Microsoft ICE update–video to panorama, lens vignette, improved blending

We are pleased to announce our latest update to Microsoft ICE.  The download is available by following these links:  ICE for 32 bit Windows  -or-  ICE for 64 bit Windows

After installing, you will find some exciting new features.

Stitching From Video

The first is that ICE can now automatically stitch a panorama directly from video.  One fun use of video panoramas is “motion summaries,” like this result that ICE produced:

Ski jump 4

In this video the photographer was panning the camera to follow the motion of the snowboarder.  I used ICE to indicate “Start” and “End” points, and I gave a few hints about which video frames wvideodlgere interesting. The motion tracking and final composition was then done automatically by ICE.  You can access this feature by selecting “New Video Panorama” from the File menu.  This will bring up the Video Panorama dialog (shown to the right), where you can play or single-step through videos in order to choose start and end points. You can also optionally draw regions of interest on individual video frames to ensure that certain elements are present in the final composition. ICE supports most common video formats (avi, mov, wmv, and more).  Of course the results can also be uploaded to Photosynth. Note that this particular feature is only available for ICE running on Windows 7 (for other versions of Windows this menu item will be disabled).

Video is also a great way to quickly capture a panoramic scene.  For example, here a two-minute video was automatically turned into a panorama (this was shot with a Samsung Focus Windows Phone).

Automatic Vignette Correction


Lens vignetting is the effect of the center of a photograph being brighter than the periphery. This effect can be especially apparent when stitching photos. For example, notice the repetitive pattern in the sky in the above panorama.  This is caused by lens vignetting in the constituent images. In this ICE update, lens vignetting is automatically detected and removed.  The result is shown below.


Improved Blending

The new version of ICE has a new blending engine. Previous versions did blending by applying a color adjustment to the panorama source images such that there would be minimal visible differences between them. In some cases, this strategy couldn’t adequately hide the seams. For example, in the panorama below, the seam in the  moving water could not be completely hidden by color adjustment alone. In the new version of ICE we still run the color adjustment step, but where this is inadequate, we also do an intelligent fade between the images. This helps a lot in cases like the one below as can be seen in the two breakout panes.  Click on the image below to explore it in full resolution on the Photosynth website; you should find it very difficult to discover the seams between images.


And More

In addition to the above main features, we have also made a few other enhancements:

    • An options dialog to control scratch disk location and ICE memory use.
    • Enable perspective projection for wide field-of-view panoramas
    • 1/3 less disk usage when stitching large data sets
    • ICE is now more robust to corrupt metadata in source photos

Matt Uyttendaele ICE lead

with video stitching by: Neel JoshiEric Stollnitz, Paramjit Sandhu; lens vignette removal by: Sing Bing Kang, Howard Good; and improved blending by: Rick Szeliski, Drew Steedly

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31 Responses to Microsoft ICE update–video to panorama, lens vignette, improved blending

  1. pradeep says:

    Great.. The feature that I was waiting for has atlast arrived. Will write on this in my blog.

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  4. Endor says:

    The latest Version 1.4.2 not works under Windows XP SP3.
    Installation works, but ICE not starts only the Problem Sending Window
    opens. Are Windows xp never supported with this Version?


  5. Falcon says:

    Nice! I used ICE for some years now. Nice to see, there is still development going on on this really handy tool!

  6. Endor says:

    Noting change i am not able to start ICE 1.4.2. Version 1.3.5 works.

  7. Endor says:

    One additional Information. I use a German Windows XP sp3
    maybe this cause the Problem.

  8. Stephane Dantzig says:

    This is very interesting! with all these technologies, you could probably develop the Stable Image Acquisition proposed by the French company Popims

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  10. Man, that video feature is so cool! I’ll try it ASAP!

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  12. Nater says:

    This feature is unintuitive to use. The tool should automatically create the panarama by frame. Going through a video frame by frame to mark regions is just… dumb. Uninstalling and will look for a paid tool to get the job done. This is a waste of time, and unintuitive…

    • hdview says:

      Good luck. Please do let us know how your search for a paid tool turns out.

      • Rob C says:

        There are many paid tools that work fairly fast, support Video AND work with WinXP (which I have no doubt that MS will no longer support).

        I’ve set “Memory Consuption” to 2048 (the max.) and still get this Error Message:

        “Could not stitch together any of the …

        ERROR_NO_SYSTEM_RESOURCES. Insufficient system resources exist to
        complete the requested service. (Error code 0x800705AA at 0% progress.)”

        I’ll play with it a bit more but likely will be looking elsewhere (esp. for one that supports Video on WinXP). I used VDub to convert my Video to images to bypass that issue.

    • Rob C says:

      Use VDub to convert your Video to Images. Try Hugin on it: — it is not super fast but it is open-source (so you can help speed it up or otherwise fix it if you wish). Bing/Google for more Tools, there are a lot of them, this took me 5 min. to find.

  13. Pingback: Create Video Panorama’s with ICE’s Latest Update

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  15. scrambler says:

    Just downloaded 1.4.3, but when I open ICE, the option for new panorama from Video File is greyed out.
    Tried drag and drop a video file, get the forbiden sign
    Any Idea?

  16. Hi there, Matt!

    1) Is there a complete list of video containers and codecs which ICE supports?

    2) If a user has installed third party codecs, will ICE be able to use them to decode more rare formats?

    These questions are prompted by a conversation on the Photosynth Forum here:

  17. mattia says:

    Nice work!! The feature “automatically stitch a panorama directly from video” is fantastic!! 🙂

    Ciao from Italy

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  19. Rafau says:

    Hi I installed new version on my win7 and the program not starting! I see ICE process few seconds in Task Menager and he is gone… Any solution?

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  21. mostek says:

    It’s the best panorama software ever!! I home it will be still updated!!

  22. This is a great piece of software. Any chance of supporting non-rectilinear source video in the future? Spinning around a fisheye lens/gopro and then being able to make a photosphere would be really cool!

    • hdview says:

      That is definitely on our list. We are progressing fish eye GoPro videos aa part of the Microsoft Hyperlapse work, so would be great to bring that to ICE.

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