Forum : Technical Preview

Get all your questions answered about our latest Photosynth Technical Preview.

Topic: June 10, 2014 release

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Hey Team, happy to stumble upon your release while synthing. New stuf... learning time ;-). Thanks.
I love the Explore Mapped Synths.
Nathanael (11 months ago)
Huzzah! News!

Here's the official blog post friends:

And the most prominent new page of the new site to check out:
I love the My Mapped Synths view too. May be an issue when zooming in on the map; nothing shows where synths were showing; slow or error?
Nathanael (11 months ago)
Photosynth has pretty much always used pushpin clustering for when zoomed out so this does mean that when you zoom into what used to be the averaged position of several synths in an area that a pushpin won't be in the exact spot you zoomed into, but there should be something in view.

It does take a second to re-render multiple pushpins in place of the single one that was representing multiple synths when zoomed out, but should only take a second or so.
Nathanael (11 months ago)
Since the 'Create' link in the header now persists across modes, it is difficult/impossible to check the 'Reset' checkbox in the 42 menu using only a mouse.
I like the map positioning square box better than what we used to have in Ps1.
I like 'bing' showing up in the (my) mapped synths views.

bing Maps: photos, videos, Photosynths.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
A bug with the new update (looks good btw!): click on a highlight to zoom in, click on the arrow to show the synth description and hide it again. The synth then starts playing without zooming out first.
Nathanael (11 months ago)
I don't really like how clicking a highlight will move you to the image it was tagged on, but requires a second click to zoom in to the selection...
wideangle (11 months ago)
Glad to see you discovered the new preview on your own!  And thanks for the bug feedback reports.  We're adding them to our bug database to address in future releases.

Anne (Photosynth Team)
Title and description boxes in edit view have become inconveniently small.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
I encountered two times a bug where after deleting a highlight it would still be shown in the bottom-right. Only after refreshing it would be gone. Can't reproduce it anymore, though :(.

And a similar bug where after clicking on a highlight the circle in the bottom-right disappeared but one could still click on it and "hide highlights" was still visible.
In My Mapped Synths, following up on a previous remark. Entering this view, world shows several times horizontally(,which I do not really like as a zoom level to start with. My synth gallery shows at the bottom and pins at matching locations. After zooming in to show the world only one time (still complete), no pins show anymore in the locations. gallery is empty and counters are zero. Zooming out only one step reproduces pins, gallery content and counter numbers. This issue appears to be consistent. Using IE desktop on Windows 8.1 with todays updates.
arbeprod (11 months ago)
@Joscelin.Trouwborst can you post the url the repros the maps bug you mention above?
@arbeprod. The My Mapped Synths issue. Now reproduction is not consistent.

Pins should show here,Panos&lat=11.436955216143175&lon=-52.294921875&zoom=3&user=Joscelin.Trouwborst

Pasting the url in new IE desktop tab and IE Metro reproduces at the moment.
After upload, continuing with next synth, step 3, rights box is damaged: no border lines and drop-down arrow overlaps content text.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
@Joscelin.Trouwborst: your synths do show up for me with the link you provided
@christoph_hausner. Thanks for trying. Weird, copied and pasted the above link in a new IE metro tab, resulting in 0 synths again. Hope that for the Team this is less of a puzzle than it is for me.
jafletch (11 months ago)
@Joscelin.Trouwborst, I am actually able to reproduce this behavior under very specific conditions (i.e. browser window size + map coordinates + zoom level). I actually saw this bug early on when developing the geo scenarios and then never saw it again so I figured it had been an error with my early implementation. I'll have to dig into this more and see what the options are for fixing it. Thank you for reporting.
@jafletch. Thanks for your prompt action. I can confirm browser windows size and zoom level. I have not moved the map as the error occurred. Doesn't seem an easy issue to me. Good luck.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
I suggest pausing playback when hovering over a highlight and resuming when leaving. Currently, highlights are shown during playback but their descriptions are hard to read because you have to follow them with the mouse and they may go off screen before you've read them.
Nathanael (11 months ago)
Christoph, Joscelin, and all other users: What are your thoughts about having a separate 'Zoom Out' icon in the upper right corner of the viewer after you've clicked to zoom into a highlight?

I'm still thinking about it, but it feels to me as though I would like clicking on the highlight's circle/thumb once more to zoom back out, since it is what I clicked to zoom in, rather than needing to move to the upper right corner to click the zoom out icon.

