Microsoft fills its Gigapixel ArtZoom image with Easter eggs

Thought that gigapixel images were all the same? Microsoft has planted a few surprises in its latest panorama from Seattle.

Thought that gigapixel images were all the same? Microsoft has planted a few surprises in its latest panorama from Seattle.

(Screenshot by CBSi)

At the end of 2013, a Microsoft research team led by Michael Cohen and Matt Uyttendaele set their sights on creating a gigapixel image that would stand out from the crowd. Using the 360-degree view from the Bay Vista building in Seattle, they set up a crew of photographers to capture a giant panoramic image of the city.

Dotted in and around the landscape were hundreds of Seattle-based artists and performers who were playing it up for the camera. A ground crew coordinated the performers to be ready to go when the camera captured their scene from the rooftop, resulting in some cute Easter egg moments.

Behind the scenes, the photographers were using a 22-megapixel Canon body (we're assuming it was the 5D Mark III given the resolution) and lenses ranging from 400mm to 600mm focal lengths to capture the photos. The SLR was mounted on a Gigapan tripod head that automatically moved the camera to capture the right configuration for the final gigapixel image.

The finished result is the Gigapixel ArtZoom, an interactive and zoomable panorama consisting of 2368 images stitched together using Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE). Viewers can click around the image on any device, from smartphone to PC, while zooming in and out to discover what the performers are up to.

So far we have managed to spot performers holding up cheeky placards, a giant Lego construction worker and some levitation moves in the mix. Explore more of the gigapixel image here.

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