Nathanael

I'm a 33 year old technology enthusiast from Papua New Guinea, currently living in Salem, Oregon.

I've been a fan of Photosynth ever since I read about it on Bill Crow's HDPhoto blog and watched Blaise Agüera y Arcas' famous presentation from TED 2007.

My interests in the applications of Photosynths are many: from next generation image and video editing and restoration to 3D modeling of the real world.

Much of my time is spent trying to further understand the technical workings of Photosynth, in what directions it intends to grow in the immediate future, discovering the most efficient and elegant methods of capturing descriptive and accurate pointclouds, and using that knowledge to teach others where they can improve their results most quickly.

Mail: natelawrence@live.com


Crossroads Church: Post Concert Photosynth 01: Guitar Spin
Crossroads Church: Post Concert Photosynth 01: Guitar Spin
Nathanael (4 weeks ago)
This is the guitar that Steve Green @stevegreenTN played at his first concert of 2014 in Portland Oregon.

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Oregon Capitol Building Interior 2014: Pano 001
Oregon Capitol Building Interior 2014: Pano 001
Nathanael (6 weeks ago)
Thanks for the kind words. =) Note that there is a difference between a normal tripod head and one designed for taking panoramas. Normal tripod heads rotate the entire camera around the center of the camera. This means that the lens of the camera will almost certainly move several centimeters in space from one side of the tripod to the other. This is what happened in this panorama. I need to purchase something like a Nodal Ninja panoramic tripod head which will rotate the camera around the entrance pupil of the camera's lens. I asked GigaView from here on the site about what panoramic heads were affordable here: https://twitter.com/GigaView360/status/435826894185844736

Karishash (7 weeks ago)
This is amazing. I only have the IPhone to do the captures - and the resolution I get is not good. I will try with interiors, though, to see what I get. Thanks for all your help!!

Nathanael (1 month ago)
I just can't stand the parallax artifacts! I desperately need to acquire a panoramic tripod head.

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Olympics with the Fam 2
Olympics with the Fam 2
Karishash (7 weeks ago)
But I agree... this one is much better ;)

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Olympics with the Fam
Olympics with the Fam
Karishash (7 weeks ago)
Not that bad! :)

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Firehouse Subs 05: Panoramic View
Firehouse Subs 05: Panoramic View
Karishash (7 weeks ago)
Gorgeous!!!

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W.O.W. Hall: Exterior
W.O.W. Hall: Exterior
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Jeff! Sorry to have missed your comment! This was produced simply with ordinary orbits for the most part. All shots in this synth are original resolution - no cropping involved. Although cropping a photo into bite sized pieces does allow the synther to find more image features, I find having all the crops in the synth really unsatisfactory for photo viewing purposes.

jtuhtan (Over 1 year ago)
Nathanael, Are you still using the 1.5 megapixel cropping technique to get such rich point densities? Thanks! Jeff

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Deep Wood House: Greenhouse
Deep Wood House: Greenhouse
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hey, thanks! Here are a couple of other cactus related synths that I have admired in the past: 'Cactus' by G--MAN http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a8198c1d-f9ed-4492-b21c-8455af85d86c 'Cactus Final...' by Anarchy0929 http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a01984ff-8b74-461d-875f-09dcf1c2b8dc '...Cactus House' by JetCityOrange http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=e03bfef6-2c2b-4dbc-845c-c15829ae32c4

ikjoyce (Over 1 year ago)
Wow- that's impressive! Can almost feel the spines on the cacti!

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596
596
LA1CNA (Over 1 year ago)
Nice 360 pano.

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W.O.W. Hall: Panorama 1
W.O.W. Hall: Panorama 1
Sergey_Pautov (Over 1 year ago)
Wou! Nice! I see - you are an expert in panoram's projects. and i have some problems with it. The ICE doesn't want to publish.. could you help me? You can find on Windows Live.

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Geology Case (Incomplete)
Geology Case (Incomplete)
mcvulcain (Over 1 year ago)
Incomplete, i don't know why ! Very nice.

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OHS: 1296 Tiles Alone
OHS: 1296 Tiles Alone
mcvulcain (Over 1 year ago)
I hope you laught :-) You use very well photosynth. And i like your experiment, and more classical too.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Ha! McVulcain, you make me laugh. Being able to view the point cloud from angles that are impossible in real life (underground) or simply that it would be difficult to achieve in real life (aerial) is one of my favourite parts of Photosynth. I hope you'll look around a few of my other synths. This was more of an experiment.

mcvulcain (Over 1 year ago)
and it's possible to see it "under earth"... glups !

mcvulcain (Over 1 year ago)
Wow, very strange idea, but i like this !

