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Photosynth is go!

The world can now great Photosynths. This is going to blow your socks off!

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So what is Photosnth? Well, imagine being able to share the places and things you love using the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world. With nothing more than a bunch of photos, Photosynth creates this amazing new experience.

The viewer of a synth is placed in the photographer’s shoes, and given the ability to explore the synth as if they were there. This adds tremendously to the story being told or the visual documentation being analysed.

With PhotoSynth images are presented at the same resolution as the original photograph allowing the full detail of the image to be examined. Images are positioned and sized in relation to each other based on their content – demonstrating the relationship between them and enhancing the viewers understanding.

How does Photosynth work? Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent technology breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct a scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet.

Using techniques from the field of computer vision, Photosynth examines images for similarities to each other and uses that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point the photos were taken from. With this information, we recreate the space and use it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos.

Now, providing that experience requires viewing a LOT of data—much more than you generally get at any one time by surfing someone’s photo album on the web. That’s where our Seadragon™ technology comes in: delivering just the pixels you need, exactly when you need them. It allows you to browse through dozens of 5, 10, or 100(!) megapixel photos effortlessly, without fiddling with a bunch of thumbnails and waiting around for everything to load.

To create a synth sign in to http://photosynth.com with your Windows Live ID and make a profile. Then download the small synther application and viewer. Now you can start building synths!

Things to note with the synther:

1) You can tag your synths in the synther, and then you can geo-locate your synth once it is published to the Photosynth site

2) You can queue up more than one synth to be processed by the synther. Depending on the size and number of your photos and the speed of your broadband publishing a synth can take a while, so set up several and go have a coffee.

3) You can retain or release rights for your photographs using Creative Commons License. We are planning some great community things so try to release some level of rights on your photos.

4) If you have queued up some synths and decided to change the order or edit one of them you can. Right-clicking on a queued synth gives you a context menu to work with.

5) Getting the perfect synth can take several attempts of synth – adjusting the number of images as you go. Don’t worry – you only up load a photo once, subsequent synthing of a pre-synthed photo only requires synth data not the image to be uploaded – so things run faster!

6) You can embed your synth anywhere you can embed a web video. For the geeks amongst us – that’s anywhere you can stick an HTML IFrame element.

7) If you add &slideShowPlaying=TRUE to the end of the synth URL it will automatically start playing in Slide Show mode J

8) Pressing P in the synth viewer toggles between photos and the data point cloud. Some of the point clouds (like Stonehenge above) are amazing. Remember the point clouds are ‘what the computer has seen in the photos’ – awesome.

9) You can tweak your photographs exposure settings before submitting to the synther but don’t crop them. The EXIF data which Photosynth uses is lost if you crop a photo.

10) The synther works by examining textures in the images. Try to avoid anything to shiny, smooth, or something that’s just one color.  White wall?  Bad idea.  Water?  Better not.

A video of how to make a synth is available here: http://photosynth.net/about.aspx

The guide to Photosynth is here: http://photosynth.net/documentation/Photosynth%20Guide%20v6b_CC.pdf

The Photosynth blog is here: http://blogs.msdn.com/photosynth/

 

Happy synthing!