Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Microsoft ICE Update

A new version of Microsoft ICE is available.
I would have reported earlier about it, but one of my data disks crashed and i had to restore from backup (keep in mind: even a simple backup is better than no backup!)...

Here is a selection of fixes and new features that may draw your special attention as they are putting ICE one more step closer to the group of professional panorama creation tools - and in some respect even beyond:

  • Panoramas can be created from video input:
    This is not only useful for people without deep knowledge in panorama making (e.g. you don't have to care about nodal point very much), it also allows to create various flavours of "action panoramas" pretty easy.
    The following panorama was created using this video. The result is here - uploaded without any post-processing:

  • Automatic de-vignetting. IMHO as good as PTGui and Autopano Giga. Only Hugin would beat that quality-wise (but at high calculation cost).
  • More robust to corrupt/mis-matching metadata. In fact, ICE is able to beat Autopano Giga in that respect. Please note, however, that this is absolutely necessary as ICE still doesn't allow any manual intervention if pre-alignment plays havoc...
    One of my favourite "test panoramas" - which was unstitchable without massive manual intervention in Autopano Giga (although APG uses the robot metadata for pre-alignment) - went pretty well within the first attempt in ICE. Only the mast on top of the tower had to be postprocessed in Photoshop: