Meitu helps support the smart upgrade of commercial photography2020-12-17
Meitu is using its AI technology to support the smart upgrade of beauty-related industries.
According to the Interim Results financial reports released by Meitu in August 2020, Meitu spent RMB 188 million on R&D in the first half of 2020, and these investments are generating new commercial value for Meitu.
Recently, Meitu’s AI technology development hub, MTlab, introduced Meitu AI Photo Editing, a smart photo editing solution for the commercial photography industry. As the first commercial product released by MTlab, it aims to provide an efficient photo editing solution for the commercial photography business and push forward the digital transformation of the industry with technological strength.
The commercial photography market is expanding
Meitu’s business scope is expanding from helping users become more beautiful to helping the beauty industry become more beautiful. At the 2019 World Internet Conference, Meitu CEO and founder Wu Xinhong noted that the digitalization of the beauty industry around the world is under development and Meitu intends to empower the industry with its imaging technology and advancements in big data.
Beauty brands that had previously cooperated with Meitu are the brands that Meitu offered to help first. The beauty industry around the world hit a slump when the pandemic broke out in early 2020. So, Meitu introduced the Beauty Industry Support Plan and granted free access to an online makeup trial system for beauty brands. The system, based on Meitu’s MeituGenius, paved the way for a new smart retailing method for the industry to ride out the storm together with our fellow beauty companies around the world.
Released in September 2019, MeituEve, Meitu’s hardware product that focuses on providing AI beauty solutions, has been widely acknowledged and has cooperated with international brands including Dior, 3M and other well-known beauty institutions.
It is Meitu’s profound technical accumulation that enables our continuous output of new technologies and new models for the beauty industry. At present, based on our experience and our leading technologies in AI vision, such as facial technology, image segmentation, image enhancement and image generation technologies, Meitu Imaging & Vison Lab (MTlab), known as the "Meitu Brain", can provide AI solutions for many industries, including photography, beauty and health.
Meitu enters the commercial photography market aiming to improve the efficiency of commercial photography by improving the repetitive and tedious preliminary post-production repair work process through AI.
Commercial photography has great potential. According to the 2019 Wedding Photography Market Report released by Tencent Marketing Insights, 82% of the engaged couples intend to have wedding photos taken. The “artistic” wedding photo style is the most popular choice among post-90s generation. The report also noted that the penetration rate of “artistic” wedding photos had reached 60%, with higher demand in third and fourth tier cities in China.
What’s more, the kids photography market, particularly for e-commerce, is also rapidly growing at an average rate of 16% per year.
This growing market makes photo editing a key need for commercial photography. It generally takes one and a half months to complete the editing process for wedding photographs, then it takes one or two more weeks if the clients are not satisfied with the final work. The editing time for “artistic” photos can take months. What’s more, it is difficult to standardize the editing when it is done manually, resulting in inconsistent style and various quality issues. Meitu’s solution seeks to improve the efficiency and consistency of the photo editing process while enhancing customer satisfaction.
Meitu AI Photo Editing accelerates the digitalization of the industry
Core AI functions of Meitu
Empowered by Meitu’s strength in AI, Meitu AI Photo Editing provides better skin, head and face adjustments, and other common effects compared to similar products on the market. It also offers 8 extra functions, including filters, AI Skin Toning (neutral grey), facial adjustments, AI repair, body reshaping, makeup adjustments, background enhancement and image quality enhancement.
Product features comparison between Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
These functions help users efficiently adjust exposure, skin and liquefying effects during their primary edits. Besides, RAW, JPG and BMP files are all supported, saving time by avoiding the need to unify the formats. Operators can set their own parameters or apply default parameters created by professional photographers, improving both photo quality and editing efficiency.
Skin detail restoration effect comparison of original photo, Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
Skin tone adjustment effect comparison of original photo, Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
As for our refined beautification function, Meitu AI Photo Editing has customized functions for different needs, focusing on perfecting the details for body reshaping, teeth repair, background enhancement, wrinkles removal, skin toning and more.
Teeth beautification effect comparison of original photo, Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
Background enhancement effect comparison of original photo, Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
Facial beautification effect comparison of original photo, Meitu AI Photo Editing and a competing product
Notably, a single Meitu AI Photo Editing server can process nearly 40,000 photos per day with primary editing, while most photos studios can only process 700 photos per day using manual work.
Meitu AI Open Platform
MTlab has always served as the “technical brain” of Meitu’s business. The CG face, hair editor and imitation makeup functions recently released on the Meitu App and BeautyCam are evidence of MTlab’s great contributions to making Meitu a pioneering company in the industry. Also, Meitu has been given greater opportunities to promote the upgrade of the industry because it is equipped with AI skin detection, virtual makeup trial, 3D face modeling, semantic segmentation and other AI technologies from MTlab.
Meitu AI Photo Editing is the first business service from MTlab, and will be continuously updated to bring a smart experience to the commercial photography industry. As the first company to enter the game with deep insights, the decision carries Meitu’s hope to become a strong competitor in the industry and make automatic photo editing a normalized technical service, opening an even greater market.
As an industry closely related to beauty, commercial photography requires both technology and aesthetic reserve, both of which Meitu is already equipped with, making it a competitive participant in promoting the development of the industry and reaping the fruits for itself.
After the company decided to go deep into its beauty-related career, Meitu's business map has rapidly expanded from consumption to industry, gradually opening its technical strength and industry insight and other core capabilities accumulated in the last 12 years to related industries, hoping to build a brand new beauty ecosystem.
Promoting the upgrade of the industry chain with intelligent technology, accelerating the digitalization process of the industry, and allowing related industries to continuously move toward intelligent "beauty", Meitu is firmly stepping into its larger goals together with partners from different fields.