Describes the technology behind Google Portrait Light


Google makes some “average” photos look much better with the Portrait Light feature. For this, changes are made in the light direction and intensity of the photos.

The technology giant introduced this artificial intelligence-based feature with Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. The company later made it possible to use Portrait Light on older Pixel phones. Google has now shared the details of the technology behind this feature.

To help artificial intelligence models learn to add light from certain directions to photos, Google used millions of portrait photos. While some of these photos added extra light from certain directions, some of them didn’t. A special spherical setup was prepared for the process in question, containing 64 cameras and 331 LED lights, each of which could be programmed separately.

With this setup, 70 people with different skin tones, hair styles and face shapes and wearing different clothes were photographed. The company prepared a separate model for determining the best lighting profile.

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 models offer the Portrait Light feature as active by default. In older Pixel models, this feature comes across users when editing photos that look human.


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