Forum : Advice & Critiques

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Topic: Download own photosynths

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Vitalious (7 months ago)
I took around seven photosynths of the camping site and uploaded it here. Now I want to download it, but there is no option. Even on the photosynth app, I sign in and go to my profile, I cannot save my synth to the camera roll.

I switched my phone from HTC 8x to Lumia 925, and didn't export them to camera roll, now I am kinda screwed.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the image in the camera roll just a flattened version of the panorama? If so, and assuming this is what you are trying to download, you'll soon be able to export your panoramas as Microsoft ICE projects and stitch a flat version by hand.
NateLawrence (7 months ago)
@Vitalious, technically those are panoramas rather than photosynths. The site hosts both, but currently the mobile apps only create and view panoramas.

::

@Christoph, 

Yes, the image in the camera roll is just the flattened projection of the panorama and yes that is what Vitalious (among others) are asking for.

In regards to your statement that, "...you'll soon be able to export your panoramas as Microsoft ICE projects and stitch a flat version by hand.", is this something that you're working on for SynthExport or something that you know that the Photosynth team has coming?

In either scenario, would this apply only to new panoramas or will it also apply to the existing panoramas such as those on Vitalious' profile page?
I am working on adding this functionality to SynthExport. v1 panoramas will be exported as six faces of the cubemap (or as ICE project), v2 synths (all four types) as a series of images (undistorted versions of the source images).
NateLawrence (7 months ago)
Thanks so much for giving of your time to benefit those of us who don't have the programming skills ourselves! 

I think that a lot of people who have been asking for the v1 panorama export support ever since the mobile apps first launched will be really happy.
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
Thanks again for all your work, Christoph. =)

A few thoughts: 
:: For photos from synths, I'd like to see the original metadata saved to the output photos which helps with sorting photos chronologically and passing on photo credit if the original photographer added their name to the Author field.

:: For a test panorama of mine ( http://bit.ly/orcappano3 ) I had to drop the focalLength setting in the ICE project to closer to 0.9980 before the seams between the cube faces disappeared. (They were visible still at 0.9985 but I haven't yet discovered the exact point that they disappear.)

:: Your table of exported data currently lists no point cloud exported from Wall synths, but I've downloaded several now. Panning synths should be the only Photosynth type without a point cloud.

:: I haven't tested many panos yet, but I do see that the one above is listed as 89.18 megapixels but the ICE project from SynthExport loads at 113+ megapixels. Perhaps from empty pixels?
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
:: Also, have you considered porting SynthExport to a Windows Store or Windows Phone app (or porting to Mac OSX, Android, or iOS using Xamarin's tools http://xamarin.com/ )?
Thanks for the feedback. Including metadata is something I may add in the future but it does not seem to be available for v2 synths, unfortenuately.

You're right that wall synths do indeed have point clouds. I have corrected it.

The difference in megapixels is because all black pixels from the cube map faces are included. I am not aware of any workaround.

For a port the UI would have to be reimplemented, the rest could be carried over, I guess. But I have not planned anything in that direction.
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
The other thing that I would request is a small change to the image naming system. 
:: If you could use a minimum of 4 digit numbering from the first image (i.e. start numbering at CID_image_0000.jpg/png ) that will save some pain in larger Photosynth 1 synths when sorting the output folder by filename.

:: Regarding metadata, I haven't honestly tried to download all the components of a synth to look at outside the viewer yet, but perhaps it's time for me to break out Fiddler or Wireshark. 

At a minimum, the photographer's(') name(s) should be preserved somewhere for display (I noticed last week that the selected photo license now displays in the lower left corner of the PS2 viewer) even if it's only in an XML or JSON file instead of the mid/low-res thumb.jpg like in PS1 images.

Likewise, the camera model must have been used at one point during radial undistortion, but the question is whether any of that is preserved in the synth's public files after that step.
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
I've only found this on one synth so far, I think, but while I was downloading Anne Archambault's motorbike example synths seen at http://photosynth.net/preview/about I found that the version of the Spin synth embedded there http://photosynth.net/view/b13b8360-33d5-45ea-99bd-0732eed027d0 lists 43 photos as being reconstructed and 43 photos are downloaded by SynthExport, however in the filenames exported and in SynthExport's photos tab, the photo numbering goes from 0 to 44 (meaning 45 photos in total) but is missing numbers 42 and 43.

Is this a case of the image numbers coming directly from Photosynth and what we're seeing is a synth where not all input images were used or is this something to do with how SynthExport is doing something?

If it is the former, then might it be possible to detect gaps in Photosynth's number sequence like this and ask for even the images which didn't make it into the primary reconstruction?
Good catch. The image indices are those from the servers, so yes, those are two images that probably didn't stitch. They still seem to be available to download, though, and could be included in the export.
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
Sounds good! ツ Unfortunately in some cases the excluded photos may all occur either before or after the last included image. That's not so easily detectable (at least in the 'after' scenario) unless there's some way you can poll for the total number of photos in a collection.

How do the image filenames exist in PS2 synths? 
I was under the impression that in PS1, each image had its own GUID. Is this no longer the case?

What I am actually wondering is whether there is any duplicate-image detection server side these days or if each image which is redundantly uploaded in PS2 remains redundantly stored. If the URLs of the same images in different synths/collections remain separate then I think that we can conclude that each synth's photos are stored independent of each other, but if the same image in different synths has different GUIDs then we can conclude that space is being wasted in PS2's storage.
NateLawrence (5 months ago)
I hate to keep bothering you, but regarding panoramas, how much work would it be to allow a user who primarily uses the mobile panorama apps to simply input their username and download every cube map stored on their account? (Perhaps you could filter panoramas by everything 12 megapixels or less?)

One of the big complaints is that each panorama needs to be exported to camera roll individually, so I'm looking for a way to beat that tedium for them for everything they've uploaded so far.
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