[Added Note, 2014: I'd like to think we motivated GoPro into creating de-fisheye software with our demos. This was an early version of our own software, and it certainly did the job with minimal "issues." GoPro now has its own software, GoPro Studio, that does just as good of a job flattening their fisheye images while running much faster. You can get their software for free by visiting the GoPro website.]
Original notes from May, 2011:
Can you un-fish? Do you need an un-rod and un-reel? How about some anti-bait? If your images are all fisheyed up, you might wish you could undo what photography has put asunder...
Architectural features suffer the most under fisheye lenses. What you can get by with in the woods or in the waves can be painful when the camera is in an urban setting.
Uwe Steinmueller and I have been developing a fisheye flattening process that takes GoPro Hero HD scenes and yanks them into being wide-angle shots that look like they were made with a prime lens.
Years ago, I made Photoshop Actions that do this with the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens. You can see some of that historical stuff here: http://tinyurl.com/3uxt54j
Our GoPro work continues, and there is much to do before it is a product for release, but here is an example of what you can expect.
This is a 1080p30 original clip that has been DeFished. The Script produces 1080p30 results, and the clip here is a reduction from the 1080p original.
Note: That railing across the shot is actually curved, so don't expect it to straighten out.
The final product will be a group of Photoshop Scripts. One will work directly on a shot in Photoshop Extended. That version was used in this example image, and is the fastest.
Others work on scenes by tearing them into single frames with QuickTime Pro 7. Those frames reside in a folder, and the Photoshop Script loads each frame, waves its magic wand, then deposits the defished frame back into a destination folder. A little process-intense, but no Photoshop Extended is required, just regular old Photoshop.
You can batch process a whole bunch of shots overnight.
Key features are:
1. Precision. Prime lens quality rectilinear super wide-angle results. ±1 pixel straight line perfection.
2. Image quality. Exotic steps preserve the maximum per-pixel detail even into the corners of the frame.
3. Transparency. What you started with in color and tonality is what you get in the final result.
We are working on other attributes. Separate versions may become available that are correct for naked GoPro camera shots and scenes captured using the housing. The housing's dome port changes the optical performance.
And yes, we are working on a DeFishing processor for the 170°, 720p30/60/25/50 shots as well. Here's a demo of that prototype at work: vimeo.com/23898684
Update: (12-1-2011) We have cracked the fisheye video modes of the new GoPro Hero 2! Here's a proof of concept video that shows the two top 1080p30 fisheye modes, now perfectly flattened into linear super wide angle shots. vimeo.com/32997570