Among the many practical applications of Deep Zoom (and Silverlight generally) is that of enhancing the shopping / browsing experience for online retailing. This may range from offering a gallery of products as a Deep Zoom collection to make it engaging and intuitive for visitors to browse to more sophisticated experiences that try to bridge the gap between inspecting the goods in-store and viewing a simple photograph online. This is particularly important for certain types of merchandise – I’m not too worried about seeing my vegetables close-up – but for high-end purchases and luxury items, it’s a must.
As part of our series on Deep Zoom, I’m creating a few “how-tos” that help you get started building simple experiences with Deep Zoom and Silverlight generally, focused on retail applications. I emphasize simple – they are in no way production ready. In particular they have a very “vanilla” look and feel and could benefit from some design input. I’ve kept them simple to make them easy to create and explain. It literally took a few minutes to build the first working examples from scratch.
Over the next few posts I’ll introduce the examples and then I’ll take you through some how-tos.
So here’s the first, a Deep Zoom example, taking as its subject a portion of my bookshelf. It may seem nothing special at first glance but the image is actually a composite formed from multiple high-resolution images. This forms the basis for creating extremely high-res imagery allowing the user to go from the wide-view to close-up in a seamless fashion.
Here are the 4 raw images (scaled down significantly!) I used as the basis of the above composition.
Using multiple images such as this (perhaps dozens of images) it’s possible to create gigapixel imagery with standard, off-the-shelf equipment. The above images were taken with my own Canon EOS 450D. This same technique was used to photograph some of the memorabilia in the Hard Rock collection mentioned in my post “How Deep Zoom Works”.
There is another way to achieve a similar effect – where islands of high-res imagery are required. I’ll cover that technique in my next post.