Photo clip art

Jean François Lalonde, Derek Hoiem, Alexei A. Efros, Carsten Rother, John Winn, Antonio Criminisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a system for inserting new objects into existing photographs by querying a vast image-based object library, pre-computed using a publicly available Internet object database. The central goal is to shield the user from all of the arduous tasks typically involved in image compositing. The user is only asked to do two simple things: 1) pick a 3D location in the scene to place a new object; 2) select an object to insert using a hierarchical menu. We pose the problem of object insertion as a data-driven, 3D-based, context-sensitive object retrieval task. Instead of trying to manipulate the object to change its orientation, color distribution, etc. to fit the new image, we simply retrieve an object of a specified class that has all the required properties (camera pose, lighting, resolution, etc) from our large object library. We present new automatic algorithms for improving object segmentation and blending, estimating true 3D object size and orientation, and estimating scene lighting conditions. We also present an intuitive user interface that makes object insertion fast and simple even for the artistically challenged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1276381
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 29 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D scene reasoning
  • Blending and compositing
  • Computational photography
  • Image databases
  • Object insertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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