Topic: Moving in all 4 directions & linking synths

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atool (Over 1 year ago)
i really liked the feature where a person could move in left/right/front/back in a photosynth earlier like this one

Has this functionality been completely removed now that the new 4 methods have been introduced ? Can i created a synth with the 4 directional movement ?

Also, is there any way i can link the synths apart from hyperlinking ?

Please suggest.

PS: Im loving it !
What i made ?
im linking of how to link this ? Probably similar to Google Street view.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
@atool. Refer to my comment in one of your synths.

A forum topic on this is here

Please add your opinions.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, atool, 

There are generation 1 photosynths, which can still be created via the original Photosynth desktop application for Windows, available from

Original photosynths still allow you the freedom to put as many photos as you can fit into a single photosynth.


Generation 2 photosynths, created by the Technical Preview, (the Spin, Walk, Wall, and Pan synth types) have all been simplified to a single line or loop of photos and can only contain a maximum of 200 photos in each synth.

This was primarily to simplify navigation of synths, especially on touch screens.


These limits in Photosynth 2 take away a lot of the freedom that we had in Photosynth 1 to link multiple spins, walks, pans, and walls (and whatever else you could come up with) into one synth and so the Photosynth team has been thinking a lot again recently about linking synths together online but have not yet shipped a proper synth linking feature.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
As Joscelin points out, the recent update to the Technical Preview on June 10th added the Highlights feature to the Photosynth 2 viewer and allowed us to put hyperlinks into Highlight descriptions, although this is pretty rough and not the team's final goal.


Before he left Microsoft last December, former Photosynth architect Blaise gave a couple of public talks on Photosynth 2.
2013 06 11: Blaise talked at TED Global 2013: Blog post: | Video: and said:
"When we think about our broader ambition to take these individual pieces of social media and start to stitch them together into something collective, we believe that these continua of images are the right building blocks to use to do that. And you can sort of see that in these three dimensional reconstructions. This is a good part of the top of the castle in 3D from that particular walk."
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Kate Torgovnick May, writing for TED, included this note in her interview with Blaise and summary of that talk: 
"...his team imagines that, down the road, synths could be linked together to form a spiderweb of 3D spaces, snapping together like Lego blocks."


2013 11 23: Blaise spoke at a David Hockney show and toward the end of his talk said: 
"And of course the next step is to take these swoops - these manifolds of camera positions and start to interconnect them in order to create something that's not single surfaces but, you know - to extend the railroad metaphor, railroads that begin to cross and interconnect and form a web."
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
On the Tech Preview's Help page under 'How many photos can I process into a single synth?' we read: 
"You must use at least three photos and can use no more than 200. If you've captured an amazing 1,000-photo journey along a trail, you'll have to make five separate walk synths from this. We're hoping to allow you to link these together into a connected experience for your viewers in a future update."


Some months ago when someone requested being able to take a video tour through synths in various rooms in a house 
Photosynth manager David Gedye said in his reply, "Even better than that would be connected synths, right?".
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Later, Joscelin sliced a Photosynth 1 synth into Photosynth 2 synths

David replied:
"Do you have "walks" that connect your panos in the dense areas? 
I ask because our work on connected synths is progressing, and using walks as connectors between panos, spins, and walls seems like a really natural way for people to capture a place."

"I wish I had these "walks" you ask for. With the knowledge I have today, I would have shot differently. ...
I am interested to engage in such an experiment. But, I suggest you to post an open request for material with instructions. Surely many of us would like to help out."

"I'll do just that when we've got some instructions on best practices for shooting synths that are intended to be connected. I don't want people to spend hours shooting and end up with something that doesn't work well because our model was slightly different than what you were expecting. Hold tight for a little while!"
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
In a feature request for an icon showing that a synth had been geotagged when viewing a list of synths (similar to the icon displayed on profile and explore pages on the Photosynth 1 website) the Photosynth team wrote back: 
"Good idea, and well timed as we're doing the design work to properly introduce geo into the new (preview) design."


And most recently in the forum discussion that Joscelin linked to above, Anne on the Photosynth team replied: 
"The use of Highlights to enable jumping between synths is something we wanted to be possible -- but that we did not optimize for in this release.  This scenario is something we're thinking about and we'd love to see some of the example you refer to to help us better understand how users would want to link synths.  Thanks!"
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Basically, the Photosynth team is working on connected or linked synths but hasn't released anything yet.


For some more thoughts surrounding moving beyond what the Photosynth team calls the "1-dimensional navigation" currently found in Photosynth 2 (Technical Preview) photosynths, see:

The Photosynth team's comments in this thread on bad reconstructions:
"Until we have 2-dimensional navigation (as opposed to the 1D nav we currently have in the new technology)we're going to get bad experiences out of this kind of shooting.
This is the common scenario of a "2D wall", which we do not yet support. The photographer has gone back and forth, covering the group in the hope of getting a full reconstruction. We actually DID do a full reconstruction in the backend, but as you know our viewing path is only a single curve, and tries to follow the shooting order …Bottom line is that for this kind of input, the old Photosynth is much better."
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
You aren't alone in asking for more freedom in shooting Photosynth 2 photosynths, though.

