Uwe Steinmueller and Peter iNova have been developing a fisheye flattening process for GoPro Hero HD scenes that "yanks them into being wide-angle shots that look like they were made with a prime lens," according to iNova.
"The trick with DeFishing," iNova told us, "is that you must exactly match the equisolid fisheye distortion of the original with the correction. So every fisheye, every HD format gets its own specific fix."
For the GoPro, the filter was designed to the specs of the Hero HD 1080 when used inside its weatherpoof case using GoPro's dome cover over the lens and shooting in 720p mode. "That combination yields very specific optical performance," iNova said.
Several versions for various optical combinations will be available for use in Photoshop Extended (for the best performance), but Steinmueller has rewritten the scripts for use with non-Extended versions of Photoshop.
The non-Extended versions tear scenes into single frames with QuickTime Pro 7. Those frames reside in a folder and the Photoshop Script loads each frame, waves its magic wand, then deposits the defished frame back into a destination folder.
The current prototype takes about 50 minutes to process 54 seconds worth of material on a two-year old Mac tower running at 2.8 GHz with eight cores. All the shots used in the sample edit above were 720p30 originals and the whole thing was edited before being flattened. You can batch process a set of clips overnight.
The Photoshop Extended results are identical to the regular Photoshop results, but the Extended version is faster.
Key features are:
1. Precision. Prime lens quality rectilinear super wide-angle results. Plus or minus pixel straight line perfection.
2. Image quality. Exotic steps preserve the maximum per-pixel detail even into the corners of the frame.
3. Transparency. What you started with in color and tonality is what you get in the final result.
The two plan to offer the filter kit for sale shortly in Photoshop Script form.