Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nice ICE, but is it nice enough

I heard Paul Thurrott, in his Windows Weekly podcast, recommend Microsoft Research’s ICE Image Composite Editor. Sounded like I should try it out again.

image ICE is very easy to use. There is only one main item on the pull down menu, File. With all its sub-function functions having their own little dialogues also displayed under the photo workspace as well. It just as simple one two three working your way across the bottom

My first attemptsimage created a curved horizon. This happens in many panorama stichers when you don’t have the rotation horizontal and centered on the horizon as well. There are some neat projection settings and adjustments, including a great perspective projection. I do have a couple of worries. The Automatic Exposureimage Blend doesn’t seem to always work (see example) and I was left with a number of poor stitch offsets lines, and some unfortunate ghosting in some areas of overlap. This set of photos was take handheld in a strong wind (not on a tripod) and it was on automatic (so camera was changing the exposure was each photo). Even with those limits compare the ICE results with those obtained with Autimageostitch. ICE will only stitch a single sweep of photos. However it does let you create massive files (with all the detail available.  So My conclusion is it is great for really larger single sweep panoramas but you must use a tripod and constant exposure settings.

Having being a bit harsh up till now, I think the Photosythn export is pretty amazing and should get a lot of folks excited. It is slow but the results are worth it. See for yourself below

You will probably need to upgrade your photosythn and install HD view browser addons to get the full benefit of ICE. Both are free to download. Again MAC users look away, nothing for you here.

Post a Comment