Ever had a moment where you went to a marvelous place and the view was just scenic for photos and videos? The only problem is you only took a panned video and badly wanted a panoramic picture of the place. Well, with today’s technology you can and you can even do it for free.
Have you heard of Microsoft ICE or Image Composite Editor? If not then this is the software that will save your day when it comes to Panoramas from videos. It is developed by Microsoft of course and it’s very easy to use and free to download here. Let’s get started.
The first thing you need to do is record a video and pan either from left to right or even up and then down. It doesn’t matter as long as you pan your camera and take a shot of everything you want to be included in the photo. Also, remember that your pan should be at a slow enough pace so that you won’t get blurry photos. It doesn’t have to be very slow as long as you are careful.
The next thing we need to do is to download the Microsoft Image Composite Editor and the easiest way to do that is to go to Google and type in Microsoft ICE. The first link that will appear is the Image Composite Editor. Click on that and you will be taken on to the ICE page. There will be a link below where you can download the software in either 32 or 64-bit Windows. To find out what system you are using, you can right click on the Windows logo on the bottom left of your screen and then select system. A screen will pop-up and the System type will be displayed. I am using the 64-bit version of Windows so let’s now download the 64-bit version of Microsoft ICE.
After downloading, install Microsoft ICE and open the program to start using it. You have three options to choose from to start editing. The first one we are going to try out is to create a New Panorama From Video. Click on the button to start importing your chosen video.
After importing the video, you will be given a chance to preview it first to make sure you really did choose the video you wanted. In this screen, there’s also an option to choose the regions of the video you want to preserve. You can select the region by drawing a rectangle on the part of the video you want Microsoft ICE to retain. You can do this by dragging the mouse around the area you want to retain.
Click Next on the top right corner of the screen and Microsoft ICE will do its best to stitch the video together into one panoramic photo. After the video is stitched into one panoramic photo, you can now review the stitched image if it meets your expectations. You can select from different projections depending on the effect you want. You have the choices of Cylindrical, Transverse Cylindrical, Mercator, Transverse Mercator, Spherical, etc. For now, we will just use Cylindrical.
Click next again and you can crop the image so you get a full photo without any gray/dark edges. Just drag the rectangle around the area you want to retain and click next. After this step, you are now free to export the image in several formats like JPEG, JPEG XR, Adobe Photoshop, TIFF, PNG, and Windows Bitmap. It would be a good idea to export it in an Adobe Photoshop file so you can later edit the photo for corrections like color.
And that is one quick and easy way to turn your panned videos into panoramic photos. Check out the YouTube video below for a better understanding of this tutorial.