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Compare this reconstruction to the original, located at this address: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=df4722d5-e640-42c3-b8bb-4338ac62acdb While this version is certainly more dense, it is also less clean than the original, I suspect, due to alignment errors, due to not having enough RAM to match the originals into this model.

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Charles and Waltraut's Hospitality
Charles and Waltraut's Hospitality
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
iPhone users, you can download the free iSynth app to view this synth.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
After you click somewhere inside the synth, you can use the [P] key to toggle between Photos Only, Photos + Point Cloud, + Point Cloud Only. Please do try the point cloud as it is one of my favorite parts about Photosynth. While you're at it, try out Overhead View, by pressing the [T] key. Once you're above the table, you can click anywhere on the point cloud to swoop down to the position that a photo of that spot was taken. If you'd rather view these photos like a normal album, you can try out 2D view by using the [~] key. All of these photos are 10 megapixels, so feel free to zoom in to the little details. If you'd like to try a synth like this, everything you need to make it is free, except your own digital camera. To make a synth like this one, just set a few things out on a table and take photos all the way around them: let's say about 24 evenly spaced photos per object just ot be safe. If you want more detail, just get closer + keep in focus.

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The Face of the Capital
The Face of the Capital
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks, Joscelin. These shots were done as an aside when I was shooting the statue on the right hand side of the capitol building (this synth: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=14c0dc04-bb9a-47c4-acba-05103c8604ce ). My paths weren't as clean as I would have liked, but the link structure did at least work as I planned. I like that even from some of the wider shots I can still get quads for the golden coloured reliefs over the doorways.

OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
Nathanael, I like this demonstration on an aproach to synth a building.

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Did  You  Know?
Did You Know?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Possible, but I remember Paul Harvey pretty well. What I'm remembering, I'm slightly ashamed to say, was (I now recall) on Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40, although who knows if he was sampling something or recorded it in studio.

SynthAssist.com (Over 1 year ago)
I'm not positive, but I'm guessing you were remembering Paul Harvey...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rest_of_the_Story

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
:) I have this radio voiceover in my head saying, "Now You Know!" but I have no idea where I've heard it.

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
I did not know that. ;)

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Salem Capitol Lobby (Very Rough Draft)
Salem Capitol Lobby (Very Rough Draft)
sgalagan (Over 1 year ago)
This is amazing! Overhead view is fantastic! Good work! thx

Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
As a side note: others have said it elsewhere, but it's quite true and very funny that when shooting a synth like this you get some very inquisitive looks from your fellow human beings. People just don't know what to make of it or what can have come over you, especially if you're hurrying. Four brave souls had the courage to approach me and ask me exactly why I was taking so many pictures and I happily gave them as brief an explanation as I thought they were after. Happily none of them were giving off an air of disapproval and|or attired in official looking security uniforms.

Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
The dome was a gamble, for sure. I had shot very nearly everything else at that point, if I'm remembering correctly, and felt like I should probably take it easy on any further shots inside this central lobby, but as soon as I saw the reconstruction, I wished that I'd taken more. I had some real doubt that Photosynth would be able to track it as it is largely symmetrical, but it did very well with what I gave it. I'll certainly have to take more care to connect all four corners to the dome next time. Overhead view is very handy (especially for navigating quickly to a particular area), but for my more adventurous viewers, turning the photos off in the Direct3D viewer (use the [P] key) and using the [W] [A] [S] [D] keys to move around and [{] [L] [:] ["] keys to look around is hard to beat, as long as your video card has the right stuff. You can use keyboard controls in the Silverlight viewer too, but it's not as fast + it turns off 1/2 the points while you move.

Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Hey there! Thanks for the avid exploration and exclamation. I totally relate to the feeling of, "...there are *not enough* pictures in this synth."... as you may well imagine. =) The great thing about this building is that it is pretty nearly completely panelled in marble, giving each part a unique texture which the synther can quickly learn. The difficulty is that all light sources are reflected in the marble. There's definitely part of me that looks at how densely the floor reconstructs when I barely glanced over it (like around the couches) and thinks to itself, "Hmm. Look at how easy it would be to build the entire floor and steps.". The enemy there is naturally the RAM limit. The best computer that I have at my disposal only has 4GB of RAM, running 64bit Windows 7. I'm also curious to see what I would get if I shot only photos completely perpendicular to the walls except perhaps one orbit per corner.

michaeldenis (Over 1 year ago)
In any case, good work! Thanks for creating such an extensive synth! (The Captial Dome really blew me away)

