AutoFlip, Google’s Algorithm That Automatically Reframes Your Videos
Google is currently working on an algorithm –AutoFlip – capable of automatically cropping your videos for display in portrait or landscape format.
Until a few years ago, filming with your smartphone upright was a matter of taste. All videos filmed for display on a TV or computer screen had to adopt a 16:9 or 4:3 ratio for a landscape format display.
On a smartphone, this required the user to rotate the screen so that the image occupies all the space reserved for the display.
Since then, social networks have gone through this and vertical video recording has become the norm on mobile platforms. This makes it difficult for content creators to find the best compromise for their videos to be displayed correctly on all media.
An algorithm that automates cropping on the subject
To adapt a landscape-ratio video to a portrait display, the classic method is to apply cropping to an area of the video. However, the results are rarely satisfactory, especially when a subject is moving, or when the video has several shots.
Content creators have no choice but to crop frame by frame for each frame, making the task horribly tedious.
Google may have found a solution. Thanks to an algorithm its engineers are currently working on, it will soon be possible to crop landscape video at will for portrait display.
AutoFlip, that’s its name, is an open-source application base that relies on the learning machine to analyze the content of a video and develop an optimal tracking and cropping strategy.
It automatically detects scene changes and can isolate the main subjects of the video (faces, animals, moving people, etc.).
Once the subjects are identified in each frame of the video, AutoFlip implements its cropping strategy.
Depending on the objects and movements in each scene, the cropping area automatically moves to follow the subject.
Depending on individual needs, the tool can be set up, for example, to maintain the display of all detected faces in the image.
The algorithm will then automatically fill in the missing areas in portrait videos. It will also allow videographers to shoot a single video and then edit it in any format, switching from portrait to landscape or vice versa.
For now, Google continues to develop AutoFlip internally, but since the project is open source, the Mountain View firm relies on developers and content creators to help improve it.
Moreover, this project is already available on Github.