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

Mittwoch, 16. April 2008

Viewer for large images and panoramas

Since a couple of years developers try to find ways to transport large (large as in file size as well resolution) images via the internet to the browser. An image with 210 Mpix and dimension of 21.000 x 10.000 would take to long to transfer and the browser has no chance to really display the image. So one came up with the idea to slice the images in small pieces and transfer only what you currently see (that is the short description).
A couple of years ago I started using Zoomify (link, my website is even listed on their reference page), by today more (mostly flash based viewers) are out there with more or less features to configure.

Some of them
HDView (Microsoft, currently in Beta, requires plugin)
Silverlight Deepzoom (Microsoft, requires Silverlight installed) (flash viewer embedded into the google sponsored website, not standalone)
krpano Flash Pano Viewer (Flash)

If I come across others or you share more with me, I will add them. In the next posting I will talk about the MS HDViewer and add some live samples.

Photoshop CS3 upgrade

I know Photoshop since the earlier days. Not that early ! .. the foundation was created by 2 brothers in 1988 by creating a piece of Software for Macintosh Plus called Display, later ImagePro and finally renamed in Photoshop. PS 1.0 was released in 1990. Fast forward.... I am using it on a more professional level since about 10 years and bought the last version (CS) in 2004. So far I did not see why I should upgrade to CS2 or CS3 (released in 2007), but more and more plugins, tutorials and books are referring at least to CS2 now, so I invested 340.- SGD in the Windows upgrade. Today I also would consider GIMP (if start again),even most of the functionality I use, is to do basic photographic touchup, but I stick to PS and I am happy with it. One of the few software that maintains a very good reputation and does not disappoint you with crashes and blue screens.
Links: Photoshop (Adobe), History of Photoshop in Wikipedia, GIMP

Montag, 7. April 2008

Worldwide Panorama No.1/2008 live !

Today the World Wide Panorama went live (link). Almost 200 submissions from all over the world covering the topic "Beginnings".
Open interactive SPI-V Viewer (requires Shockwave)
Update 16.04.2008: I removed the integrated view here and added the link, Shockwave just consume to
much CPU and memory if you add several ones on the same page.