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Can this be used on real world (e.g. still life) objects? Outstanding.

Yes, so then the hard part is actually getting a photo of a completely un-shaded object. Alternatively, you could draw the lighting profiles and then specify the true lighting direction for the given photograph -- this is potentially enough for a separate algorithm to the remove the lighting from the initial photo, but that doesn't exist yet in this software (and can get complicated -- for some recent related research see http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~barron/BarronMalikCVPR2012.pdf).

This reminds me of one of my favorite papers http://graphics.cs.ucf.edu/ekhan/project_ibme.htm

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