Last week I had a lot of fun playing with Photosynth and posted my experiences here. I actually made a few more synths of our Labor Day weekend on the Connecticut shore as well - you can check them out on my Photosynth site, and I hope to add some more from the upcoming Northeast Roadshow. Now the only downer about Photosynth is that you have to have a little foresight in terms of taking the shots with requisite overlap, angles, etc., and I had a TON of pictures from my first trip to Italy a few years ago that I was dying to do something creative with.
Enter Microsoft AutoCollage, brought to you by the Microsoft Research team in Cambridge, UK.
What's it do? From the consumer perspective, it's surprisingly simple. You collect a series of photos in a folder, browse to it with the AutoCollage application - a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application! - and AutoCollage analyzes the photos for 'regions of interest' as well as employs facial recognition technology to create a really professional arrangement of your standalone photos.
It's a great way to produce mementos of special trips and occasions... in fact, AutoCollage works best with faces, so what a great way to capture weddings, birthdays, and family get-togethers. You can e-mail your output directly to grandma from AutoCollage (or she to you!), and it can size the resultant image to 5x7, 8x10, or desktop wallpaper size so it's ready to be printed or used as your screen background.
Here's a few of the one's I just put together from my Italy trip in 2006. Give it a try, it's incredibly easy and a 30-day trial is available now!