Topic: Ability to Create & Preview Synth

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MattWeiler (Over 1 year ago)
First-off, I've only been using Photosynth for a few days now, but I love this application :)

As I understand it, the image matching/paring (creation of the point maps) is done on the users PC.
Once complete, the images and the point map are uploaded to the server.

Is there a way to preview a synth on a client PC (basically offline viewing)?

Sometimes, if a synth is below 100% synthy, I'll add some better pics and remove some bad pics. However, I'll have to wait for my images to upload before I can view the resulting synth.

I'm trying to model my condo.
After taking a lot of pics, I'm discovering that I need more/better pics.
I know that once I upload an pic, if I edit a synth with that pic in it, the pic won't have to be re-uploaded, that's a very good feature :).
But there are times when I'll have to remove some pictures from a synth, in these cases I'll have already "wasted" time/bandwidth uploading them.

If this is possible, that'd be amazin
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Welcome to the Photosynth Universe, Matt. Swami here. Just another avid synther.

The only standalone app I'm aware of is the commercial GeoSynth

As for "unnecessary" image uploading, I guess it's just part of the process.

See ya...
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Here's the link to GeoSynther w/o the period at the end breaking it:
MattWeiler (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for your quick reply swami.

From what I can see on the GeoSynth site, the GeoSynth application is only being sold to large corporations with deep pockets :(

I guess there's no free/cheap standalone method of doing this?

I have a friend who's starting-out as a realtor, and I thought that this would give her an easy way to showcase homes to perspective buyers before actually going-out to look at the place, with the sellers approval of course :)

Well thanks anyway, I'm definitely very impressed with PhotSynth so far and can't wait to finish Synthing my entire condo.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
PART 1 of 2

You're welcome.

Yes, Photosynth provides an interesting way to show houses to potential buyers, but easy it's not, especially for the synth creator. It takes a good bit of effort to fully cover a house and to optimize a synth. And to make the experience easy for the user requires a well-crafted sequence of highlight thumbnail links. Here's a fairly involved attempt, though even it could stand some improvement: "Blue Ridge House for Sale" . Navigation can be a bit confusing at times, and even when the synth is good, the user must undergo a learning curve to freely navigate.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
PART 2 of 2

One nice recent development is Photosynth in Bing Maps Beta . To explore synths, open the Map Apps using the big orange ">" icon at lower left of UI. Now, if you geotagged a synth it's automatically available. And if it was geoaligned you can zoom into it smoothly and in proper orientation. In this context the potential buyer could also explore the neighborhood and surrounding area for schools, shopping, etc. And if/when synths are incorporated into Bing Maps 3D,  experience will be even more full. Currently, you can create a 3D model and place it in the 3D world! But of course, all of this takes expertise and time.

Perhaps some real estate company has already created an integrated system. If not, it's just a matter of time, especially w/ the recent Silverlight interface (Microsoft's multimedia web app, like Adobe Flash), before such a system is developed.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
PART 3 of 2 (haha)

All that said, w/ a bit of experience, time, and effort, plus a client with a decent budget, it (house synth) might be viable.

P.S. Here's a fairly involved synthI made: "Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome! (guided tour, and scavenger hunt!)" . Notice the highlight guided tour, and the supplemental images (e.g. the 13,000 pixel wide panorama w/ photo history attached).
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
PART 4 of 2

Hmmm, looks like I lost the link to my synth during editing. Here it is .
Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Matt,

A few more points to add to Swami's excellent ones...

>> People often ask that they be allowed to preview the synth before uploading. Unless a person's internet connection is fairly slow, though, or their computer's processor is amazingly fast (or both at the same time, but how likely is that?) it is more efficient to be uploading the entire time that your computer is doing the reconstruction process. 

I suppose the exception to this is when you have an account with an Internet Service Provider who only allows you a limited amount of bandwidth each month.

>> As for a cheap/easy way of viewing synths offline, it is incredibly easy to make a copy of your own synth files when waiting for a synth to upload, and of course you already have the Photosynth viewer downloaded to your hard drive as well. The trick is to know how to arrange the synth files on your hard drive and tell the Photosynth viewer to open them successfully...
Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
... I've heard two reports of people doing this successfully in the early days of Photosynth, but I can only find one of them at the moment. Sadly, I have no real contact information for them, but I can point you to their message as evidence that the process is possible.
Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
By the way, if you're interested in saving local copies of your synth files as you make them (this is the easiest way I know of collecting the entire set) see my reply on the old Photosynth forum here:
Nathanael.Lawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Oh, I meant to sum up the whole 'offline synth' bit by saying that in terms of 'easy', it does take a little preparation, but it's not drastically hard. As far as being cheap, it could be free if you have the computer skills necessary to make your own viewer or to learn how to use the existing Photosynth viewers to open your local synth files. It could also be cheap/free if you have a friend with the computer skills necessary to figure out how to get the viewer to open your own synth files once for you. From then on, you could do it as many times as you liked.

By the way, I am still a huge proponent of letting your synths actually make it online and letting them stay there, even if you save a copy offline and actually find a way to use them offline. The dream is that one of these days (I'll be quite disappointed if we don't see the first version by December 2010) we'll see synths that are close to each other on the map or even overlap each other be linked together.
MattWeiler (Over 1 year ago)
WOW, thanks guys.

So now I know where to grab my compiled synth from, before it finishes uploading.
I am a computer programmer, but I don't really dabble in graphics, especially not 3D :(

It's unfortunate that the person/people who claim to have gotten an offline version of a synth viewer to work never shared what they had done, but hopefully someone will :)

Thanks a lot for the info.

  I'm going to try and finish the rest of my condo soon, it's only 1200 square feet, so I should be able to get it done pretty soon.
Although, I imagine it'll take close to 1000 images to do my entire place.
Would that be an issue in regards to any limitations on upload.

Granted, the synth point-map would be created on my PC, I'm just curious if it would complete uploading or not.

In the forum I read that some people had issues with synths of 800+ images (their synth point-map was about 32MB)
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I've never experienced a failure to upload based on any number of photos and have had a few synths with 1400 - 1600 photos (not usually 100% synthy, mind you =).

The only danger in high numbers of photos is that your computer will run out of RAM while trying to reconstruct the scene because the synther is only a 32-bit application. The limit is actually not found in any hard number of images, nor by what resolution the images are (the full resolution photos are uploaded to be viewed, but only a 1.5 megapixel version of each is analysed for image features to be matched with other images' features), but by how many image features there are in each image (a photo of carpet will have many more features than a photo of a plastic countertop) and how many image features correspond to one another.

I have only had one synth where I had so many features packed into a small space that the reconstruction failed until I used every other photo. (Deep Wood House's South Lawn)
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Oh, and by the way, Fduch just replied about an hour ago on Get Satisfaction, in case you're interested in his solution. There's nothing to download but he sketches out what he did. I'm thinking since you're a programmer, you could probably pull it off for yourself as well.

Please ping me back if you get something similar worked out.
MattWeiler (Over 1 year ago)
Sounds very promising :)

I'm glad to hear that there's no defined limit of pictures, but the 32-bit execution mode is a little depressing, maybe a 64-bit flavor soon ;)

Based on what Fduch said, it sounds very promising. I don't have a lot of experience working with ActiveX controls. But one of my co-workers is a little more into that, I'll see if he can give it a try.

If I get anything, I'll definitely let you know and pass it on :)

Thanks a lot for all your help, man this is addictive though.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
"man this is addictive though."