Microsoft is working on technology it claims will allow special effects to be added to video footage as simply as a digital photograph can be edited.

The research project, which has been developed in conjunction with the Weizmann Institute of Science and was unveiled at the SIGGRAPH conference last week, builds a 2D representation of the video. The representation of 'unwrap mosaic' as it is known can be edited in the same way as a digital photograph and then transferred back into the video. Any changes will be applied to every frame.

"Many editing operations can be performed on the unwrap mosaic, and then re-composited into the original sequence, for example resizing objects, repainting textures, copying/cutting/pasting objects, and attaching effects layers to deforming objects," the Microsoft Research website says .

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