Laura Foy, when showed spins back in February of 2011 immediately asked: 
Laura: "Now, I've noticed that it just goes left to right. Can you also have it go up and down?"

Johannes Kopf: Yeah, so we're working on that right now. In this demo we can't. 
Right now it's always just a ring around the object, but we're working on enabling going up and down as well.


On the first day of the Photosynth 2 Tech Preview being public, Photosynth put up a blog post: and 'John' commented: 
"What about height?  For building a fly around we need an "igloo" type coverage with shots from above..."


I know that I (and others I may be forgetting) have also asked for multiple rows/columns in spin synths, but it is definitely more complex than a single row/column.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
People have asked for multiple rows + columns in panning synths too: 
(Joscelin and I talk about some of the challenges of opening up synths to two or more dimensions of movement here.)


For more musings from Joscelin and I on navigation control needs when dealing with connected or linked synths, see:

Another related idea: Photosynth 2 playlists:
chrysler (Over 1 year ago)
Nate, I admire your diligence and motivation to help newcomers out on the forums and collect useful snippets of information, I think we all appreciate that. But given that you enjoy writing lengthy posts wouldn't it be easier to gather all that in a wiki that could be linked to by you and others? That would make parsing the forums easier since information is not redundantly spread over lots of threads, a wiki is updateable, allows formatting, let's users find information via search engines easier, etc. I could see a big potential there.
chrysler (Over 1 year ago)
Simply questions like the one in this thread could be answered in one post, and if they'd like to know more about the history/background of photosynth, they can read about it in the wiki.
atool (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks Nate consolidating all the information and Joscelin for the reference! I had already seen the jumping through highlights option before posting this thread. Thanks for sending the link to the 1st version. I'll try it.

I am studying Design for Digital Experience from National Institute of Design, India. I am creating a project where people can have an interactive experience with heritage sites. Therefore, this feature was crucial for my project.

I would like to work/contribute to the development/design of photosynth. Is that possible ?? Its going to be a fantastic tool for an engaging user experience.

NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Christoph, apologies for whatever cluttering I'm guilty of. 
I've considered building my own mirror of Photosynth-related text and tagging + categorizing it for linking to but need to give some more thought to objectives + tools.


Atul, this forum for Photosynth 2's Technical Preview is all about feature requests/feedback which would make PS2 more useful to the majority of users as well as reporting bugs and pain points. 

I can say that I've seen multiple people's reported bugs fixed and requested features added to the Technical Preview over the past 202 days of its public release, but at this point it remains the Photosynth team's prerogative as to when they reply to us or how they prioritize our requests. 

If any of the programmers in Photosynth's userbase have contributed code, I haven't seen that posted on the forum (although it may have been done via email or the Github account of one of Photosynth's components ).
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
@atool. I share your interest in promoting (UNESCO World) Heritage sites. The city Trinidad in Cuba and nearby Valle de los Ingenios is such a site. NateLawrence refers above at , my synth project of Plaza Mayor in Trinidad.

You will find reference on how to get in touch with me on my Photosynth v1 profile.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
@atool. In reference to your question in the commentary in your 2nd synth reference. No, I do not know anything about Ps API's and I do not want to, but Nate is probably able to guide you there. On navigating in 4 directions, I feel Nate's above recap of things is an answer to your question on current possibilities.

I am curious to what kind of interactive experience(s) you are referring in the above. What are your exact expectations of what should be the experience?
atool (Over 1 year ago)
I am trying to make a interactions similar to the link below.

It'll be great if someone can help me out.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
@atool. It was interesting to see your example for its content. I myself am not familiar with the type of tools with which this has been made. It was good to see how Photosynth 1 is used. I feel there is great potential for story telling tools in general. I hope someone else here can be of better help than I can be. I too am interested to see what comes up on this.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
I find this Microsoft stuff very interesting

@Ann and Team, are you aware of this? What is current vision on this?

E.g. Click on a Point Of Interest on Bing Maps and a documentary launches, including Photosynths?
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Microsoft Research India originally shared the RIN project officially on the Photosynth forum here:

If you'd like to watch a presentation that Joseph Joy gave about RIN on 2011 April 14 at Microsoft's MIX '11 conference (after Eric Stollnitz gave a shorter talk on the Spin project that became Photosynth 2) skip to the 15:15 mark in this video:
Channel 9:
YouTube mirror:

Joseph Joy's Photosynth profile:
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
For comparison, Google stuff.

Looks like generic tools are in conception phase.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks Nate for the references. It was interesting to watch them.