Do you have an idea for an awesome feature we should add… or hate the way we’re currently doing something? Share your ideas and suggestions here.
I'd love to see one of the developers experiment with different ways of presenting the point-cloud.
For example: for every three points are within some given proximity, turn them into a triangle. Mesh the triangles and display them as a surface. Use vertex color blending on the triangle faces. In other words, present the point cloud as a colorized 3d solid surface.
For programmers out there, it would be neat to be able to download the point-clouds as an X/Y/Z coordinate array in XML or CSV. Who knows what someone could come up with.
Could you automatically extract textures from the limited photographs supplied to turn the point-cloud into a reasonably textured 3D model rather than just a somewhat-colourized one? Who knows. I'd love to see what someone could come up with given the data.
Fracture, you can rest assured that the Photosynth team is continually experimenting with variations of presentation within synths.
-Blaise shows off experimentation, projecting the photos in a synth onto the point cloud, rather than flat geometric planes: (13:55 onward for example):
2007 November 7th: http://en.sevenload.com/videos/xNyNIRTR-Blaise-Aguera-y-Arcas-Photosynth
-Blaise shows off experimentation, using stereo vision algorithms on photos after the initial position approximation is uploaded to generate *dense* point clouds. (49:00 - 51:00)
2009 May 22nd: http://www.calit2.net/events/popup.php?id=1564
(Original point cloud here: http://photosynth.net/d3d/photosynth.aspx?cid=fea8cfff-2c8c-4317-8cec-06169f1bd367 )
Re: point cloud -> polygonal mesh question, it's come up a number of times. I'll look up some links for you later tonight.
Re: downloading the point cloud in XML or CSV, I too wish it were that simple. There are hacks to do so.
Thanks for the excellent and detailed reply!
Fracture, if you haven't already found this elsewhere, I happened to bump into this topic again tonight and thought you'd like to know that one of our fellow synthers, Christoph Hausner, has build a pointcloud downloader which you can download here: http://pspcexporter.codeplex.com/
Also relevant to your interests are:
1) the ARC3D service, located here: http://www.arc3d.be/
2) research from the University of Washington where Photo Tourism was born:
3) the ability to apply this process to your own photo collections via the relatively new site run out of UW: PhotoCity. Uploading is temporarily shut down until 2010 April 30, and the process of getting started it a little more complex than Photosynth, but the beauty is that you can continue adding photos to a synth and growing it as you please, as well as seeing a dense model.