Behind the Scenes from Microsoft’s gigapixel artist panorama of Seattle (VIDEO)
posted Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3:46 PM EDT
Last week, a gigapixel image of Seattle popped up online called Gigapixel ArtZoom. What seperated it from any other run-of-the-mill 20 gigapixel image of a major city was that scattered throughout the image were Seattle performers and artists, showing off their skills and their works. Dozens of different people, coordinated into a single image that encompasses an entire city. So how in the world did they coordinate all of these artists to show up in the picture at the same time? With the help of Microsoft, some nifty software, and a whole lot of manpower.
Microsoft has released a two part YouTube series (embedded below), where they show off how the project was undertaken. It was actually a multi-day, multi-phase setup. The photographers were based on the roof of an apartment building, and a network of volunteers liaised with artists on the ground. Using cellphones, the photographers were able to position the artists in the best place to get a shot, and could make sure they were in action at just the right time. After thousands of such images were recorded, they were added to a gigapixel panorama that had previously been assembled, comprised of 2,368 22-megapixel images
Microsoft's ICE software was then used to accurately overlay the images with the performers over the existing panorama, creating a seamless meld of thousands of images shot over the course of multiple days. Which is how you can have a 20 gigapixel image, with so many artists all in action at exactly the same time.