December 13, 2008

Adobe previews “Infinite Images” technology

Remember Shai Avidan, the co-creator of seam carving (Content-Aware Scaling) who joined Adobe last year?  Just as he did at Adobe MAX last year, Shai took to the stage this year with an eye-catching demo.  Collaborating with Prof. Bill Freeman and a team from MIT, Shai has been working on "Infinite Images," "a system for exploring large collections of photos in a virtual 3D space."  The team writes:


Our system does not assume the photographs are of a single real 3D location, nor that they were taken at the same time. Instead, we organize the photos in themes, such as city streets or skylines, and let users navigate within each theme using intuitive 3D controls that include pan, zoom and rotate…

We present results on a collection of several millions of images downloaded from Flickr and broken into themes that consist of a few hundred thousands images each. A byproduct of our system is the ability to construct extremely long panoramas, as well as image taxi, a program that generates a virtual tour between a user supplied start and finish images.


To read up on some details, check out the PDF (shared via

You could also visit Shai’s site to read up on “Non-Parametric Acceleration, Super-Resolution, and Off-Center Matting,” not to mention “Part Selection with Sparse Eigenvectors”–but I’d recommend being a lot smarter than I am. ;-) (We just may have to name our next child “Eigenvector.”)

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