Introduction to PhotoSynth
I am not joking when I used “Share and View Photos with a Different Point of View” for describing Microsoft Photosynth in the main title of the article. That’s because Photosynth (www.photosynth.net) really does that by creating 3D models of your photos and allows you share them in ways you wouldn’t have imagined before. First developed by an undergraduate at the University of Washington in 2006, the tech of Photosynth have been improvised and meshed with web browser technologies to allow us to create and view “Synths” anywhere we are.
Basically, this technology is possible with the use of pattern recognition and matching algorithms. Photos which are uploaded into the Photosynth server are compared to find identical points so that they can be merged together to form a single 3D model. This means the more images you place in your synth, the more detailed your 3D model becomes. Once the Synth has been uploaded, Microsoft will allow visitors to view the Synths using Microsoft Silverlight, a browser based plug-in which could be installed on most browsers available today.
By using Photosynth, you can now enjoy photos of famous landmarks such as Piazza San Pietro at Rome, San Marco at Venice, the Eiffel Tower and even our very own KLCC in Synth 3D glory. You may even create 3D shows for your collectibles like how I did for my toys.
Creating Your Own Synths
Like the idea of viewing Synths? How about creating one Synth of your own, upload it and start sharing your 3D Synths with your friends? Creating and uploading a Synth is really simple. The only pre-requisite for creating Photosynths is a Windows Live ID. Go get one for free if you don’t have it as every user is allotted with 20GB of space to create synths. Below are the steps that you may follow:
Step 1 – Download Photosynth Client Tool
Firstly, move your mouse over to http://photosynth.net/create.aspx to download the Photosynth client tool first. You should get a page as shown below:
Once you are here, just click on the “Create a Synth” button. If this is the first time you are creating Photosynth, you should be prompted to download a Photosynth client tool with the filename “PhotosynthInstall.exe”. The download is about 10MB in size, so be patient – it’s worth the wait! When you have finished installing the client tool, open it up and login using your Windows Live ID.
Step 2 – Select the images that you want to Synth
After you have successfully logged in, you may now add the images that you would like to synth. Do that by clicking on the “Start a new synth” button and add the photos that you would like to have in your Synth. Ensure that the images have some background or props in common so that the Photosynth server can mesh your pictures together.
You may then provide any tags or a description that you feel is necessary. Be sure to set the visibility of your synth too. Public will allow your pictures to be seen by anyone while Unlisted will only allow you to hide and share out the link of the synth only to those whom you allow. If you would like to set any one of the images to become the main photo to be displayed for your synth, just select one of the pictures and click on the ‘Use Selected Photo’ button.
Step 3 – Synth, have a Cup of Tea & Wait
Once you are done, click on the ‘Synth’ button, sip a cup of tea and wait for the photos to upload. The time to compile and upload will depend on the number and size of your images.
Upon completion, you should get a synthy percentage which represents how many photos were successfully synthed together. A percentage less than 100 would mean that some pictures were not successfully merged due to some possible differences in your shots.
To view your synth, just click on the view button and your web browser should open with your newly created synth. You may also add highlights to images and set several settings so that it will be easier for people to get around your synth by clicking on the ‘Edit Synth and Highlights’ button here.
Start Snapping and Happy Synthing!
That’s all it takes to create your very own Photosynth synth. Pretty simple isn’t it? Don’t stay there and wonder anymore, go create your synths now at www.photosynth.net and start sharing your creative synths!