Why not just take a video?

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  • Updated 10 years ago
Photosynth is pretty cool, but why not just take a video of where you're at? Almost every camera and phone have video mode. I don't get how this is different. Isn't this trying to replicate a video?
Photo of mahern4


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Posted 10 years ago

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Jonathan, Official Rep

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We're not trying to replicate video at all. We offer an alternative.

The big difference with Photosynth is that by using real full res photos, you can stop and inspect the imagery in much more detail and with more control than video.

Also, by extracting the points, we generate a 3D model of the synth. Try hitting control to turn off the photos - you'll see what I mean.
Photo of bitplane


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Because this is much cooler! With video you'd have compression artifacts at non-key frames which lose the textures. It would be theoretically possible to extract just the keyframes and make a synth from a video though.. When the system is back up I may just try this!
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A video is linear. This lets you explore an environment.
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Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Employee

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The replies are spot on. Keep in mind that even a $100 camera can get a beautiful 8 megapixels, which makes even HD look terrible (not to mention that if you downsample a video to web size, you're in the sub-megapixel range). And of course even more importantly, the ability to navigate nonlinearly in space instead of just moving a slider. Synths can let you experience an event in time, as for the rock climbing synths, and video can indeed give you a tour of a space, but video and synths are really very different media!
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Hello Blaise. Gret work by the way! I think video (especially HD) can be used for photosynth creation in quite a nice way. I am actually going to do some test today after work by taking an HD movie in progressive mode (full picture for every frame) and turn it into a bunch a individual picture still. As I walk with the HD cam in the scene I will record tens of thousands of pictures of the scene in the 3D space. Those 1000s of pictures can then be turned in a 100% synthy photosynth of the scene. The resolution shortcoming of HD camera (1920x1080) will be compensated by the shere number of pictures taken by it. I do not say that I will use every pictures frame as it would be computationally impossible right now... but I am sure some algorythm could be use to minimize the impact of each frames in the over all synth as they share so many commonalities. I started a topic on this here: http://getsatisfaction.com/livelabs/t...
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Mr Moon

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bmaltais, that is a bloody good idea! I was thinking of using my camera's auto-mode where it takes about 3 snaps a seccond, and walking around, but that is an even better idea.
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Nathanael Lawrence

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Mahern4, it's not there yet, but imagine a future where it is possible to organise every photo ever taken into its correct location in Virtual Earth, Google Earth, NASA World Winds, and all other digital globes. Photosynth is the first of a new sort of program that will make that possible.

Eventually, when the algorithms improve and processors are much more capable, Photosynth and its successors will even be capable of taking all the world's videos of real things (not claymation, animation, or other special effects videos, of course) and place them into correct 3D space.

That is what so phenomenal. Decades from now when computer vision has advanced and comprehensive databases have been constructed of precise architectural drawings of every make of vehicle, building, pieces of designer clothing, many consumer goods, as well as true biological models of animal and plant types, it may be possible to begin to reconstruct a virtual scene, replete with interactive objects, from a single photo.

Imagine exploring an old neighbourhood as it was in the past. Imagine being able to view every photo of you in your entire life placed into the correct place on earth (of course with privacy enabled per photo). Imagine being able to jump through any photo into virtual reality with photo realistic graphics that will make today's games like Crysis look like PacMan by comparison. This is the beginning of that. It is only part of the equation, but it is a part nonetheless. That is why it is more important than a video.