I will grant that you could also use the scrollwheel or a pinch gesture on a touch screen or minus key to zoom back out as well, but I'm mainly interested in how this is accomplished via clicking with the mouse or simply tapping with a finger on a touch screen, since that is how one most often enters a highlight.


My general thinking is that most other buttons in Photosynth 2 are toggle type switches.
Enter Full Screen/Exit Full Screen, 
Call Information/Dismiss Information
Nathanael (11 months ago)
With the update, it is no longer possible to follow someone who has not yet uploaded any Photosynth 2 content yet.

In several cases, I have family members or friends who I would like to see uploads from in the future who have not yet tried the Tech Preview.

I'd like to see the ability to subscribe to a user directly from their profile returned.
wideangle (11 months ago)
Thanks for all the bug reports in this thread.  I won't be responding to each but will add them in our database to fix in future releases.  

Anne (Photosynth Team)
wideangle (11 months ago)
Nathaneal, the reason we have an icon in the upper right corner and don't use the highlight itself to zoom out is that this behaviour also works when you zoom in with your mouse.  We found out in usability studies that users would double-click and zoom in but couldn't always zoom out if they didn't have a wheel mouse.

Anne (Photosynth Team)
On Highlight zoom in/out. Let's put primary thought to tapping. How about... Tapping on the highlight in the scene or in the highlight gallery should bring focus to the highlight, centering it and opening its name/description pop-up. Zooming is to be done manually by pinching. 

I do not really like the current implementation of strong zoom on clicking the highlight in the gallery.

Hovering over the highlight to show the name/description is mouse behaviour... or does behaviour depend on device type or is everyone having gesture control on all devices soon?
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
@Anne, regarding users double clicking and then not being able to zoom out when using a mouse without a scrollwheel, I understand.

It seems a shame to me that you couldn't simply map the right mouse button to zoom out in the same way that the left mouse button zooms in.


@Joscelin, unfortunately having the highlight fit itself to the edges of the viewer when selected has always been what I wanted. (I would also like the option to specify an 'Up' vector for the highlight and have the viewer simultaneously zoom and rotate to what I've selected and have the option to select non-square/circular selections, but those features deserve their own discussion.)

The zooming to highlight implementation in Photosynth 1's viewer was never totally perfect, but Photosynth 2 seems to fit the highlight to the majority of the viewer's shortest dimension (width or height) provided that the photos have enough resolution and I appreciate that.
psquality (11 months ago)
@Nathanael, thanks for the report.

The issue with the 42 menu has been entered as a bug in our database.

Eric (Photosynth Team)
psquality (11 months ago)
@christoph_hausner, thanks for the report.

The issue with the synth playing while zoomed-in has been entered as a bug in our database.

Eric (Photosynth Team)
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
I noticed today that an additional switch has been added to the embed code options (show Photosynth teaser // showpromo=true ) which adds a one time link to the Photosynth Tech Preview homepage which appears in a sea-green rectangle on the right hand side of the viewer briefly while moving forward through the synth for the first time, displaying the text "see more on Photosynth".
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
I see some issues with how synths are embedded in the map view. Currently, there does not seem to be a way to see the description of a synth when it is shown embedded on the map. Also, hightlight notes often get truncated because of the small embed size, and going fullscreen is not an option as it hides all highlights. I generally find the size of the embedded synth could be a bit bigger.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
I'm not certain how the viewer embed is currently being sized, but if a percentage based width and height is not already being used, it probably ought to be, in order to compensate for resolution differences between different displays. Hopefully there is a way to read the pixel density of the screen as well to compensate for physical screen size.
jafletch (11 months ago)
@christoph_hausner: You are correct, there is no way to see the description from within the map view. It was a decision we made because there was no good way to display it within the design we wanted. The embeds within the map view are dynamically sized based on screen real estate with certain minimums. IIRC, we base the dimensions off the smaller of height or width to try and prevent things from rendering off screen.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
Clicking on fullscreen in an embedded synth on the map view sometimes closes the synth. Can happen multiple times in a row. Not going fullscreen until the synth has fully loaded seems to help most of the time.
jafletch (11 months ago)
@christoph_hausner: We found this bug the day before we shipped so we are aware of it. It is only a problem in IE and we also found that waiting until the synth is fully loaded does seem to help.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
The speed of jumping to a highlight over long distances needs some tweaking. Take as an example and jump to the highlight from the start of the synth. The inital speed is almost too fast while at the end it's slowing down too soon.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
Agreed, Christoph.

