Panoramas and other large images can look puny in online photo sharing sites, blogs, and social websites. Two services can provide impressive views even of the largest images.
Photosynth provides a three dimensional simulation, and Zoom.it a flat presentation that can be zoomed. Here is a demonstration of a vertical panorama in both services.
Click the images to see the expanded photo in Photosynth and Zoom.it.
Now for a quick review on how to generate a panorama for sharing in Photosynth.
There are two was of creating a Photosynth. For a smooth, three-dimensional appearing version the image is first prepared in ICE – Microsoft Image Composite Editor.
Overlapping images of the scene are loaded into ICE. The photos should overlap about a quarter or more, they can be made hand-held, ICE is pretty smart at stitching them together. The photos must be taken from the same position in a rotating motion.
ICE assembles them and offers two “export” options. For Photosynth select “Publish to Web…” This will call the Photosynth program which then takes over and completes the task.
The second method produces a “classic” Photosynth and the overlapping photos are sent directly to the Photosynth program.
Both the Photosynth and the ICE program can be called directly from Photo Gallery. Just select the thumbnails, click the Create tab, click More Tools… and select the program. Oh, yeah, of course, you have to have these programs installed on your PC. They are free and easy to get – from the same menu in Photo Gallery, see the illustration here.
For the Zoom.it version the image is exported from ICE to the PC by selecting “Export to disk…” Note the cropping outline in ICE. The image can be cropped before exporting to the PC. That is what I have done for the demonstration image here.
Zoom.it needs an online image to work with, so just upload the large panorama to you SkyDrive and get the image URL from there for use in Zoom.it. Make sure that the upload resizing option is not set to resize the photo.
Once you have the image URL (from the address bar when View original is selected), go to zoom.it and load the URL into the entry field there.
Click the image to see the “classic” Photosynth way of showing overlapping photos.
© 2012 Ludwig Keck