These Uncharted 4 Photo Mode Shots Are Pure Art

Game photography is quickly becoming its own genre within gaming, with more and more games adding camera features. Talented players have been finding new ways to experiment with the medium, leading to some outstanding pieces of art and a new form of photography.

Twitter user @LUCKYless11 has taken some exemplary shots within Uncharted 4, using the photo mode included in-game to produce a form of virtual photography. These images feel almost realistic in nature, completely candid and relaxed, like a photograph taken from someone’s real home and not a video game.

Even Neil Drunkmann, Vice President of Naughty Dog, has praised these shots on twitter.

Originally, players would make similar kinds of shots by just taking screenshots in-game, but now games are more commonly including photo or camera modes for players to experiment and share their experiences online. This has led to an increased number of people becoming interested in virtual photography or ‘gametographers’.

This is added by the level of quality games are achieving these days, with graphics becoming almost realistic in nature. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, Days Gone, Assassins Creed Odyssey, and Uncharted 4 all have stunning environments and atmospheres that can be captured by these aspiring gametographers.

As this new form of media continues to develop, we are sure to see even more of these kinds of extraordinary artworks popping up.

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AI photo app Luminar 4.2 adds augmented sky, facial skin editing tools

Skylum’s photo editing app Luminar has used AI and machine learning tricks to bolster its last two major releases, bringing AI sky enhancement and object removal tools to version 3, then ML-automated sky replacement and face cleaning tools to version 4. Today, the company is adding a new AI Augmented Sky tool and facial shine removal feature to its arsenal, as well as some improvements to past AI and ML tools that should deliver more realistic results.

The marquee addition, AI Augmented Sky, enables users to seamlessly add new objects to landscape photographs without requiring any photo editing skill. With the flip of a switch, AI Augmented Sky segments the sky and foreground, preserves the foreground, then blends your choice of objects into the sky — clouds, fireworks, birds, a moon, or rainbow, each with multiple variations to choose from. While the AI picks initial values for the augmented object’s location, color warmth, and sharpness, you can move, tweak the color balance, and blur it as you prefer.

Two related AI and ML improvements are less obvious from screenshots, but evident when actually using the app. Skylum has improved a sky replacement/augmentation supporting technology that “relights” preserved foreground elements based on the replaced or augmented sky content, using context awareness to apply perspective-correct and more color-accurate lights to surfaces. Additionally, Luminar’s machine learning cache has been improved to increase image processing speed and efficiency.

Luminar 4.2 is also introducing Shine Removal Technology, a feature that automatically compensates for overexposed portions of skin in portraits by blending AI-generated “restored” skin into bright, shiny areas on faces. For fans of more aggressive portrait retouching, Skylum says a new version of its previously introduced face slimming technology now adjusts both the top and bottom of a face, rather than just the bottom, creating more realistic results.

More subtle improvements have been introduced in a rearchitected Face Features Detection Neural Network, which can not only detect faces of various hues and tones in various positions, but also detect multiple faces in group photos. Skylum has also improved the app’s preview generating speed on multi-core processors.

The new update is free to users of Luminar 4 for both the Mac and Windows PCs, and should further improve the app’s performance on both platforms. New users can purchase the app for $89 directly from the Skylum site or Mac App Store.

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