This is my second look at ICE 2.o, the Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor version 2.0. In this article we will take a look at distorting and correcting images and more.
If you just open ICE you get mostly advertising. This front page is the only one soliciting. Microsoft Research has fallen on hard times, but at least they are still there and turning out superb tools.
The way I operate, I never get to see this opening screen, but I am getting ahead of my story. First some very good news. ICE 2.0 work perfectly in Windows 10, that is in the Technical Preview, but tit should work just as well in the final version. It does require a C++ Runtime Library. It tells you that and the installation is just a matter of clicking along.
Once installed, it can be called right from Photo Gallery. Yes, Photo Gallery, although now three years since the last update, works quite well in Windows 10. Not perfectly and not as smoothly as in Windows 7, but I have hope.
In this article I want to touch on how a composite image can be distorted, or more importantly, corrected in various ways. For perspective correction, straightening “falling” buildings, I have always preferred ICE. No ICE does not work on a single image, it requires at least two to generate a composite. It can easily be tricked by supplying it with two copies of the same image. When ICE is installed you can find it and pass images to it right from inside Photo Gallery. Click the Create tab, then More tools and it is right there.
When ICE opens the images selected in Photo Gallery will be right there. Under Camera motion, select Rotating motion in order for ICE to provide the various projection options.
The new version has a richer collection of projection tools: Cylindrical, Transverse Cylindrical, Mercator, Transverse Mercator, Spherical, Transverse Spherical, Orthographic, Fisheye, Stereographic, and Perspective.
It is real fun playing with these projection tools. For this article, with just the single image, I will just mention perspective correction. The image is manipulated by dragging it up or down, right or left, or dragging a corner to rotate it. It is much easier to demonstrate than to explain, take a look at this short video (just a couple of minutes).
Click on the image or the link, whichever shows in your browser.
In the video you noticed that after I settled on the correction I also employed the new Auto complete option. This feature is called “content aware fill” in some other editing tools. In ICE it works to fill in the “dark” corners in a composite.
The screen shots here and the video are from ICE working in Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926. The video is shown unedited (except for the addition of titles front and back).
You can get an idea what a smooth working tool ICE is.
Here is the perspective corrected photo with some additional post processing done. Note how nicely the trees on either side were filled in. And of course, there is also a “café art” art version as well.
© 2015 Ludwig Keck