In brief: If you’ve always thought traditional photos are just a bit on the boring side, Google apparently has just the thing for you. The company’s users will soon be able to convert their 2D photos into “Cinematic photos.” Cinematic photos are normal pictures that have been given a 3D effect through the power of machine learning.
As with any technology that uses AI, this feature is undoubtedly going to have a few bugs, but the previews Google has shown off so far are pretty impressive. Cinematic photos have more depth, and they can allow certain elements in the foreground of a picture to pop; growing in size independent of their background.
You can see the effect in the Google-provided gif below:
This 3D-ifying tech works in Google Photos, and it’s fully automatic — if your Photos app is up to date, cinematic photos will show up in the “recent highlights” section. If you like the photo, you can save it to your library. It will retain its 3D elements, allowing you to revisit it or share it whenever you’d like.
It’s unclear whether Google will allow users to trigger the Cinematic photo feature on demand for any picture in their library in the future, but for now, the company is keeping the tech on a short leash. At any rate, the cinematic photos feature will begin rolling out this month, and it should be available for everyone by mid-January.