Panoramas from Video

I’ve noticed a few examples of people using ICE to stitch content from video.  One of my favorites came out right after the ICE launch.  The blogger Cinema Squid used ICE to generate panoramic images from panning sequences he grabbed out of the movie Starship Troopers.  Over on flickr, user jasolo has created a group called Panoramas from movies.  So far most of his examples are from old black & white videos that are available from the Library of Congress as part of the Prelinger Archives.  To the left is an example jasolo did with ICE.  This was made from frames of "Amateur Film European Trip 1930s".  I really like the idea of applying stitching to video footage, especially travel video.  More often than not when I see people taking video of famous landmarks what they are doing is panning over a large area to make sure that they capture everything.  When viewing this content it seems more natural to me to experience it in a panorama viewer instead of as raw video.

I also like the idea of unlocking archive content like jasolo did and making it more accessible.  There is an opportunity here to use tools like ICE and Photosynth to help organize this content.  Photosynth is a natural for this task as it allows for more general camera motions (beyond panning) that is often found in video.  I did a quick search of Photosynth for synths made from video content.    I did find one example of an old “Bigfoot” film made into a synth.

Seeing these examples makes me think that a great feature would be to allow ICE and Photosynth to analyze video directly. Microsoft Research has studied this problem a bit and back in 2005 present a paper titled “Efficiently Registering Video into Panoramic Mosaics”.  It may be time to productize this technology.

Update 12/22/2008: I just did an Internet search and found an additional 14 panoramic composites done by Cinema Squid from the film Baraka.

-Matt

p.s. this blog was composed using the latest update of the excellent Windows Live Writer.  Get it here. 

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