Press Release

Day: 1 November 2018

A new software tool developed at BUT will allow photographers to return to the place where they took a picture in virtual realit


A new software tool developed by a group of IT experts from the Brno Technical University will offer an entirely new experience while looking at photos taken on vacation. In co-operation with Adobe Research, the team of Martin Čadík from the Faculty of Information Technology found a way to incorporate ordinary user-taken photographs to the landscape and thus offers a unique opportunity to take a walk through the place where the photographer took the photos. The possibly to show your close ones an overall view of the place where the photographs were taken and to take a walk along the path in virtual reality introduces an entirely new dimension to the current way of presenting photographs.

The Immersive Trip Reports tool can either create a video of a flyby through the landscape along a predefined path or give users the opportunity to take a walk through the area in virtual reality using special goggles. Personal photographs taken by the user which can literally take the spectator to the place of the vacation will then appear at selected points along the path. "People return from vacation with tons of photos and then they want to show them to others. We offer them the possibility to incorporate the photos directly in the landscape and to walk through the area again in virtual reality. They can look around, learn more about the area and, at the same time, see the photos taken with their friends and family," explained the head of the CPhoto@FIT team Martin Čadík, expert on computational photography.

A View from the perspective of the user of virtual reality | Author: CPhoto@FIT

IT experts from BUT first introduced the new software tool on the prestigious ACM UIST conference in Berlin which took place in October 2018. "Apart from taking a walk in a virtual reality, the tool can also generate a video flyby through the landscape. It also offers the option to add information about the subject of the photos. For example, I can see the name of the mountain, its height and some additional information about the place where I am right now," added Čadík who was presenting the tool together with his doctoral student Jan Brejcha.

Return to the place where the photo was taken or, in other words, to the digital terrain model through video or virtual reality is possible thanks to geo-positioning of photographs where, the location and orientation of each picture is automatically estimated. To fulfil this demanding task, the IT experts use public databases containing millions of photos from servers such as Flickr for the Immersive Trip Reports service. The experts can then further refine the data on position and orientation of the camera using digital models of the landscape.

Martin Čadík, head of the CPhoto@FIT team | Author: Igor Šefr

The researchers have already applied for an international patent in co-operation with American company Adobe Research. In the future, this tool could be implemented directly in the menu of Adobe software products such as Adobe Lightroom.

You can find out more about geo-positioning of photographs and the work of Martin Čadík's team in this article or directly on the CPhoto@FIT website.

Author: Kozubová Hana, Mgr.

Last modified: 2020-06-26T15:00:57

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