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The Beaver Grove Sign
The Beaver Grove Sign
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
One last note: if you're keen on pointclouds of natural objects, check out my Orbital Propulsion (Gravity Assist) synth here: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=5f415186-f783-43a2-bd5f-92aa3a9603df I had been kicking around the theory that shooting orbits as the primary pattern of photography would most efficiently yield the greatest returns in terms of pointcloud reconstruction for some time at that point but had yet to make myself actually walk outside and find something worthy to shoot. The results that morning were most definitely a turning point for me and, although I was not nearly methodical enough in my circling of each bloom, it hung together. The results of taking my time and using a tripod to shoot would, I think, greatly increase the clarity of each flower. The stems are another problem altogether, simply because they are so small, but it's probably one of my biggest pointclouds.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
For more notes on all of the memory constraints from the Photosynth team themselves, read the comments in the first, third, and fourth of the four links posted under Nathanael.Lawrence in gavindjharper's "Biggest Synth Possible" thread in the forum.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
As to the RAM limitation, the synther is a 32-bit application, so there is a finite amount of RAM that it can address. To be perfectly honest, it is unclear to me whether running a 32bit application in a 64bit operating system changes anything, but a 64bit OS certainly can address more memory per application than a 32bit OS. Certainly it does not give us the benefits of an actual 64bit synther. In any case, if a user's amount of RAM is below the maximum amount that the synther is capable of utilising (taking into consideration the fact that Windows itself and whatever mandatory background services needed will be running alongside the synther, each requiring their own RAM), then they are constrained by their own hardware. If, on the other hand, your amount of RAM is significantly greater than a 32bit synther can address, then your synths are being constrained by the fact that the synther is 32bit instead of 64bit.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi. Is it alright for me to just call you Michael? In this particular case I was nowhere near the RAM limit. I was out for a walk with my family and one of my brothers had to be at work soon, with the rest of us heading back to my parents' place to visit with my other brother who was in town for the weekend, so it was a time limit more than anything else. I would have loved to tackle those upper branches on the sapling here to really complete the basics of this synth. The takeaway lesson is very simply that the resolution of the pointcloud (just like the resolution of the input photos) depends fully upon how much texture you fill your lens' frame with. I completely agree that being able to focus on a single individual object at a time and depending on synth linking is the way of the future.

michaeldenis (Over 1 year ago)
hey Nathanael "Prince of Point Cloud (and PS.net Forums)" and SynthAssist.com, Impressive, impressive work.. Your point cloud here must be among the most dense that we've seen for real world objects (other than rocks). Like you say, though, the RAM limitation is a pain, I imagine that you'd have liked to go in *another* level of detail, but were held back by this limit. Nathanael, do you know if the RAM limitation is on the user's end or on the Photosynth.net's synth tool's end? Is this limitation within or outside of our control? Good work, by the way, I just jumped over here from your Capital synth. It's interesting to contrast the differences between an area where the lens can command almost complete control of the perspective, as in this synth, to where the lens must move within the synth, as in your Capital synth. [notes "Synch Linking" as a holy grail]

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Just a little sip...
Just a little sip...
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Muchas gracias, mio amico. =) This is one of my favourite small synths. I've tried my hand at larger ones as well, if you'd like to take a look. Sadly this little creature disappeared on November 20 2009, almost exactly two weeks after this synth was made. It rained long and hard that afternoon and evening but she never met me to be fed. I went walking up and down all the streets around my part of town several nights and afternoons over the next week calling and looking for her body in case she had been hit by a car, but I never saw another trace of her.

gello (Over 1 year ago)
The effect reminds me of the multiple viewpoints in Picasso's cubist work. Good job,Nathanael!

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Orbital Propulsion (Gravity Assist)
Orbital Propulsion (Gravity Assist)
jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
Beautifully surreal. I had to think of something else to write other than "wow!" and the words do fit. You did a great job with the transitions. Before viewing, I wondered what Orbital Propulsion had to do with flowers on the side of a street. Excellent choice for a title. I didn't realize how detailed the point cloud could be. I see now after viewing this, that I have to slow down my "orbital propulsion" a bit.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

Schn828 (Over 1 year ago)
Awesome!

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Great synth Nathanael. Some highlights might help people explore around some of of the great detail shots.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks so much. I do have to credit my camera for most of that, though.

