Last week we saw the release of Silverlight 2, the latest and greatest version of the browser plugin designed for rich media experiences on the web. Since that time, a number of related technologies have also been updated to work with Silverlight 2. These include the following:
Deep Zoom Composer/PhotoZoom Site:
Along with the new version of Silverlight, a new version of the Deep Zoom Composer was also released. The Deep Zoom Composer is a tool which lets you design your own deep zoom creations which can then be uploaded to the Microsoft Live Labs PhotoZoom website, which has been updated as well. The new Deep Zoom Composer doesn’t feature anything new besides Silverlight 2 support except for one minor upgrade which allows you to launch the tool by double-clicking on the DZPRJ file itself.
ICE (Image Composite Editor):
Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher created by Microsoft Research. This tool takes a series of overlapping photographs and creates a high-res panorama. The ICE update includes more than just Silverlight 2 support. It also offers the following new features and bug fixes:
- Fixed a bug that could cause the program to crash the second time it was run if there were non-English characters in the file paths of source our exported panoramas. (The "Options.xml" bug.)
- Fixed a bug that allows more TIFF files to be properly opened
- Changed autocrop to recognize 360 panos and provide a better crop rectangle in those cases
- Removed Automatic from the Projection menu
- Proper output of Silverlight 2 RTM Deep Zoom
- Fixed a bug that could cause one input image to be dropped from a panorama seemingly at random
- Added integration with the next version of Windows Live Photo Gallery
(Read more about ICE here).
HD View Utilities
The HD View Utilities are a set of tools that help in the production of HD View content. HD View is a new viewer developed by the Microsoft Research Interactive Visual Media group to aid in the display and interaction with very large images. Specifically, the Photoshop Plugin and hdmake were updated, according to LiveSide.
HD View SL
Also of interest to programmers, the source code for HD View SL has been released, as reported by LiveSide. HD View SL is the Silverlight based viewer that is output by ICE and by the Photoshop Plugin. HD View, currently a Windows-only browser plugin, is being migrated to HD View SL, a cross-platform Silverlight RIA.
Hard Rock Memorabilia (Easter Egg!)
OK, now for some fun stuff! Silverlight 2.0’s deep zoom feature is now being shown off on the Hard Rock Memorabilia site. If you already checked out this site before back when it launched, you’ll want to revisit. The new site has had some big performance improvements and also offers nearly double the number of images as before. By the way, did you know that site has an Easter Egg? (I love these!) Here’s a tip – zoom in on Paul McCartney’s letter, the stamp, the image of Paramount, then the Marquee. Keep going…you’ll soon see some Beatles bobble-head dolls appear! Nifty.