Friday, December 3, 2010

Tips for Using Image Composition Editor

The past two Wednesday’s I’ve talked about using Microsoft Image Composite Editor to stitch together photographs of a map or large document that was too large to capture legibly in a single photograph.

Image Composite Editor is not officially supported nor does it include a manual or a Help File. But it’s free! And if you are moderately technical, you can spelunk your way through it. Sorry; I’m too busy (or lazy) to field any questions you might have. Go ahead and post questions here and if another reader can answer, I invite them to chime in.

One thing that I wasn’t able to intuit was the editor’s four stitching modes. The editor calls them Camera Motions because each is optimized for a different camera scenario. The editor will automatically choose one for you, but you should try all four to see which gives the best results.

  • Rotating Motion – Designed for pictures taken from a single spot.
  • Planar Motion 1 – Designed for scans from a flat-bed scanner.
  • Planar Motion 3 – Designed for level photographs taken from various positions.
  • Planar Motion 2 – Designed for non-documents and skewed photographs.

Use a Tripod

ICE-Perspective-Controls_thumb9If you can’t use a scanner, use a tripod.

The first Camera Motion is Rotating Motion and is optimized for a tripod. This is the Camera Motion that I used for the FHL wall mural.

Position the camera so when pointed at the center of the document the camera is square with the document and the lens is parallel to it. Said another way, there should be no tilt, pan, or rotation when the camera is pointed at the center of the document.

Images taken from a fixed point suffer from perspective distortion. Use the composition editor’s perspective controls to correct the distortion. Use the four steps in the illustration to the right.



That’s all I’ve got for you. Give it a whirl and see how you do. In Monday’s mailbox I’ll respond to feedback from this week’s articles.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Have you seen the new Flip Pal Scanner? I saw them demo it at the SLC Family History Expo, and it looked really slick


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