New user ideas, Combine Panoramas with Photo Synths

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I have just started using Photosynth having been 'introduced' from ICE.

Personally I prefer the fast and smooth scrolling over panoramic images to what appears, to be the slow and sometimes erratic navigation through some Synths. However I recognize that the power of Photosynth comes when combining photographs taken from different view points.

At present it appears that a Photosynth can either be a Panorama or a Synth created from a number of distinct photographs but it cannot be a combination of the two.

I would like to see the ability to combine the two and to be able to upload both photos and panoramas into the same Photosynth.

Essentially the panoramas would become the background image that could be smoothly scrolled around while the individual photographs would become the highlights on the background where you could click to to view a higher resolution close up, a view from a different perspective or a pathway into another area of the photosynth or potentially another photosynth.

For example: I have created 2 360-panoramas of the Medinat Habu temple in Luxor (user MymsMan) but it would be great to add to these some of the detail shots that I took, to be able to link the panoramas through the doorway separating the courtyards and to also be able to incorporate the images taken by other users.
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=6...
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=2...

It would also be nice if an existing Photosynth contained a lot of pictures from a similar viewpoint that they were automatically combined into a panorama so that in slide show mode you didn't spend a lot of time viewing essentially similar images that are there mainly to provide the linking structure within the synth.

BTW is there any control over slide show speed?
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Bob Buxton

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Posted 7 years ago

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Nathanael Lawrence

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Hi there, Bob! I like your thinking. ツ

I think you'll enjoy reading what Photosynth Lead program manager, David Gedye, recently posted over at StackOverflow.

Although the discussion was really on a different topic, I expressed similar sentiments to yours a while ago when I said, "The Photosynth team has been talking for some time about their desire to link synths together and I am hoping that means panoramas linking to photosynths as well. I would love to make a synth of a house which has an actual 360 degree panorama in the middle of each room, viewable without leaving the synth.", so it's good to see someone else asking for the same thing.

I remember reading on the HD View web log a while back that HD View could read metadata that ICE stores in JPEG versions of panoramas and display the panorama correctly in the viewer and wishing that Photosynth supported large 360 degree panos exported as Photosynth-friendly flat JPEGs to be part of the synth, but displayed as the Photosynth panorama viewer does. (Well... similarly anyway. The fact that the ICE to Photosynth panos are all cube mapped would be a difference.) It will be interesting to see how that gets implemented. If I could create a synth where every single 'photo' in the synth is actually a 360 degree pano, exported from ICE as a JPEG, then things could get very interesting as you have a seamless view from every vantage point as well as a point cloud to project the panos onto, so long as the panos were close enough to each other.

This conversation is also a slight variation on what you're talking about in that it gets into the desire for simply linking multiple panoramas toward the end and I bring up the ever elusive synth linking in relation to that. Creating the ability to navigate from panorama to panorama, whether that is in the fashion I mention in the previous paragraph, or whether each remains a separate page on the site, but are linked in the fashion that has been talked about for synths would enable people all over the world to shoot ultra high resolution street view for their own neighborhood if Bing hasn't made it to their town yet.

I don't know if you ever saw Blaise's second big TED talk from almost exactly a year ago now showing live video from a cell phone being mapped onto a Bing Streetside panorama, but there's a lot of possibilities there, for synths as well as panos. For me the real strength of Photosynths is to generate 3D structure of the contents of the photograph and while panoramas remain far simpler to navigate and extremely compelling in their seamlessness, I feel the future is photography draped over a depth map. As your request suggests, I feel that the issue should never be photosynths vs. panoramas, but rather panoramas are just one more special type of photograph which should be usable inside of Photosynth.
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Bob Buxton

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Thanks for the comments - I hadn't actually realised there was a forum as well as this community (a bit of duplication of effort) - a lot of reading and synth viewing to be done to catch up :-)
I did look at the Martello tower example you referenced in one post and that seems a perfect example of where integrating multiple panoramas and synths could be used to great effect
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Nathanael Lawrence

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ツ Yeah, this community|forum was from when Photosynth was freshly launched out of Live Labs and they had sunk all of their effort into creating Photosynth, rather than creating their website. Get Satisfaction provided a good turnkey way for them to gather feedback quickly.

The current Photosynth Forum was added in February of 2009 - about five months after Photosynth's launch, but keeps a pretty low profile due to the links to it being at the very bottom of the page. All of that said, it's not out of place to post here. The Photosynth guys are pretty good about responding to both forums.
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Nathanael Lawrence

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Also, no, there is no control over the slideshow speed, I am sorry to say. The closest solution that I can think of is to find a keyboard input program that you could tell to send either [Spacebar] or full stop [ . ] commands at a frequency of your choosing.
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Bob Buxton

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As usual Google already has exactly what I would like to produce
http://www.googleartproject.com/museu...

Obviously they are using their highly specialized streetview cameras and software but for those locations that are unlikely to get a visit from the Google team it should be possible for an amateur to put together something very similar using PhotoSynth.

With ICE we already have the ability to create 360 panoramas that are brilliant and with Synths we already have the ability to create walkthroughs and zoom in to high resolution images of details. What we are missing is the ability to combine the two technologies.
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Nathanael Lawrence

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Bob, have you used Google's Views project launched 2013 December 9?

I'd be interested in taking a look at some of your tours, if you've shot some.

I'm still pulling for Photosynth to allow me to link together multiple spherical panoramas and intermix them with ordinary photos, but although they have talked earlier this year about working on linked synths again, there's no visible results yet or concrete timeframe as to when we might see that launch.