Get all your questions answered about our latest Photosynth Technical Preview.
I mean no disrespect everyone, but what is the advantage here? I am trying to grasp why someone would want this over just using video and a cheap steadicam device. I can only gather that this solution allows the user to stop the motion and view on their own in better than full HD resolution? Help me understand. Thanks!
You may find this ancient discussion to be of some help in understanding the differences: https://getsatisfaction.com/livelabs/topics/why_not_just_take_a_video
The biggest difference is that Photosynth recovers 3D geometry and 3D camera positions and presents the user with an interactive way to explore the scene, and (as you point out) load better resolution stills than HD video can provide.
I am assuming that you have used the preview on a computer with WebGL support, since you mentioned stopping the motion and viewing the full resolution of the input photos.
The reality is that the interactive synth (not the video preview on non-WebGL devices) allows the user to scrub the scene back and forth in a way that video which has been compressed for one way playback on the web simply can't compete with.
I'll be the first to admit that I like the artifact-free nature of video compared to the imperfect low-polygon models from the new tech preview and that I'd like to see the Tech Preview expand beyond the 200 photo limit back toward no less than we have with the original Photosynth desktop application and Direct3D viewer.
Exactly what Photosynth does has changed somewhat between 2008 and 2013 and the new Tech Preview presents a less dense point cloud and is much more confined in terms of what sort of a path you can take through a scene (in order to simplify navigation), so your question is fair, since the new synths are all very linear ("less general" or "1D navigation" as the Photosynth team would describe them) compared to original photosynths.
The original Photosynth application could be used as a rough 3D scanner, whereas the new Tech Preview is less useful in that regard, though Photosynth has always been geared toward presenting photos more than models.
I'm curious if you've discovered how to look at the overhead map yet (use the [M] key in a new synth) or the camera positions (use the [C] key in a new synth).
If you'd like to see the very sparse point cloud that Photosynth has reconstructed as well, type 42 into the viewer and check the option for point cloud.
The camera positions in the context of the point cloud is one of my favorite visualizations from any version of Photosynth.
Watch these videos if you haven't yet, as the Photosynth team explains their thoughts on the Tech Preview there, which may stimulate more or more pointed questions from you.
http://bit.ly/photosynth2demo | http://bit.ly/photosynth2teddemo
Beyond that, I'd like to hear the Photosynth team speak for themselves as far as what they see themselves bringing to the table which video doesn't afford.
One more video which I only discovered overnight had already been uploaded is this http://bit.ly/photosynth2pcpdemo