Yep, there is an online tool that can convert sketch to photo. Just draw a line drawing and it will convert to photo! The tool is called Fotogenerator, and you can access the tool here.
Before you get too excited, a little background and gotchas. This sketch to photo converter cannot convert any form of sketch to photo. Instead, it expects sketch of a face. Also, the output in all the cases is corresponding photo of Lara Rense.
The only details I could find about this tool are here in Dutch, but Google Translate did a very bad job at translating it, so some of the things I write here might be incorrect. If you are a Dutch reader, then do let me know in comments below if I misstated something.
Basically, these guys collected a lot of photos of Lara Rense and fed that to their artificial intelligence system, so that the system could learn complete facial details of her. After that, whenever you make a sketch, the system tries to turn that into face of Lara based on the information that it has. Of course, the output is only as good as the sketch that you made, but it is still fascinating. See below the ideal sketch which turned into Lara Rense photo:
I hope you are also amazed to see the above sketch to photo conversion.
Now, a big catch here. I think the article I linked above mentions that this tool will be online for 2 weeks only. However, that article was published on May 30th, and it has already been 2 weeks, so I am hoping that Google again screwed up translation. But if it didn’t, that means this tool can shutdown anytime.
To use this tool, all you have to do is visit homepage of this website. You will see interface as above. Start by clicking on “clear” button to clean up the canvas. On the left side, you will see 2 tools: Pencil and Eraser. Those are the only tools available. Click on the Pencil tool and start drawing on the canvas. If you make a mistake, you can use Undo option, or use eraser. Once you are done, click on “process” button to convert sketch to photo. The output will be a photo of Lara Rense.
Here is my try at this tool. I know, pretty pathetic drawing I have, right?
I really like this tool for the amazing science that has gone behind making it. The only other similar tool that I am aware of is PhotoSketch, which was later renamed to Sketch2Photo. However, I don’t think there is any online version of the tool available now. Also, that tool used to search for photos from internet based on the sketch that you provided. The fotogenerator, on the other hand, actually tries to create the photo, based on the data it has already gathered in the system.
This reminds me of a service we covered earlier that could automatically color Black & White photos.
I am always excited to come across tools that have a lot of science behind them, and fotogenerator is one such tool. I am not too happy with the fact that the only documentation I could find is in Dutch, and I could be missing / misunderstanding a few facts. Still, I believe I got the gist of it correct, and I am pretty impressed with the AI involved here. I really hope this tool is expanded to include more photos / objects. More importantly, I hope this tool remains online and is not shutdown!