I'm sure that there's a maximum amount of time that any of us want moving to a selected highlight to take, and easing to a stop is certainly desirable, but within those constraints a little more time on the beginning would be welcome.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
I'm not sure whether the specific resolutions or magnification settings that I'm running with are at fault, but the in-synth overhead map (that you pull up with the [M] key) now draws underneath my username, which makes seeing the top of the map rather difficult with the gradient at the top of the page and text on top.

Is anyone not experiencing this and could you please take a screenshot and upload it to OneDrive?
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
@jafletch: "You are correct, there is no way to see the description from within the map view. It was a decision we made because there was no good way to display it within the design we wanted."

Have you considered showing the description/comments in fullscreen mode? Because I find browsing synths on the map a bit limiting if I cannot read descriptions and comments of the synths without navigating to the synth in a separate tab.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
Another small bug: start interacting with a synth while it is still loading (showing percentage). When you stop interacting (i.e. release mouse button) after it is fully loaded the play button still indicates it's in playing mode even though it has stopped.
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
The number of synths shown on the map view is sometimes off by one ("3 synths in this region" but there are only two synths), this link seems to reproduce it:
With cid url parameter removed the correct count is displayed:
AlanDWinter (11 months ago)
I like being able to share to my personal Facebook Page, so that viewers can see a mini-version of the sythn, but how do I share it to a "commercial" FB Page I own so that it can be viewed as a mini version?
AlanDWinter (11 months ago)
Needs a control to slow panorama down.
AlanDWinter (11 months ago)
People are saying it's blurry. Or is it my fault for not having enough pictures in my panorama?
christoph_hausner (11 months ago)
The mini map under the synth description is using a very high zoom level so that it's often not clear where on the globe the synth is located. The address right below it isn't much of a help either because it doesn't include the country in most cases. shows the issues very clearly.
I am in support of Christoph_Hausner's above comment. 

It seems to me that it is rather arbitrary what would be the best zoom level. But, I too feel that it should be less than it is now.

The attempt to provide an address below the map is good to have, but I too feel that the results should be better. I agree that it is useful to have some hierarchical format that includes the country. However, this is not only about format, but also about map quality, which I have noted before. Bing Maps should put in some effort to at least catch up with Google Maps. I run into geo coordinates as an address quite often while the synth is in the centre of the country capital. Ok, Curaçao is not that big. But, large parts of the road map are in the Caribbean Sea still.
@ADW_2906. The thumbnail Fb shows is of low resolution. I had a look at your synth itself. I do not think that there is a lack in quantity of photos. It seems to me that the photos in your Photosynth are not really crisp. Something wrong with focus and/or lighting maybe. The photos in the first Photosynth in your gallery are better. As for the panorama itself, there are some 'uneven' transitions. This may be because you have moved or turned the camera up or down, or the spread of photos is too uneven. E.g. if the horizontal overlap is large and you move or turn the camera vertically relatively much, then the transition between these photos is not smooth.

More people have commented previously on auto play speed. It is likely on the Photosynth Team's list, but may not have a high priority to address.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
@ADW_2906, I suspect that some of your commenters on Facebook do not have web browsers with WebGL support for 3D graphics on the web or do not have good enough graphics cards for WebGL 3D graphics and so are only receiving the video preview of your synth.

The video preview is lower resolution than the actual synth and does move a good bit faster as well.
You can follow this link to see what they are seeing:


For those people who are actually able to load the 3D Photosynth viewer, you may want to explain that they can click and drag on the photos to pan left and right without using the Play/Pause button.
NateLawrence (11 months ago)
@ADW_2906, It may be possible to increase the image quality of the images used when playing back a synth in 3D on your own computer by:
1) typing "42" into the viewer (no quotation marks; just the number 42), 
2) scrolling to the bottom of the debug menu and clicking 'GPU' to expand that section, 
3) selecting 'Extreme' in the drop down list if it is not already selected, 
4) refreshing your web browser to allow the settings to take effect.
(Note that this is a setting for one web browser on one computer and will not affect other people who view the synth. 
Neither will it have any effect for people who only see the synth's video preview, if they were to follow these instructions.)

I don't recommend trying to explain the debug menu to the average computer user, however. 

If synths begin playing too slowly for you after increasing the image quality, you may want to reduce the image quality (via that same menu) to a lighter load for your graphics card.
More on the mini map. To be honest, I do not really like its letter box size. Apart from a zoom level, I experience it is as too small. I.e. insufficient context.
Thanks for all your great comments, suggestions and bug reports about our latest update. If possible, please try to keep separate issues in separate threads going forward, so that people who are scanning this list of titles can see whether their issue has already been discussed.

Cheers, David.
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