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Interactive scene walkthroughs have long been an important computer graphics application area. More recently, researchers have developed techniques for constructing photorealistic 3D architectural models from real-world images. We present an image-based rendering system that brings us a step closer to a compelling sense of being there. Whereas many previous systems have used still photography and 3D scene modeling, we avoid explicit 3D reconstruction because it tends to be brittle. Our system is not the first to propose interactive video-based tours. We believe, however, that our system is the first to deliver fully interactive, photorealistic image-based tours on a personal computer at or above broadcast video resolutions and frame rates. Moreover, to our knowledge, no other tour provides the same rich set of interactions or visually complex environments.
Date of Publication: May-Jun 2004