Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor (ICE) is a tool designed to create advanced panoramas which can be automatically stitched together using a series of images. It is a light yet powerful tool and can come in handy to both amateur and professional photographers.
Today, Microsoft has announced the availability of ICE version 2.0, a major update to the application, previously at version 1.4.4. The latest version comes with even more powerful tools to create even better panoramas with. One of the new features is Image Autocomplete which uses computational photography research to fill in blank spaces in panoramas. Have a look at the images below, previously, panoramas would have to be cropped to get rid of blank spaces, which would sometimes result in an image that is not aligned correctly, or it may force the user to get rid of objects in the scene.
With ICE 2.0 and its Image Autocomplete feature, the program does a scary good job at filling in the gaps, like you see in the image below. There may be a few anomalies here and there but it would save you from having to crop.
Other big new features in ICE 2.0 include the ability to create panoramas from videos, proper multi-core CPU support, no limit on image size allowing for gigapixel panoramas to be stitched, new ways to stitch panoramas like a 360-dregree ‘Little World’ panoramas, seamless Photosynth integration, native 64-bit support, and a revamped user interface which is leaps and bounds more user friendly (and modern) than the previous iteration. A new website has also been set up to support the application.
Microsoft reports that ICE is downloaded over 1,200 times a day, so you might want to download it too and see what the hype is all about yourself. Check out the video above to see how ICE 2.0 works and if you like what you see, head over to the download links below to download the app.