Freitag, 18. April 2008

Gigapixel Panoramas - Microsoft HDView

The first viewer I will review briefly is the HD View (Beta 2) by Microsoft Research's Interactive Visual Media group with quite a number of interesting projects they work on. I leave it to you, to question if their objective is to create ultimately new Microsoft Products or it throw into the opensource or "free" pool.
The viewer is a (guess what) non-flash plugin that you can download (500k) and install it for free without any hazzle or registration. Of course, this reduce the potential number of visitors drastically because most internet user either dont have admin rights on the PC (eg. office, internet cafe), just dont want to install any plugin beyond Flash and Java, dont like Microsoft or use a different OS, because at the time of writing the viewer is available only for Windows.
The viewer works only if you are connected to web, you cant use it offline like the zoomify flash.
A plugin for Photoshop is available, so it is fairly simple to produce content, just export a "big" image and it creates a simple website with all necessary files. I am not sure how actively they pursue the development if a final viewer. It seems some projects just slowly die, some (eg Panorama Stitch) find their way into commercial MS products. They are not as active as other "open" projects. You also can check out Microsoft Live Labs (same like research group or competing internally?) and their Photosynth (good idea, but looks like stalled project, no more blog entries since September 2007!).

HD View test:
Singapore Boat Quay with 36.656 x 5.211 pixel (~190MP, uncompressed 546 MB file)
Mamiya AFD II, ZD Back, 105-200 lens at 200
15 Images stitched with PTGui Pro
Exported with jpg quality setting 65
Resulting in 4.109 tile files in 290 subfolders.

Click here to see the result here (if you dare to download the plugin)
(hosted on a free hoster, I dont want to fill up my webserver with tons of files)

Links: HD View,
Microsoft Research's Interactive Visual Media group, Zoomify, PTGui, Microsoft Live Labs

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