Microsoft's Hyperlapse magician is being awarded for his research work

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Image Credit: Microsoft

Johannes Kopf may not be a name you’d recognized off the top of your head. However, if you’re a Windows Phone fan, you might be relatively familiar with his work. Kopf happens to be a Microsoft researcher who specializes in computer graphics. Kopf was also essential in the development of the recently released Microsoft Hyperlapse. Thanks to Kopf and his team, Windows and Android users are now able to create smooth time-lapse content. In addition to the many ‘thank you’s’ and praises from both the Android and Windows communities, Kopf is also being awarded the 2015 ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Research Award.

What exactly is the ACM SIGGRAPH Award? I’m glad you asked. The award honors early career researchers. The research award is awarded annually to researchers who have made recent significant contributions to the field of computer graphics. Previous award winners have included Paul Debevec who is better known for his work in animating photo-real digital faces and Harvard faculty researcher Steven J. Gortler, who has been working on computational algorithms for lighting simulations as well as image based rendering.

While Windows Phone users are enjoying the labor of Kopf’s efforts, it was his 2014 paper on hyperlapse technology that garnered him the prestigious ACM SIGGRAPH Award. Kopf’s “First-Person Hyperlapse Videos” brought technologies from computer vision and computer graphics together. The results are what we see today in the Microsoft Hyperlapse technologies. Kopf was also given nods for his other works, “Depixelizing Pixel Art, which converted low-resolution bitmap art into high-resolution graphic art. Again, his work on “Content-Adaptive Image Downscaling,” which sought to do the reverse by converting high-res 2D art into low res bitmap that looked better than traditional downsampling was also given consideration.

Kopf’s work in digital imaging spans across, depixelzing and re-pixelitalizing, panoramas, advanced model-based photo editing, gigapixels and filling in missing regions in images with groundbreaking studies. “He is one of these people who always produces something that other people really like and then build upon,” said distinguished Microsoft Researcher Richard Szeliski. “He’s continuously a very creative and productive person.” Kopf joined Microsoft Research in 2008 and according to his bio, completed his Ph.D at the University of Kostanz. He previously completed B.Sc and M.S. degrees from the University of Hamburg. He has served on numerous program committees for SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. In 2013, Johannes was honored with the Eurographics Young Researcher Award.

The ACM SIGGRAPH Award will be officially given to Johannes Kopf on August 10th at the SIGGRAPH 2015 annual conference in Los Angeles.

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