Topic: Perks for hitting 100% Synthy

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NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
So, I've been recently forced to reiterate why the squiral was discontinued in 2D view and the primary reason that I gave was that with the synths that the team published during the CTP period (2006 November - 2008 August 19 if I'm not mistaken) were all 100% synthy, whereas as you allow people to create their own synths, 100% synthy is not a given and therefore you need some way to visualize the different clusters of photos, which mean's that showing all the photos in a squiral is out.

I still love and miss the squiral and I was thinking that it could be a feature which turns on only in synths which A) achieve 100% synthy and B) contain some minimum number of photos.


Some would say that getting 100% synthy is reward enough, but I wouldn't mind seeing the site and viewer give a few subtle kudos or benefits to those who had created a good synth.
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
Please Nathan this is too much gobbledeegook for me, can you clarify, because I feel you are telling something that I might want to support.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
ツ Sorry. I wasn't trying to be obtuse.

In the first public Photosynth viewer that we could download and install on our own computers (before we could upload our own synths - when Live Labs only had a few of their own on display), when you switched to 2D view, the photo that you were currently looking at would always be placed at the center of the screen with photos that shared the most subject matter with it spiraling out around its edges in a square spiral. This was referred to as 'splatter mode' or 'the squiral'.

If you look at videos of the viewer from that time period, you'll see the difference between it and what 2D view became once we could make our own synths. The squiral doesn't work well for synths which are less than 100% synthy, but I'd still like it if it turned on automatically if a synth was completely connected.

Let me look through my list of videos to try to find some good examples of this feature so you can see what I'm talking about.
Joneyes (Over 1 year ago)
yes! i totally understand the feature your descibing and i was actually going to start a post like this but didnt know how to describe it , 

I think they should deff bring back squiral as an feature which is unlocked in 100 percent syn-thy synths because it was one of those things i really liked when first seeing photosynth and it had some of photosynths little quirky fun character to it which is good!, i love photosynth to keep it indenty and funess and i think that feature was a good tool in showing photosynths durablity , flexibility and personality it would be a pleasure to see this back in 100 percent synthy synths!
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Here are just a few examples: 

2006 07 28	Photosynth: How, What, Why	 	
	21:15 - 21:40	

2006 10 30	Photo Tourism and Photosynth: UW CSE, Microsoft Research, and Microsoft Live Labs Create a Winner	 	
	33:10 - 33:35	

2006 11 10	Demo of the year: Microsoft's Gary Flake shows off Photosynth photosynth	 	
	03:43 - 04:11, 06:10 - 08:20, 14:10 - 14:20, 15:05 - 15:33	

2007 01 07	Photosynth and Seadragon offer a glimpse at the next great UI
	05:10 - 05:33, 06:25 - 07:05, 14:22 - 14:38

I especially recommend the last two of those four. 

For more, most of the videos in this list: published prior to 2008 August 20 will have a glimpse of it.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Sorry, the board broke the links a bit. Just copy from the http to the end of each line. Also, Robert Scoble's site seems to be down. I'll try to locate a backup copy of his video if I can or find out when I can expect his site to live again.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
So from what Robert told me on Twitter, the PodTech site and videos aren't likely to be around much longer, so he gave me permission to re-upload his interview. Here's the replacement link for the third video above:
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks Nathan, seen it. Is the squiral just nice or is there use in it as well? I am interested in tools that pinpoint where and why a synth is broken, as this can still puzzle me.

As for good synths... To me that is not only 100% synthiness, but also good Highlights and navigational experience for the viewer.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
For me, the use is mainly being able to display photos which share photographic content in a manner that always helps you find similar shots and graphically visualizes how similar or dissimilar other photos are based on their size and position onscreen. 

Again, it is most useful where all photos have, in fact, connected into the same group. The way 2D view currently works is great for showing how things didn't connect, but for a synth where all photos *did* connect, the current 2D view is actually less useful as it simply displays all photos in one block where every photo is the same size as every other.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
What you are talking about with why navigation links are sometimes broken between photos in a synth that has received a score of 100% synthy is more about the inaccuracy of the rating system than anything else - taking portal images and calling them truly connected where they may only barely connect to one other photo in the main group.

If you look at a synth's log file, after it completes scene reconstruction, it should write a list of the point clouds and the photos attached to them. The primary point cloud will be listed as 'Synth 0', the second largest as 'Synth 1', the third as 'Synth 2', etc. In a truly 100% synthy synth (rather than one that the website awards that score), there will only be a 'Synth 0' which will have every single photo attached to it.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
I agree with you that there is a lot more to making a synth an interesting experience for people to browse than getting everything to connect and as you say highlights, description, and ease of getting around are very important. The Photosynth team even thinks this way and have made the site so that it will even reward users who add more tags and metadata to their synth by ranking up your synth when you filter search results for a term on the site by 'Best Synth'.

That said, I do consider getting all the photos truly into the same group to be an important goal for myself and I also appreciate it when others have made the effort. When I first began, I took many fewer photos of each object than I now do, but I really wanted a clear full point cloud of the environment for my photos to rest in and that is only really achievable by shooting each object you care about seeing in the point cloud intentionally.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
For the longest time now, I have been so focused on what it takes to create a full point cloud of the room or yard or house or whatever the environment is my synths are not even truly what I want to browse. 

For me (and I suspect for others) the really interesting photos are photos with people in them doing some activity. Of course it isn't normally possible to take so many photos of the activity or get people to hold still long enough to synth the actual people, but for a long time now my ideal synth has been one in which the furniture or largest plants and the borders or walls of the environment are clearly visible in the point cloud and then the photos of the people are all embedded in that visibly 3D model of the environment.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
One of my frustrations is that while it is incredibly easy to shoot individual objects and get a great point cloud of them, it seems next to impossible to put enough photos into a synth to get a great point cloud of the entire place.

In any case, I've now wandered far far off topic, but you deserved an answer and I wanted to speak my heavies about not being able to create large enough environments to then synth photos of people doing things into.

I'll let that be all from me for now.
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks a lot Nathan! I feel there is a lot to learn from you about how things really work. I feel we need an 'advanced' chapter in the manual. I would be happy to translate again.

As for the squiral... let's have it back, please.