Topic: What ever happened to synth stiching?

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amn.hodge (Over 1 year ago)
I heard you guys mention over a year ago that you were working on a feature where a user could take two synths of the same place/ object and stitch them into one... What happened???
We got diverted from this mission during the last 18 months, but we still believe in it, and it's still part of the plans. It also fits in with the plans of our close cousins in Bing, the "Read/Write World". Blaise Aguera y Arcas who runs the Read/Write world and I are on the same page that we are working towards all geomedia (maps, streetside, photos, panos, synths, geotagged videos, ...) being "matchable" in the Read/Write world, and allowing people to collaboratively or serendipitously build immersive experiences of the places they love.  I'm looking forward to getting back to this core goal.

If you have opinions about how this should work in practice, we'd love to hear them.

David Gedye
Lead Photosynth Program Manager
robteed (Over 1 year ago)
This should be addressed, I think this would be an important feature. It says these post are over a year old...Seems like a long time coming.
Rob Teed
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Rob, you're not kidding. It is a critically important part of Photosynth's vision and has been planned since 2006, so "a long time coming" is putting it pretty mildly.

Unfortunately, although Microsoft talked up Read/Write World all throughout 2011, in early 2012 they took down all of their early tech demos, their blog, and it seems as though several key people who had been working on the project left Microsoft, but there was no official announcement that the R/WW project was over. You can check out a few of their videos about the subject at however beware that most links besides vimeo and YouTube links will be dead now.
jokergallagher (Over 1 year ago)
please add this, when Photosynth comes to windows 8+ as a app, and its integration with Bing maps (windows 8+, and windows phone 8+) it well become better then Google's street view. how ever the syncing between created synths is a MUST, also please add the feature to upload more photos to a already established syth in your collection. for example I spend 30 minuets uploading a synth of my house so I could use the synth for new tenants as a virtual walkthrough. how ever it seams I left some blank spots which lead to holes in the synth. IF this feature excised then I could just take the photos of those empty spots and  then the synth could work better. as of now I had to delete the original and upload the whole thing over again.
jokergallagher (Over 1 year ago)
also I plan on (with a group of friends) to take mass photos of local parks in Colorado. IF you could add photos to synths in your collection then "you" (me and my friends)could all upload to my account and have whole parks documented. this would be grate for tourists, or people moving to a new area. they could use the synth to explore local parks (later schools, and malls)and again people could document their own homes (for selling or renting)for virtual tours.
WolfStar (Over 1 year ago)
Great ideas here, and as someone who is just starting to use this app, i'm looking forward to any new offerings from the Photosynth team.
kimpelri (Over 1 year ago)
I remember using Photosynth years ago, and I just re-found it. I have an old point cloud that it spit out where I had taken some detail shots (as was suggested by the original tutorial video way back then). It turned out OK; not perfect, but reasonable. The point cloud even had some background components perfectly rendered.

The results with the current algorithm are completely different. It simply ignores all the detail shots. Very strange that it has actually gotten less powerful in the last 5 years or so. 

I also remember that Photosynth used to be able to stitch together multiple shots from multiple views with some success. That seems to be completely verboten now. Odd...
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Kimpelri, is currently host to several types of uploads.
1) photosynths (photos from different points of view in 3D space with their accompanying point cloud)
2) traditional stitched panoramas (up to a full sphere of photography from a single point of view)
3) generation 2 photosynths (photos from different points of view in 3D space projected onto a simplified depth map created from the point cloud)

You upload original photosynths with the Windows desktop application available from
Original Photosynth shooting guide: + Video Tutorial:

You upload 2nd generation photosynths from the beta site here:
Photosynth 2014 shooting guide: + Video Tutorial:

Both of these are still very much about matching together different points of view.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
You can stitch together traditional spherical panoramas via:
Microsoft ICE
Adobe Photoshop
Photosynth's mobile panorama apps: |
Windows 8.1's Camera app:

Tips for good panoramas: |
Panoramas + photosynths are very different things.


What the above discussion is about is Photosynth's website putting multiple people's photosynths of the same location or neighboring locations together.

That never happened in the first version of Photosynth, sadly, however now that Photosynth 2 (a.k.a. Photosynth 2014 Technical Preview) is under active development, the team has said and hinted several times that they are actively looking again at how to achieve connecting people's uploads once online.

Here are a few videos about Photosynth 2:
kimpelri (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks Nate! I'm honestly shocked somebody responded to an apparently mistaken post on a year-old discussion. That stand-alone install was the Photosynth I was thinking of. I didn't realize they were two different things. Sorry. :-)
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
ツ I'm just your fellow Photosynth user, but happy to help.

I should have also mentioned above that Photosynth is planning to update their mobile apps to upload photos for 2nd generation photosynths later in 2014.

2nd generation photosynths are more constrained than original synths, but this is intended to improve/simplify navigation of a synth, especially on touch screen devices.

Photosynth 2 Limitations: 
:: you must shoot your synth using one of four camera motions (versus freestyle camera motion in Photosynth 1)
:: you may upload a maximum of 200 photos per synth (versus limited only by your own computer's RAM in Photosynth 1)
:: each JPG in a synth may only be 20 megabytes (versus 32 megabytes in Photosynth 1)
:: changing zoom levels in between shots is advised against (versus encouraged in Photosynth 1)
:: if an upload fails or you want to reuse the same photos you've uploaded before, you have to upload them all over again (versus just once in Photosynth 1).
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
:: each synth is intended to be a single line or loop of photos (versus combining multiple lines or loops in a single synth in Photosynth 1)

Photosynth 2 Strengths:
:: each photo is projected onto its own (low polygon) depth map generated from the point cloud (versus projected onto a flat rectangle in front of the point cloud in Photosynth 1)
:: synths are easy to navigate, since they've been reduced to single lines or loops of photos (versus unbounded but potentially complex/confusing in Photosynth 1)
:: synthing is now done on Photosynth's servers instead of the user's own machine (which means that as long as your device has web access and you can select multiple photos to upload at once, you can submit synths from any OS or mobile device)
:: the new synth viewer uses WebGL, the version of WebGL which is built into all modern web browsers for 3D graphics (versus needing a Direct3D or Silverlight plugin for Photosynth 1)
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
:: every photo in the synth is downloaded as quickly as possible from the moment the synth viewer loads (versus each photo only loading higher resolution after you had navigated to it in Photosynth 1) leading to a much more satisfying experience when viewing something like a spin (or an 'object' as they were called in Photosynth 1)


I'd be curious to take a look at some of your uploads sometime, if you ever want to make any of them public or send me a link by email or Twitter or here on the forums.
kimpelri (Over 1 year ago)
I don't think I've ever seen a kana smiley. I'll have to remember that. Unicode FTW. 

I definitely see the tradeoffs in the two different types of synths. Now that I now how to do each type, I'll be more selective about which photos I upload to which kind of synth. Thank you again.

I can't make the synth public for work reasons, but I will try to figure out how to send you a link to the most recent one.