Control panel. Strafe vs Rotate. Pre-load. Grid movement

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  • translation missing: en.shared.topic.styles.singular.talk
  • Updated 12 years ago
wow. I love PhotoSyth.

However

Can we get a control panel? For example to give an interface to functions like the P key. Or give a min and min desired point density.

This is my synth
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=C...

Ive noticed that in it left right up and down keyboard keys behave like this.

Left = rotate left or strafe left depending on how PhotoSyth is feeling
Right = rotate right strafe right depending on how PhotoSyth is feeling
up = walk forward
down = walk backwards

Also rotate left right up down and move forward keys are places implausibly. It is possible to get your hand into that position just very hard.

Can PhotoSynth load nearby things while you wait? So you don't start moving only to find it immediately has to load images again.

Could PhotoSynth could ether do or have an option to try and keep your movement such that when you hold down the move forward a photo that is a long way from the previous photo take a moment to move to whereas one that is very close occurs almost immediately to smooth movement speed?

Finally when you choose to rotate left PhotoSynth seems to rotate left and move a little if needed. If it can't rotate left without moving a lot then it doesn't move or rotate. However the tolerance on the movement seems to need adjusting, it likes to move off into the distance if it sees somewhere it can turn sometimes.
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alan

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Posted 12 years ago

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GODLIKE

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I agree with this. Automatic movement needs tune. I think it should keep more near to the original point.
Maybe add another type of command (like CTRL-arrow) would be nice. So I could use the arrows to explore the panorama from a single point and allow moving only when I press CTRL.
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alan

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Now that is a good idea.

Cntrl + up = move forward
up = loop more upwards
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alan

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bUmP
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alan

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BuMp
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alan

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Furthermore Id like to add that the tolerance on how far out to the edge related photo's should be shown as an option. I get a lot of black edge atm

Good example here
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=b...

Start by turning round left\right.
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Joshua Podolak, Employee

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Hi Alan
I'm looking into improving navigation, and came across this thread. I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say "move left". Do you mean pressing on the left arrow, dragging the mouse across the screen or one of the strafing keys?
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alan

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I probbably mean strafe left. Where spacifically did I say "move left"?

Thanks for looking into thease things :¬)
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Joshua Podolak, Employee

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Whoops. Actually, I was talking about the following line:

"Left = rotate left or strafe left depending on how PhotoSyth is feeling"

Ok. Time for a short monologue on navigation, just to get some basic terms out so that we can have a clear discussion: {clears throat}

There are two types of navigation in Photosynth: Discrete Navigation and Continuous Navigation.

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When you click on a quad, a halo segment, one of the arrows or any button, we call this "discrete navigation". That is, by this action you select a specific image to be the "active" image, and we move the current viewpoint to the place (position + rotation) where that image was taken.

We call this discrete navigation because unless you've been strafing around, this type of navigation *only* takes you from one camera position to another. For these cases, we know where the starting and ending positions are, and it's all a matter of finding an optimal path through a 5D (rotation+position) space, where "optimal" means "don't let users get lost in the scene". {Obviously, if the two pictures are close to each other, the problem becomes simpler}.

Another interesting question for this type of navigation is "which images do we offer as neighbors?". As an example, let's assume you're looking at a specific image in a typical "room synth" (mostly psuedo-panorama + some interesting obstacles in the middle) and you click on the left arrow. Does this mean you want to turn left or does it mean you want to walk left around that couch in the middle of the room? Even if it means you want to turn left, _which_ of the five images to the left is "best"? Depending on what pictures were uploaded, different options may be available, and we need to decide where you want to go (possibly based on your previous actions). A simpler example is the "tour". One things that we find most users doing when they first see a synth is to start pressing on the space-bar, to get a sense of what the synth looks like. How to decide in what order to show these images?

I can say that there are plans to allow users to edit the choices we make for the tour and arrows, though I'm not quite sure how what kind of interface we'll have for it (you probably need to be able to preview the synth in order to edit navigation choices - an option we don't quite have yet).

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"Continuous Navigation" is what you get when you click somewhere in the screen and start dragging, or when you hold down on one of the strafing keys. In these cases, depending on the completeness of the synth, it is very easy to get to viewpoints that are confusing.

In some ways, this makes the navigation choices a lot easier...

If you're using the keyboard (wasdecl;'[), you know exactly where in 3D space you're trying to go, and we let you... It's a "buyer beware" type of policy. The only thing we can theoretically play with is "turn on" and "turn off" some of the pictures so that the images you see while you're doing this type of navigation look as reasonable as possible (We don't do this at the moment. We played around with the option a bit, but it was ulitmately decided that it's less confusing to leave the original images unchanged).

A more ambiguous issue is what to do when you drag with the mouse on the screen. This could mean you want to rotate in place, move around an object, etc. It's also easier for people to "find", and so there's a higher chance that people will try this type of navigation.

Right now, we identify two special types of scenes in the synth: "Panoramas" and "Objects". In the panorama case, the synther stood in one place and took pictures in a circle (sphere if you want to capture the floor/ceiling as well). If you happen to be viewing a panorama, then a drag is simply a rotation around where you're currently standing. Of course, even when you stand in place and spin around taking pictures, the *camera* will still be moving, so that the actual camera positions are not exatcly in the same place. To solve this, we always snap to an image when you let go of the mouse button. (Actually, things are a bit more involved - sometimes we actually move the camera, but I won't go into that for now).

Another issue that snapping kinda solves is "what happens when you drag so much that all the pictures move off screen"? Since you can't move far in a single drag, and we always snap to the nearest image when you let go of the mouse, we don't really have to worry about that.

If someone really doesn't want the image to snap back, then they always have the option of holding the ctrl key down (usually means you're rotating around to see the point cloud anyway, so it makes sense), or use the strafing/rotation keyboard shortcuts.

For objects, we identify that the synthers took a lot of pictures all pointing at a single point in space, and so we add a halo as an extra affordance that you can drag on. The halo works exactly as you would expect: an "arcball" rotation around the center point. Once again, we snap to the closest image when you let go of the mouse, unless you have ctrl held down.

One thing we quickly found is that people really like "grabbing" the entire scene with the halo and looking around at the pointcloud (not just for looking at a specific object), so one plan that's in the works is to make the halo easier to access (maybe automatically bring up a halo every time you press on ctrl).

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{whew - that was longer than I thought}

We're seriously experimenting with ways in which to improve navigation, and we're very interested in hearing what our users like doing, what transitions frustrate them and any suggestions they might have.
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alan

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Very nice post :¬)