Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
Ever taken a few group shots of friends or family and there’s always one or two people who are blinking or looking away in one photo or another. If you could combine two or three of your shots – you’d have the perfect group photo. Now there’s an app for that, which actually works.
GroupShot is a newly launched iPhone app which comes to us courtesy of the Israel-based two-man team, Macadamia Apps. Founded by Gil Megidish, the CTO and Yair Bar-On, the CEO, together they bring software development and online marketing to the company. Gil is also the man behind Dumpr, a site which allows you to jazz up your photos with funny filters.
We caught up with Yair to find out more about the app and what they have in store for the future. Telling The Next Web about the inspiration behind launching the app, Yair said:
I am a father of 3 amazing kids. I found it very challenging to get a group photo where all my kids are smiling. Not to mention a bigger group shot with more people in the picture. When we thought about marketing, we knew parents are our target audience. Today, when every parent has a smart phone with a high resolution camera, we know that these parents would love to have this app on their phones.
Speaking about how the app itself works, without giving away any trade secrets, Yair did tell us:
The main challenge in developing GroupShot was aligning the photos. When you take a set of photos without a tripod, you move. Every photo is taken from a different angle. It is very hard to align photos so that they can be processed together. Another challenge is finding the area that should be copied. If you use your fingers on an iPhone, your markup will never be perfect. Our computer vision enabled software knows how far we should go even if the markup does not include the whole face or body.
GroupShot is an amazing, nifty little app which makes it easy for someone with absolutely no photo-editing skills whatsoever to take and share awesome group photos. Here’s how to use it.
Hands on with GroupShot
To use GroupShot all you have to do is take your group photos using the app, or load up photos you’ve already got on your phone. You could even use GroupShot on photos you’ve taken using another camera and transfer them on to your phone, and just run them through the app.
To use the app, add two or more photos to work with, and GroupShot will analyze them for you. The app comes loaded with some sample shots so you can see the magic for yourself straight away.
GroupShot automatically chooses your primary photo for you – but you can use a different one by clicking the swap button.
You can then swipe your finger over the faces, people or objects you want to replace, and the app will show you the alternative options available from other photos in a sidebar on the right. You can replace just their face, or their entire body – it’s up to you.
Whatever you swipe over will be replaced in less than a minute. The way the app works makes it easier than ever to mix-and-match between a group of photos to get the best result.
We tested the app with a few photos of our own, and found that as long as there are enough similarities between the two photos, the results were pretty impressive. We’ve seen our fair share of apps in the past that claim they can do what GroupShot does, but the results are often pretty dismal.
With GroupShot, on the other hand, the results are practically flawless, even when transferred to the computer and viewed on a large screen. When using GroupShot, however, you have to bear in mind that the app cuts down the size of your original photos a lot. A photo that was originally 2400 x 3200 was reduced to 450 x 700.
Once you’re done, you can easily share your new photos via Facebook or Twitter, or email them to your friends.
Surprisingly the app will cost you less than a cup of coffee, with the price set at $0.99. While the app is currently iOS only, there is an Android version in the works, but we’re not sure when to expect it.
To see GroupShot in action, check out the video below:
➤ GroupShot | iTunes link
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