Announcing the Microsoft Image Composite Editor

Today we are very pleased to announce the Microsoft Image Composite Editor.  It is a free download available today from here.  This application is the best image stitching tool that we have shipped to date.  The stitching technology from the Interactive Visual Media Group has shipped previously in Windows Live Photo Gallery and more recently in Deep Zoom Composer.  The core stitching engine in the Image Composite Editor uses the same advanced matching and blending techniques that I described in my Deep Zoom Composer blog entry.  Beyond that this application adds the following features:

  • A GPU accelerated orientation adjustment tool.  Sometimes the automatic stitching software doesn’t quite get the viewing direction correct, or perhaps you want to use a rectilinear projection instead of a cylindrical projection.  This new tool allows you to interactively make these adjustments. 
  • 360 blending support.  Our fast poisson blend technique now creates a seamless 360 blend.
  • Output to Photoshop layers.
  • Create an HD View web page.
  • Create a Silverlight Deep Zoom web page, including new 360 support in our Silverlight application.
  • Integration with both the Windows Shell and the next version of Windows Live Photo Gallery, so that you can quickly launch a new stitching project.

Please try it out today, and let us know what you think.

-Matt Uyttendaele

 

P.S. We will be giving demos at the Photokina show all week.  If you happen to be attending, please stop by the Microsoft booth to see this and a lot of other great technology.

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16 Responses to Announcing the Microsoft Image Composite Editor

  1. John says:

    First Impression, Vista64bit support awesome! Speed is really quick, output options a plenty. Tested with a 56MegaPixel 360 of Sydney Harbour and it was seemless.
    Got a 360 working in HDView but no luck in Silverlight – is there a trick?
    "including new 360 support in our Silverlight application"
    John.
     

  2. William says:

    ok, it works but not within google\’s chrome browser.. :S

  3. Michael says:

    Congrats guys! ;-) 

  4. Matt says:

    @John.Hello.  I probably should have described that 360 Deep Zoom feature in more detail.  What that means is that if the pano is a 360, then our Silverlight code will do a continuous scroll in the horizontal direction.  If you aren\’t seeing this behavior then please have a quick look in the generated html.   There should be a script block with the following elements:        thetaMin="0"        thetaMax="360"If this isn\’t the case then is it possible that you cropped the image before exporting?

  5. Paul says:

    Impressive speed, BUT:I feeded ICE with 13 pics of a horizontal pano, but only 8 were stitched.No error message.- Paul

  6. John says:

    @HDView, spot on about the silverlight 360. I had used the autocrop and although this did not effect HDView it did the followin ght HTML for silverlight:
    thetaMin="0.165005"thetaMax="359.835022"
    Setting to 0 and 360 worked! thanks.
    So my next question…. any chance of sharing the Silverlight source code so we can use these cool new feature and enhance for our own apps?

  7. Matt says:

    @JohnGreat question.  We are in the process of putting it up on Codeplex.  It should be there shortly.  I\’ll post a note on this blog when we\’ve done it.There is a slight issue with autocrop and 360.  Autocrop finds the largest rectangle that it can.  But in the case of a 360, it should instead opt for the largest rectangle that is still a 360.  What probably happened in your case is that it actually did omit a few pixels on left and right, so those angles where technically correct, and by changing them you will see a slight mismatch at the seam.  The best way to work around this is to use autocrop for the top/bottom values, but then use the text boxes to set the left/right to 0 and full-width.  HD View is a bit more lax about having to be a full 360, so it allows scrolling even if there is a small gap, perhaps we should do the same in the Silverlight code.

  8. Matt says:

    @PaulI took a look at your pictures.  The issue is that the overlap between two of the images (CB-08 and CB-09) is almost completely taken up by a water fountain.  All of the motion in the water is making it difficult for the program to find any correspondence between these images. 

  9. Thomas says:

    …and don\’t forget our IVRPA.org live-stiching-booth at the Photokina. I bet that you will find a computer with a running Microsoft Image Composite Editor competing against Hugin, PTGui, AutoPanoPro and PTAsssembler!

  10. Paul says:

    @HDViewThanks for looking at my pictures.It would be fine, if ICE throws a message when it is running into problems.Stitching only CB-08 and CB-09 freezes ICE on my PC.ICE has some stitching problems on the stairs in front of the main building too.The gigapan stitcher is not confused by the fountain, so may be some improvements on ICE are possible.- Paul

  11. Matt says:

    @Paul
     
    I haven\’t used the gigapan stitcher, but I imagine that you give it an indication of how the gigapan head moved.  ICE doesn\’t have that so it needs to work it out from the input images.  In a future version we should add a mode that allows users to indicate that the images were shot using an automated head.
     
    Thanks for the feedback. 

  12. Paul says:

    @hdviewAs most panopics are shot in a sequence – wether with a robot or manual with some kind of panohead on a tripod – it could increase detection time and precision, if there is an option to tell the program the number of rows and columns, rows first or columns first, top to down or bottom to top, form left to right or right to left. Autopano Pro is just adding this, PTGUI is able to consider templates.ThanksPaul

  13. John says:

    @ HDView
    Awesome, I look forward to seeing the project on codeplex. Big thanks for taking the time to answer questions on your blog, it makes a huge difference. Thanks for taking the extra time.
    John.

  14. Jamie says:

    Am I right in thinking that the Photostitch function in WLPG comes straight out of the research done by your team?-Jamie

  15. Matt says:

    Hi Jamie,Yep. The research and code comes from the Interactive Visual Media team in MSR. I did a write-up on this for the Wave2 launch of WLPG: http://hdview.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!1AD33AA162CE96C2!506.entry-Matt

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