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.
Credit where credit is due: Penny from http://cyberspaced.blogspot.com/2011/03/photosynth-photo-stitcher.html pointed out to me a few weeks ago that ICE panos can often have rather jagged edges (where the photographer has not kept the camera at the same height as they rotate around them) and to her eye this is an unsightly defect which would look much better if the edges were smoothed.
An example of what she is criticizing: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=9c288c4a-13b9-406b-88b5-b0db74774b11 (note the slight downward movement of the camera from right to left and especially the far right and far left.)
I understand the desire to preserve every possible bit of photographic input, especially in light of synths and panoramas one day living inside a fully 3D Bing Maps, with plenty of background imagery to fill in what is currently black space behind the panoramas, but I also see Penny's point.
When I said that users would likely not be happy with ICE deciding what to keep and what to keep and what to throw away when smoothing the edges of the panorama, she wrote back to say that perhaps the edges could simply be masked to look smooth and then the mask could be removed to see every last pixel able to be stitched, if desired. Perhaps this sounds slightly too complex, but I think that she is a good voice for how normal people look at these panoramas and so she has valid criticism which is worth thinking about solving.
People have asked elsewhere (memory fails me whether it was on the Photosynth weblog, the Photosynth Forum, or the ICE Forum) about the possibility of cropping an ICE pano before uploading to Photosynth and this would be another way to solve this, although it depends on the user to be proactive, which would not yield a significant change.
In any case, it's food for thought.
Here's the request for cropping that I was looking for:
Thanks to mjg45 for bubbling it back up to the top of the list.