New 3D Photo Viewer From Microsoft Research

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If you thought Photosynth was cool, you haven’t seen anything yet! On his blog, Long Zheng shares with us an amazing video out of Microsoft Research that focuses on a new immersive 3D technology for manipulating digital photos. The technology, which appears to be an advancement of an older technology called Photo Tourism, allows for browsing through photo collections in 3D. In the video, the photos used to demonstrate the technology in action are taken from the flickr website. However, the technology could be used with a collection of images out of your own personal photo collection, too.

Like Photosynth, photos of the same object or location are stitched together, but this new technology goes beyond that to allow for a 3D model of the scene through seamless transitions between the photos as you move through them. In addition, the system also corrects the color balance and stabilizes the transitions as you zoom, rotate, and move through the images. With this system, you can navigate through the photos, zoom in and out, select different orbits, view both daytime or nighttime photos, and so much more. This technology doesn’t seem to have a real name yet – both the video and the website are simply titled “Finding Paths through the World’s Photos.”

This is the sort of thing that’s kind of hard to explain – it has to be seen to be believed. Check it out:


On the website, you can view the video, download the paper, and even download the source code.

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