Do you have an idea for an awesome feature we should add… or hate the way we’re currently doing something? Share your ideas and suggestions here.
Since before I knew anything about Photosynth, I was wishing for a photo viewer which could be a specified portion of a page's layout, but be capable of zooming to the full resolution of a photo and what is more, be able to zoom to specific selected portions of the photo currently being displayed - the main application that I was thinking of then was people's faces and or entire bodies - whichever people had tagged. (Sometimes if someone is too far in the distance, tagging only their face won't do much good and even in group shots where everyone in the photo is close to the camera, highlighting the full extent of their limbs in all directions can prove entertaining.)
Photosynth does a fair bit of this already, but I had always imagined that in cases where a person's face was tilted, when the photo viewer zoomed to their face, it would rotate the photo so that their face was displayed right side up and then rotated as necessary for other people's faces.
I'd still love this functionality in Photosynth, but it will necessitate the highlight editor being able to create highlights at angles other than 90 degrees.
I also continue to request non-square selections for highlights, as this opens up a lot of freedom in terms of what you want to put on others' screens.
Going back to things I was thinking of in my original wishlist for a photo viewer, I had originally intended that the person highlighter be able to create a vector outline around the person and that the viewer would place a transparent dark layer over anything not within the selection, essentially putting a spotlight on the person currently being viewed. The sunglasses effect is of course a matter of preference, but you guys already do something similar for the primary photo vs. the background photos.
I also recognize that the percentage of people willing to draw detailed outlines around people/objects is low, but I would still love it (although even I would desire something like the edge selector found in image editors to speed highlighting complex shapes up).
Since full tracing of complex shapes for highlights seems to be unlikely to be implemented, however, I will content myself in the short term if I can simply get non-square selections which can be both rotated to any arbitrary number of degrees (in floating point numbers of degrees) or snapped back to 90 degree increments if desired (think a person leaning in front of a group of people or photos of kids hanging upside down from monkey bars).
At the base of these requests is a desire to make highlighting people better in synths. To really make this effective, there needs to be Windows Live and Facebook integration. I know that there are privacy concerns to be considered, but if you want Photosynth's audience to grow, not only do you need to improve their navigability (as you've acknowledged in your blog), but you need to make synths social.