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Want your computer to paint like a master? A group of researchers from New York University, the University of Washington and Microsoft Research has developed a way for machines to refashion images in particular painting styles-styles learned by analogy, not from mathematical descriptions. The system has been taught to emulate pastel and watercolor texturing effects (as in the processed photo above)-and to make an image look as if van Gogh painted it. A set of “before” and “after” images shows the system how to set up its filter, says Aaron Hertzmann of New York University. Hertzmann says that similar learning-by-example systems might be developed to animate characters based on motion capture data.

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