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.
I would like to have multi-stage publishing functionality. Only after I feel synth results are good enough and properties are set the way I want, then I want to publish a synth explicitely. Some synths I would never want to publish, because they are only a test.
Am I understanding this correctly to be the old 'offline preview before upload' request?
If you are concerned simply about people seeing your tests, you can simply select to publish it as unlisted when you create it and then delete it when you wish.
If you are concerned about spending time or bandwidth uploading synth results of test data when you might be displeased with the results, again, I hear where you're coming from, but a workaround is simply to disconnect your internet after tile generation is complete (while feature extraction, matching, and scene reconstruction are being performed). When scene reconstruction is complete you can use SynthExport and MeshLab to preview your synth's point cloud.
It's been said before that if bandwidth is not an issue, time is actually being saved by uploading the photos the entire time that the scene reconstruction is being performed.
Just some tips to use if this feature takes a while to show up.
No, I am not concerned with bandwidth. I have just upgraded to a fiber optic connection with a 20 MB download and upload spec, because I felt adsl with its slow upload spec no longer matches the way I use the internet.
I am in favor of online/offline synching solutions.
You make me think again Nathan. With Live Photo Galery one tweaks photos before publishing. I feel with synthing we even need this more. Some photos more or less in the synth set make a huge difference to its synthiness and navigational experience. Now we can only delete a previous synth and generate a new one. All properties have to be set again. So, it all comes down to userfriendliness and a 'seamless' user experience. User here being the creator.
I can see where you're coming from there, for sure as far as re-adding the title, tags, description, setting the license again, and remembering to choose the desired thumbnail again.
If you still have the synther open from creating the first test version of a synth, you can actually do the trick of right clicking on the title there in the list of completed and pending synths and choose 'Edit'. This will keep all the items I listed in the first paragraph of this post the same and allow you to add or delete photos from the new version of the synth (although it will still be a separate synth from the first). The nice thing about doing this is that the upload won't repeat for any photo that is exactly as it was when used in the first synth. Only new photos which havan't been used in a synth before or modified versions (crops, rotations, added or removed EXIF tags, etc.) of photos will be uploaded with the point cloud and 2D layout file the second time.
Also related to your request, I feel, is what others have asked for as far as a 'resynth' feature, which I took to mean opening the synther and doing the calculations over again, but with specific photos able to be added or removed and with the fresh version of the synth replacing the old - leaving the comments and favorites which people had given the older version intact.
People like Tom Benedict (the Kite Aerial Photography guru from Hawaii) have also requested a feature which, when publishing a synth, would simply chop off all photos which were unable to be matched into the largest group of photos in the synth - essentially guaranteeing that each synth that this option was used on would be 100% synthy, even if it didn't upload every photo which you had originally put into the synther.
Actually I would agree with Omnisynthesis that a kind of preview (and repair) should be preferable. Now I can only by 'trial and error' try to reach a good result. For instance, I have uploaded 2 panoramaviews, where the first produced a curved horizon, which gives a very strage result where a lake is visible, and a second trial (with more detailed photoes) resulted in prblems with the connecting of the pictures. The total size of the panorama's is about 220 resp 620 Mb, and a good detailed preview in ICE is impossible; the resolution is dramatically reduced then.
I like the mentioned suggestion from Tom Benedict as a short term solution.
Stitching panoramas with ICE is actually a completely different story than creating synths with the Photosynth app because you literally can preview every panorama offline. Publishing panoramas to Photosynth from ICE is relatively new for ICE. Before it could do that, all it did was export to your own hard drive in a variety of formats. If you look above the [Publish to Photosynth] button in ICE, you'll see an option to save the panorama to your hard drive and you can select from a drop down list to the left of that button which format you would like to export.
For wraparound panoramas like you'll be publishing to Photosynth, I recommend the 'Deep Zoom Tileset', which will allow you to preview using Microsoft's superior HDView panorama viewer.
Any details such as a crooked horizon should be visible even at ICE's initial low resolution preview in the main window, though, and can be slightly edited via the cube icon at the top of ICE.
Traditional panorama stitchers like ICE do still struggle with stitching photos taken at different zoom levels/resolutions. This is one of the strengths of photogrammetry programs like Photosynth.
If you have Photoshop installed on your computer, you might also try using another panorama stitcher such as PTGui, which would allow you to manually adjust how the photos are stitched together. PTGui's output could then be imported to Photoshop and there is a free Photoshop plugin available from the ICE/HDView team at Microsoft Research which will allow you to publish panoramas to Photosynth, like you can from ICE, but with the difference that you can have manually fixed some of the stitching errors beforehand. Again, with panoramas, this can all be done offline before you ever upload once.
If you like using ICE as a first step, you could try exporting its stitch as a layered Photoshop file, which you could open in Photoshop and manually edit before publishing.
Here are links for things I mentioned:
HDView viewer: http://bit.ly/msrhdview
Panorama publishing Photoshop plugin: http://bit.ly/pstops