3D Robotics

Microsoft ICE: a free PTGui killer?

3689404659?profile=originalI've been using the PTGui software ($121) for years to stitch together aerial shots into composite mosaics, but noticed in Krzysztof Bosak's post that Microsoft Research had something called ICE that could be an alternative. I checked it out and it's fanstastic!


Micosoft ICE is free, fast, easy to use and in my experience much more accurate than PTGui. Highly recommended.


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  • Just try the "ICE". But I still prefer the "PTGui."
    When the images are not perfect, are not entirely clear or the flight did not go as you planned it always leaves you save the situation somehow.
    The "ICE" works fine, but only when the side overlap is large, but this significantly increases the number of lines of flight and how long it should stay in air.
    Maybe in the future and with several improvements I can switch to ICE, but at the moment. the speed and service that gives PTGui is the most profitable.

  • T3
    I tried it last time 2 months ago (hugin was significantly inferior in matching time and stability, try ftp.aerialrobotics.eu to take a look at sample input data) and will back to it in the future. In the meantime, ptgui is 300USD backup solution so I am going to it every time I need a quick solution; once you have it bough, you simply have it...
  • Oh yes @narwhal - it can be called programmatically. In fact I use Nona.exe which does stitching by calling it directly. Its just one of the components in Hugin.
  • Hmmm. well YMMV but IMHO its worth checking out the tutorials here:

    http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/index.shtml These tuts are based on the early 0.7 release (2008).

    It is much improved from 0.7 version and has several new robust, high quality, algorithms.

    A new version 2011.0 is due in next few weeks (a Release Candidate is available now). 32 and 64 bit builds available.

    Anyway check it out - maybe its not suitable for your purpose. Cheers...

    Hugin Tutorials
  • T3

    Unfortunately for larger datasets it is less stable and less precise than ptgui, on average.

    also both are semi-manual when stitching maps what limits output.

  • You might want to also look at Hugin. It does a great job of fixing the vignetting issues between adjacent images - its also free and open source.


    Hugin - Panorama photo stitcher
  • T3
    @Ryan, no problem. I just wanted to warn you and everybody else that there are no illusions, you cannot transform those components into a business without negotiations with MS.
  • @ Krzysztof, much respect for your work, to clear things up, I’m a student and Maker hobbyist who was doing a GIS class project without commercial intention.
  • @ Krzystof, yeah I realized that it was for 3d type panoramas after I posted that comment. My bad.
  • T3
    My experience with video mapping is disappointment. All modern video compression methods use intraframe compression what destroys static-frame quality.
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