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Obligatory Hydrant Synth
Obligatory Hydrant Synth
jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for pointing me to some of you inspirational synthers. I have checked them out and have added them as favorites. I already had some of Edlee's favorited. I love his synths,and especially love his GO game synths (as obviously does everyone else). Madeeds is also there because of his vividly colorful photograhs and of course his dog elmo. TonyErnst's Curiosity Table... to name a few. Long story short, they are all beautifully done. And I know that I will find many more existing and future favorites. That's where you come in Natanael... (future synths). I can see where you are heading with your synths. Experimenting, improvising, looking for ways to improve and I think that you are one of Photosynth's biggest cheerleaders. Keep doing what you're doing, it is appreciated. P.S. When I wrote "130 photos" in these comments, I meant that I thought you had taken many more pics to get such an amazing synth. Keep on synthin' and TGIS (LOL)

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
People who really inspired/challenged me to take my synthing to another level early on are Lily, Ultrasound, EdLee, and LostInTheTriangle, among many others. In many ways so many of my synths are big sloppy experiments that never quite make it to 'polished' status, though they have the potential, so I definitely still have heaps to learn in terms of actual photography (composition, understanding my camera's settings to get beautiful exposures, etc.), taking photos specifically for easy navigation, and discovering not merely effective methods of generating impressive pointclouds, but efficient and elegant paths. By all rights I should be doing much more with description and highlights as well as they add so much to the experience. I think I could probably take lessons from you in that regard. You always spin a fascinating tale to accompany your imagery and it definitely adds to the experience. Cheers!

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
No worries. =) I happened to have shot this on a relatively cold morning and stayed out only long enough to make a crude orbit at a few different angles and heights. 130 photos sounds like a lot but it only took me nine minutes (mostly just waiting for the camera's automatic focus to catch up with my constantly shifting position) and then I was off like a flash to get back to warmer environs. If you want a great pointcloud, lots of photos is fairly much necessary at this stage of Photosynth's life, but as others have pointed out, as far as viewing the photos or making an experience which is easily navigable, lots of photos doesn't necessarily mean a better synth. I also have managed (on my Deep Wood House's South Lawn synth) to take too much coverage of one portion of the scene for the current 32-Bit synther to handle in Scene Reconstruction, so it is possible to take that approach too far. I'll let you discover where that boundary lies for yourself, though.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
I just noticed only 130 photos! Wow ... I've got to rethink my approach. A real eye-opening day today. Thank you Nathanael.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
You almost managed to point cloud individual blades of grass. Nice job.

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Deep Wood House's South Lawn (Odds Half)
Deep Wood House's South Lawn (Odds Half)
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I'm honoured to make the cut, Jim. If any of your kids has an iPhone, you should download the free iSynth Photosynth viewer for it. If you get the chance, check out Orbit Mode, as it adds a little twist on viewing synths you already know well. The free Seadragon Mobile app is also very cool as an image browser. It's not at all 3D and there's no point cloud, but it does much better on zooming down to the last detail of every image in a synth. Although iSynth is cool, it doesn't do such a great job of letting you zoom all the way in on an image. Put the two together, though, and you have the entire experience.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
I've got to stick around longer in synth collections like yours. How did I miss this one ? You did a beautiful job (as usual) on this one. I mentioned to CharlPe that my second eldest son is coming down for the holidays. And my son is one of many people I have told about Photosynth. He, like everyone else, has not even attempted to check out this site. So, when he arrives, I plan to set him in front of my computer and force him to look at some of the amazing synths. I also mentioned to Charlpe, that within my "favorites" are synths which I know have that undeniable jaw-dropping effect. Among other's, and Charlpe's synths, yours will definitely be some of the very first synths I will show him. Hopefully, after seeing these synths, he might decide to take up synthing. I just thought I'd pass this on to you. I also have a younger daughter and older son I plan on "ambushing" in the same manner. My wife?... She hates computers. My dog? well you know... LOL

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks! It's a work in progress. =] I really wish I could just get the entire set in one synth. That's the kind of density that I want to see.

gfxblit (Over 1 year ago)
Hey Nathanael. great synth! I'm looking at the overhead and it's really quite dense. I love the coverage that you got here. It also points to some possible improvements with the overhead view when we have a dense point cloud. very coool! i'm fav'ing this.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
If you're curious to see how the evens stack up, click here: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=3868e95d-6a62-422e-9d55-105a58b63cf5 The main drawback is that, in that case, the sundial managed to escape the rest of the pointcloud even though it shares the same 'synthy' score.

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Our Time Is Over, Old Friend
Our Time Is Over, Old Friend
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Aye, Jim, will do.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for the cool info. Much appreciated. P.S. If you comment to me again, just type Jim instead of Jimcseke. Have a great day!

