Forum : New Feature Suggestions/Requests

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Topic: Free-Roam: Creating More than a Panoramaic

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msett (Over 1 year ago)
Would it be possible for the program to stitch the photos together and allow you to walk around, more like a video game pe se? Right now, it's individual photographs and you can only look at what each picture sees. Would it be possible for the program to construct a 3D based environment WITH the pictures and have someone travel around it more freely, like a video game?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
That is the dream of computer vision, yes, and one that everyone working in that field is working towards but the amount of work that still needs to be done to accomplish this is absolutely huge.

The point cloud that you see in better synths are a step in this direction. One of the best examples is LostInTheTriangle's excellent "Martello Tower: Inside & Out" ( ).

For more on this here is some reccomended viewing:
1) (You'll need to view this one in Internet Explorer.)
2) and
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Here's one that actually shows one step further to what you're thinking of toward the end.
pope_luke (Over 1 year ago)
Holy... I had never seen that tower before. That synth is on the verge of something beautiful as far as I can tell. That's impressive.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I'll grant you that the current point clouds leave a lot to be desired (lots of holes missing in between the points) but once Photosynth starts using stereo vision algorithms to pump up the density and accuracy of the points this should start to be less of a problem. 

As far as walking around like a video game, though, check out the following keys in a nice point cloud:

[W] Move forward in the direction you're looking
[A] Strafe to the left while looking straight ahead
[S] Move backward opposite the direction you're looking
[D] Strafe to the right while looking straight ahead
[E] Rise up compared to the direction you are currently looking
[C] Sink down compared to the direction you are currently looking

[{] Look up
[L] Look left
[:] Look down
["] Look right

These keys are great fun if the point cloud is an excellent one although it is easy to tip yourself sideways if you're flying over something and trying to circle it. It's also 'floaty' since nothing is solid.
corinrules (Over 1 year ago)
thanks for the hot keys! that's great!
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
My pleasure. Everyone who views synths should know how to do this, in my opinion.

I also meant to post above, you should use the [P] key to toggle the photos off so that you just see the pointcloud before you go walking about. The three modes are:
1: Photos + Pointcloud (the default)
2: Pointcloud only
3: Photos only.

For the full set of keyboard commands, download the printable Photosynth Photography Guide available in both PDF and XPS formats here: 

The video on that same page has some useful tips as well, although it doesn't go into the free navigation controls that I remember.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
The 2 Photosynth viewers are a little different + both have strengths for viewing pointclouds.

Direct3D: The original viewer requires your computer's video card to be set up for 3D graphics but can render every single point in a synth all the time at your monitor's current resolution.

Silverlight: Newer viewer has a low maximum resolution for the pointcloud + can only draw a small fraction of the points while you're navigating. Once still, it generates a lo-res snapshot of the full pointcloud from your current position. Since every point is always drawn as one pixel large, no matter its distance from the screen, the lower res means fitting more points into fewer pixels meaning fewer pixels will be black. This has the interesting side effect of 'bigger' points when the low resolution points are stretched to fit the screen when you maximise the Silverlight viewer. You can also drag the points with the mouse and not always snap back to the last photo you viewed.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I just came across this discussion again tonight and should point out that the Photosynth website has been edited since I mentioned the Photosynth Photography Guide. It is now available in multiple languages here:

If you would like to donate a translation of the guide in your language, please read this discussion:

Back to the original topic of better reconstructions, please see this recent talk from Blaise:

Also look up Yasutaka Furukawa's work on dense reconstruction with his multi-view stereo program, PMVS2:
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