My brain melted when i realised that something that used to take advanced 3d software like 3dsMax and Blender minutes.. even hours to render (few years back anyway) .. google’s camera app does it in seconds.
First a brief introduction to Depth Maps or as me and most of the 3d modelling community refers to as Z-depth maps
“In 3D computer graphics a depth map is an image or image channel that contains information relating to the distance of the surfaces of scene objects from a viewpoint. The term is related to and may be analogous to depth buffer, Z-buffer, Z-buffering and Z-depth.
The “Z” in these latter terms relates to a convention that the central axis of view of a camera is in the direction of the camera’s Z axis, and not to the absolute Z axis of a scene.“ – wikipedia
here are some examples of Z depth maps i rendered for different projects
and heres a detailed video of how to use them to add depth to an image
Now back to the Nexus’ camera app.. in blur mode you Frame your photo, move the camera (phone) in an upward tilt or motion, and the software captures depth information..
The depth information is stored in the original still itself.. meaning that blur effects can be applied and altered in post-processing.. at any time!
So heres a pic of my dog Rumi(scroll down for my other dog Mulan).. and below it the original sharp image and the depth map
Using a clever website called Depthy( http://ift.tt/1rgp4gX by Rafal Lindemann) that can run on your phone, you can load up your nexus blur images and it lets you see the depth map.. edit it.. re-apply it.. and then it also lets you convert the image into a parallax photo.. which can be saved as a gif or video.. like so