular individual in your photo collection. This neat little feature always ensures it keeps the face of the person you’ve selected slap bang in the centre of the photo, and builds the photos around it. This makes quite a clever little transition from photo to photo, especially when pasting the face from a smaller photo over the top of one on a larger photograph.
The software saves the video in to .wmv format and will even upload straight to YouTube should you want it to.
Last week it was my wife’s 40th birthday and this weekend we had a large party in the pub for her. I used Face Movie to build a ‘presentation’ of pictures of her to display on the big screen as the family sat down to a dinner party and it was incredibly popular. I’ve embedded the video below if you want to see how Face Movie works.
You’ll have to forgive the opening slide … it sort of makes it sound like my wife died on her birthday. That wasn’t the intention!