Three or four weeks ago the Microsoft Image Composite Editor program (ICE) and Photosynth, the online 3D viewer, were updated to create and better display panoramas. ICE can now create gigapixel-sized panoramas and Photosynth uses its unique 3D viewing capabilities to enable us to view panoramas as we do with the naked eye by providing a depth of view.
Now that ICE and Photosynth work together, it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping your photos into ICE, allowing it to create the panorama and then clicking the Publish to Photosynth button.
Some of the webDotWizards have been experimenting with the ICE-Photosynth combination and re-creating panoramas they made some time ago in Windows Live Photo Gallery.
The first point to make is that panoramas which are created using a collection of photos taken from the same location by rotating the camera fit perfectly into how ICE and Photosynth work together to give a 3D perspective to the panorama.
Some examples include JBMurch’s panorama that was taken of Rushworth Community House from the other side of the street and Poppy’s view along McEwan Road (go to Photosynth.net and search for JbMurchsynth for JBMurch’s panoramas and search for Poppyironbarksynch for Poppy’s).
Full 360 degree panoramas now work much better after processing in ICE and viewing on Photosynth (the writer has already received enough comments about the tidiness of his desk so no more, please).
Secondly we’ve found that panoramas of flat views, such as the large painting of the Murchison POW camp or the artwork in the front room of the Rushworth Community House, aren’t suitable to process in ICE using the rotating motion camera setting. These two examples need to be photographed by moving along the original picture to snap the photos rather than standing in the one position and rotating the camera.
When you’ve taken your shots, create a panorama in Windows Live Photo Gallery as we’ve been doing over the past few years and then try the creation process in ICE. If ICE doesn’t change the camera motion setting, you’ll need to do it manually and set it to Planar motion 1. You can output the panorama as a JPEG file and try experimenting with the quality. You’ll find you can output your panorama in different sizes (webDotWiz found that one of his ranged in size from about 5Mb to 50Mb).
Finally a reminder that it’s a simple process to create panoramic photos. In most cases you’ll be photographing from the one location by rotating your view so just choose your starting photo and shoot your photo collection by overlapping each photo by 30-50%.
It doesn’t matter whether you rotate your view from left to right or right to left (or, for that matter, up to down or down to up). ICE can cope with collections of photos made up of rows and columns (that’s how the gigapixel-sized panoramas come about) but it’s a bit more complicated to shoot unless you’re using devices such as that made by Gigapan still it’s still possible if there are only twenty or so photos (JbMurch photographed the Rushworth Community House artwork without any special equipment).
Since ICE can create a panorama from rows and columns of images, there’s now the means to stitch together a number of scans or photos of large posters or documents, even patchwork quilts.
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Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer.