A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and UC Berkeley have invented a new type of editing software that allows 3D editing of 2D photos. And it's pretty amazing.
Using publicly available 3D images from the internet as a proxy, the software creates highly accurate replications of a 2D-photographed object's hidden area. This gives a photo editor the ability to manipulate the full physical range of their subject.
"Instead of simply editing 'what we see' in the photograph, our goal is to manipulate 'what we know' about the scene behind the photograph,” the team of computer engineers write in their study. On August 13, the 3D photo editing system will be showcased at the SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Vancouver.
You have to watch the video to really appreciate what they've done here: