Have you ever wondered what Donald Trump would look like if you combined 50 random photos of him and averaged them together? That's exactly what Reddit user Dwainosaur did with his latest photo/data mashup. Using commonly found images on Google, these composites of celebrities like Barack Obama, Kayne West, Bill Murray, and Brad Pitt almost look like pencil drawings. The results are pretty eerie and give a pretty good idea what each of these well known people would look like as a ghost.
There is some debate over exactly how the /dataisbeautiful user created these images. Dwainosaur claims he used an open sourced facial detection program to search Google Images and combine 50 images of each particular person. In order to make a compelling composite, each photograph pulled from Google Images could not be entirely random. All of the images used to create the composites were hand picked to include only the best forward facing portraits of each celebrity. Dwainosaur say the following about the automated process he used:
For each iteration, I load 60 images from Google. This is automated. I then "cherrypick" ~50 images from those that work well for the averaging, These images typically have less tilt, are full front, and have minimal obstructions.
The face detection itself is simple. I use openCV's built-in haar cascade haar cascade function to detect and crop the faces. All ~50 images are added and averaged.
I find these portraits incredibly interesting to look at, and collectively they make up a unique "mixed media" type of aesthetic. It is also fascinating to see the average facial expression many of these people display in the averages. Comedians like Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon appear funny and inviting while many of the politicians range from approachable (Obama) to flat out angry (Trump). Kayne West on the other hand looks quite depressed and sad. Check out a few of the images below.