Find that Zoom & Enhance MeFite June 28, 2012 5:06 PM   Subscribe

There's a MeFite with amazing abilities for the computerized "zoom and enhance" trick who demonstrated those skills in an AskMeFi post a few months ago. If we can find that MeFite, s/he might be able to use those skills to help ID the hit-and-run car that struck down a DC Comics artist last weekend.

Several months ago there was an AskMeFi post in which the asker was looking for help in identifying an object in a blurry, poorly lit photo. The object may have been a license plate, but I can't remember.

Despite the poor quality of the image, a responder was able to identify the object after applying some kick-ass Photoshop skillz -- some sort of filters perhaps? At any rate, the work was awesome and everybody was impressed. I'm thinking those same skills might be useful in helping with the investigation noted in the Jalopnik link above.

Anybody remember the post I'm talking about?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese to MetaFilter-Related at 5:06 PM (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Pomo at 5:11 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

You need to be able to do zoom, enhance, and rotate.
posted by grouse at 5:30 PM on June 28, 2012

That's a white Toyota Solara. You don't need any enhance and zoom to figure that out.

Any (blurry) shots of the number plate?
posted by dunkadunc at 6:06 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The deconvolution was really rather specific in that case - it's because you have a really clear idea of how one point in the ideal image is turned into a specific track in the taken image. Here, it's not the same deal - everything's just blocky and blurred. I'm afraid the same kind of magic just isn't going to be possible.
posted by edd at 6:20 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I immediately thought Acura CL, and it looks like they agree.
posted by sanka at 6:28 PM on June 28, 2012

If you want you can download and play with Unshake.

You can do blind deconvolution on out of focus images - in fact, if everything else were perfect, you could do all your focusing after the fact digitally and never know the difference.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:31 PM on June 28, 2012

I've just tried using a Lucy-Richardson algorithm on it based on the front light, tail light, and the background light and really nothing helps much at all. You can pick out a rear hubcap more easily and tighten up the dimensions a little but it's not really going anywhere.

A common problem with these algorithms is that you end up enhancing noise a lot as well as the signal and introducing ringing artifacts and the like, and this one is already so fuzzy and jpeg-compressed without the motion blur that it's really pretty much beyond hope for this sort of approach.
posted by edd at 6:43 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I hope they catch the scum.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:29 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

A common problem with these algorithms is that you end up enhancing noise a lot as well as the signal...

That and the fact that compression artifacts that we would never notice look a whole lot like a signal a lot of the time. Always save important data where precision matters as TIFs.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:37 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jalopnik blew up the image they had for their page, adding another layer of blur. It could be better to look at the earlier version

That image looks like it came off a typical interlaced video. If there is video, other programs can combine and analyze several successive fields/frames to make a sharpened image.
posted by caclwmr4 at 10:03 PM on June 28, 2012

Looks to me like a Subaru. Possibly even a wagon.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:55 PM on June 28, 2012

I would actually suggest Honda Accord coupe. That definitely looks like a two-door to me; the length isn't big enough for a decent rear door, and the design emphasizes the streamlined front and rear windows because breaking them up would be too short.

Here's a 2000 coupe. It doesn't have the wraparound tail lights, though.
posted by Madamina at 7:52 AM on June 29, 2012

Maybe a 2003 Accord coupe? Here.
posted by Madamina at 8:06 AM on June 29, 2012

Kraftmatic, I'm just so overjoyed that you've managed to get over that hand thing.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:31 AM on June 29, 2012

The Jalopnik article describes the route the car took immediately after the collision. I would suggest going to each business along that route and noting which ones have security cameras that might have captured the car, especially ones that may have been at an angle to get its plates while stopped.

And if any of those businesses happen to be run by comics fans ...
posted by zippy at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

Let's enhance.
posted by peacay at 12:29 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

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