Category Archives: Software

Use the free Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor to create panorama photos

Microsoft Research makes their Image Composite Editor available for free. Use the ICE to create high quality panorama photos by stitching together many photos.

This photo was created out of 34 photos taken on a 12 megapixel point n shoot camera – the end result, after overlaps and cropping, is a 78 megapixel image.

This is a size reduced 1920 pixel wide version of the original. On the original, I can just about zoom in to cars on the bridge. This photo was taken from the site of the Astoria tower, Astoria, Oregon, overlooking the Columbia River where it joins the Pacific Ocean.


Google intros subtle “three dimensionality” to Android user interface

It’s subtle – page to the bottom to see the sample user interface: What is Google’s Material Design for Android? Appvigil – Android App Security Scanner.

The software API’s provide new “shadow” features to enhance the Z-axis “elevation” dimension of a control or window. Details of the feature are available from Google.

These effects are – so far – very subtle. I am not sure of the point of this –  its a basic element of graphic design that was used in software more than 25 years ago.

An “API” is an “application programming interface”. Operating systems – such as Android, Windows or Mac OS X – expose features to application programs through an interface, known as an “application programming interface” or just API.

Open Platform Community cameras from Olympus

Open Platform Community cameras from Olympus.

It’s an interactive initiative for users of Olympus’ new open platform cameras.

Anyone can hack, share, and join in on the fun. So come and share your experiences and photos taken using these revolutionary cameras.

I do not know much about this – yet – but am hoping it is what I think it is! This could be big – think of what independent software has done for the iPhone or Android or Windows platforms. Software created a massive ecosystem of features and accessories.

Two years ago, I spoke to every camera company except Olympus (could not reach them during their financial mess) about doing something like this. And then boom- Olympus steps forth! Good for them!

Corel Video Studio Pro X7

Corel’s latest video editing software is now at version X7.

I did some quick tests to check on just a few features.

Plus side: It renders output video files super fast compared to many alternative editors. On my quad core Windows 7 system, rendering seems to be roughly “real time”. One minute of video is rendered in about one minute. That’s fast.

The program also features a 2k to 4k conversion feature. This definitely works but I am unable to evaluate the result as I do not have any 4k displays to watch it on. However, I did upload a test clip to Youtube and the result certainly looks good on my 2K TV (which means its downsized back down of course).

Editing is easy enough that I figured out most everything I wanted to do without resorting to help/documentation.

The package also includes a nifty Screen Capture utility for recording video clips from things you are doing on screen. This is great for creating tutorials. This utility worked great for me in my tests and would be worth buying the whole suite just for screen capture!

For editing 2D video, its quite respectable and priced inexpensively.

Minus side: Its 3D capabilities are very limited. It can import side-by-side and MVC video files, but it has no 3D video clip adjustment features. If you cannot fix parallax in post, its not terribly useful, unfortunately. And that’s too bad, because it also rendered my 3D MVC video clips faster than I expected.

Quick verdict: For 2D video editing, Corel Video Studio Pro X7 is an extremely fast editor – fast to edit, fast to preview and fast to render.  If your work is 2D oriented, this product should be on your list of editors to look at. But for 3D, its lacking in critical features such that its really not suitable for 3D work.

The product can be purchased and downloaded directly from Amazon:

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4k video compression technologies buried under patents

H.265 video compression tech for 4K streaming buried in patents: Patent licensing terms still murky for next-gen video | Cutting Edge – CNET News.

Google, on the other hand, is promoting VP9 for free. By incorporating VP9 in to Youtube 4K, Google has potential to create a market standard. And they’ve got some heavy hitters signed on: Sony, LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Nvidia, Intel and others.

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Apple receives patent on method of automatically pairing 3D clips shot on 2 cameras

This strongly suggests 3D editing is coming to Final Cut Pro X: Apple’s 3D video editing patent hints at future Final Cut Pro features.

An Apple Final Cut user survey done a year ago included several questions about 3D editing, suggesting Apple was watching the 3D space carefully.

The Apple patent appears to cover a method of associating two independent clips shot on two cameras (the left and right cameras). This is an important feature as pairing of stereoscopic clips shot on two cameras is presently done manually and is time consuming.