What could be solution for hiding/ obscuring the face of a person on a photo. The need is to protect privacy, yet still keep the image visually attractive.
Have a default face to put instead of the 'blurred' person.
That way you could have actual faces, thus leaving the overall visual of the image, whereas a blur or pixelation would make it more obviously edited.
Note: I'm only half-serious about the solution, but if you do this you should obviously use a more neutral face like these.
It'll be (near-impossibly) tough to pull this off convincingly in an automated setting, though.
Well, here are some of the common methods:
Are any of those aesthetic? Well, we are dealing with Trump. So we could argue they are all improvements. But, ultimately, no. None of these types of methods are aesthetic because they are all unnatural. Humans even at a few days old have an ability to 'see' faces quite well. Any editing that would seem the least bit unnatural is going to stick out in a photograph and ultimately be the main point of focus. So it's best to avoid any direct editing of the face if at all possible.
At that point, I think you're left with two options:
- Blocking the face from view
A (quick and dirty) example of blocking the face from view might be:
A Gaussian blur is definitely soft and appealing as a form of censorship. As far as straight up censorship goes, it's the least invasive and least harmful.
For better alternatives to blatant censorship, take a look at some advertising banners. You can often censor people's features by providing an overlapping object/banner. An easy way to do this is stitch two images together using another image of a person (without features), i.e. a rectangle with two sections, cut by a slash in the centre. It's all about crop and positioning.
Another, albeit when done wrong may look grimey, solution is to have a reel of images or text along people's features. Like in movie posters.
You can't please everyone with censorship or it's design.
The solution chosen by the iOS/Android camera app Aillis (formerly known as Line Camera) is a simple one, but one very dependent on personal taste: They offer censor bars/blockers which are themselves visually attractive (within a particular aesthetic of social media, which includes decorated photos). This is an effective option for photos of the type which Aillis is expected to handle, i.e. personal snapshots. It's the opposite of subtle - in fact, they're a lot more flashy than a solid-colored box. But in the casual context where personal snapshots are shared, it's more in keeping with the tone of the medium than blur/pixelation.