Thursday, August 21, 2008

Photosynth - 3D Photo Composition from Microsoft

Photosynth did not make the first lines of the yesterday Google Hot Trends (August 20, 2008); this search found itself on the modest 73 position. However, if it would not be for the Olympic Games heat, it would go much higher. Today, Microsoft has announced that Photosynth, its stunning three-dimensional photo display technology, has moved beyond the demonstration stage and is now available for photographers to process and upload their own pictures on the site.

What is Photosynth?

Photosynth is an entirely new visual medium. It analyzes a set of photos of a place or an object for similarities each other, and uses that data to estimate where a photo was taken and build a model of the subject. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos.

How does Photosynth work?

You make a bunch of digital photos of the same object. They might all have been taken by one person, or they might be a mixture of images from many different cameras, shooting conditions, dates, times of day, resolutions, and so on.

Each photo is processed by computer vision algorithms to extract hundreds of distinctive features, like the corner of a window frame or a door handle. Photos that share features are then linked together in a web. When the same feature is found in multiple images, its 3D position can be calculated. It’s similar to depth perception - what your brain does to perceive the 3D positions of things in your field of view based on their images in both of your eyes. Photosynth’s 3D model is just the cloud of points showing where those features are in space.

Your brain knows that your eyes are about two inches apart. But when Photosynth does its magic, it doesn’t know where the cameras were, or which way they were pointing. Fortunately, when there are many cameras, and many features in common, the algorithms behind Photosynth can figure out not only where the features are in 3D, but where all of the cameras would have to have been, and which way they were aimed, consistent with the features they "saw".

Is it Free?

Yes, it is!!! You can get not just online application for free, but also 20GB free storage to host your synths too.


Project supports only Windows XP (SP2 and SP3) and Windows Vista Operating Systems, and selective browsers as Internet Explorer and Firefox 2 or 3.

How will Photosynth help you?

“Next time you visit a museum and with an intention to blog about it in your photo blog, keep it mind that using this technology you can give more that just a hand full of photos to your readers. You can create stunning videos from that photos that can take your readers through an experience as if they were actually visiting the museum. Maybe this one will even change the concept about photo blogging," reports Daily Gyan.

Want to see presentation?

Photosynth - 3D Photo from Microsoft

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