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Jimcseke, Thanks for commenting. As to your questions I shoot a Nikon D60 (only 10 megapixels - 3872 x 2592) and, no, I wasn't carrying a tripod for this synth. A useful tool to see what resolution people's photos were originally is Fiddler, available here: http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2/version.asp Once you have it installed and it is monitoring your HTML traffic, visit the Direct3D viewer of any synth and watch for the deep zoom collection file (it ends with .dzc). Highlight it in Fiddler and you'll see a list of the deep zoom image (.dzi) format images in the synth, how large the image tiles are, and the total resolution of each image. One interesting use for the dzi addresses is to use them with this page: http://livelabs.com/seadragon-ajax/embed-viewer/ which gives you a code snippet to paste into another page which will allow anyone to view that single image from the synth and zoom in and out of it without ever needing to install Silverlight.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
Quick questions. Did you use a tripod this shoot? If it's not too personal, what brand and model of camera are you using here? I'm thinking of upgrading from my small digital, even though it takes great photos. Canon 780is 12.1 mp.

jimcseke (Over 1 year ago)
Just found this synth. Amazing. The pointcloud, obviously is very, very cool. Synths like this inspire me. Thank-you

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Camp Tadmor: The Forum (Attempt 1)
Camp Tadmor: The Forum (Attempt 1)
Shail (Over 1 year ago)
1519 photos ..wow

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The Colors of Passion and Tenderness
The Colors of Passion and Tenderness
eah (Over 1 year ago)
stunning

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
That's a mighty colorful point cloud ;)

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Da Tung & Xi'an Bao Bao
Da Tung & Xi'an Bao Bao
s_p_s (Over 1 year ago)
I like this one, its really well done ! Great Job

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The Cathedral Tree
The Cathedral Tree
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Flickr to the rescue. :) Thanks for the encouragement.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
A bit of a case of "Can't see the Cathedral Tree for the forest" when seen from above, I'm afraid. I'll run another search, though.

David-Photosynth-Team (Over 1 year ago)
Glorious. Please give a a geotag, mate!

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What are the odds
What are the odds
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
If anyone has any photos of Numonohi, I'm going to be building an archive of photography spanning its history and I'd love to have your photos to add to the mix. I prefer the highest quality possible, so in the case of very high resolution scans of prints, negatives, or slides, I may need to make arrangements with you to ship me the images on CD or DVD. Please email me at nathanael.lawrence@live.com if you have any photos or video to contribute. I certainly want to attribute all contributers and it should be noted that the aerial shots above were taken by Donnell Trostrud and many of the other shots by various members of the Journalism classes of 1999 and 2000. Thanks in advance, Nate

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Transient (Life and Death)
Transient (Life and Death)
dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Point cloud looks like a nice colorful painting.

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Monumental
Monumental
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for the jab in the ribs. :) Unfortunately not much thought went into framing the photos for composition. A second visit to the monument may be in order to get some decent details of the Oregon trail reliefs etc. for highlighting.

dariusmonsef (Over 1 year ago)
Very cool. You should add some highlights to the back of the statue... took me a little while to figure out how to navigate back there.

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Silver Creek Falls In The Last Of October
Silver Creek Falls In The Last Of October
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks so much! I really wish that the points in the tunnel bit had been more dense, but there weren't too many errors in the point cloud overall so I was reasonably happy with it. I'll have to try to get more of the basin the next time I visit.

TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Love the point cloud! Great job

stschoener (Over 1 year ago)
This worked out so well! Great complex synth. Love the point-cloud!

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An Early Test For The Rooftop
An Early Test For The Rooftop
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hey, thanks! It didn't make the point cloud that I hoped it would but whenever we get to the point of synthing satellite and aerial imagery from Live Maps, my house should light right up. :)

willyd7453 (Over 1 year ago)
hey, poro. that's nifty. well done

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Buzz
Buzz
Pano08 (Over 1 year ago)
Well done, it's one of my favorites. Look at Pano08 "My Favorites" to find easyly interesting synths.

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Ignition
Ignition
Ultrasound (Over 1 year ago)
and look at the other "mermaid" synths. Thy have not a good result because they have water in the background (no defined link is possibly) and the "mermaid" have no different pattern and a lot of reflections....

Ultrasound (Over 1 year ago)
Very nice tree. I have an explanation for the difficulty in synthing the leaves: - all leaves are nearly of the same color and have no different pattern. - it´s a sunny day and there are a lot of reflections on the leaves. - photosynth associates patterns in the foreground or (the background) with your tree. In this case the sky offers no different patterns so photosynth can´t make clear defined links between the sky and the leaves. Try to put something with a different pattern in the foreground - or try to synth a tree in a Vally (without sky or water in the background). Look at my synt "mermaid": this two stones have a different pattern and the point cloud is nearly perfect.

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