Topic: Smooth verses individual

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NealPT (Over 1 year ago)
Why do some of the photosynths flow in a smooth motions and then I see others where they seem to jump by individual pictures?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hello, NealPT, 

What you appear to be describing is the difference between photosynths and panoramas. 

Panoramas have been around for ages and they are good for showing the view from a single position because they can be like a spherical photo. If the photographer takes some extra care while shooting, you shouldn't be able to see any seams in the overall panorama. 

Panoramas have the following limitations: 
1: The camera lens can't change location forward, backward, up, down, left, or right between input shots for a panorama because that kind of movement will change how foreground objects line up with background objects. Panorama stitchers cannot handle this sort of change (parallax) because panorama stitching is 2D stitching. 
2: You can't zoom in or out between input shots. 
3: For the smoothest blending, you shouldn't allow the lens' focus or the aperature's opening to change between shots.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Photosynths are something newer. What Photosynth does, on Windows, is what panorama stitchers have always been unable to do: match photos together that were taken from different positions. In other words, Photosynth does 3D stitching. 

Because the photos in a photosynth are taken from different locations, they cannot line up all details at the same time. You'll notice that our eyes and brain have the same limitation if you hold your finger at arm's length in front of the wall on the other side of your room or a window with a view of distant objects. Your two eyes are in two unique positions in space and as amazing as our eyes and brains are, you will notice that if you look (with both eyes open) directly at your finger, you are seeing double of the background and vice-versa when you're looking directly at the background, you're seeing double of your finger. 

Because of this, photosynths do not attempt to merge photos into a single seamless larger photo.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
The benefits that photosynths have over panoramas are as follows: 
1: You are free to move the camera. With a photosynth, when you take photos looking around your living room, walking over to things to get a closer look, walking all the way around a coffee table, favorite chair, memento, or holiday decoration, anyone viewing the photos later can feel as though they are moving around the room too.
2: You can zoom in and out between input shots. Photosynth's matching expects that the size of an object in your photos' frames only double or half their size between the two closest shots of it in order to succeed, but this is still a great improvement and an easy requirement to meet.
3: Since you aren't trying to make a single seamless photo (like with a panorama), it doesn't matter if your camera changes exposure or different lights are on in different shots or people are doing different things in different places in different shots.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
4: Photosynths start building a 3D model of any rigid and stationary objects that you photograph. Here's an example: Toggle the photos and point cloud on and off with the [P] key and dont miss trying out Overhead View.


The mistake that I see a lot of people make is that they take their photos like they would for a panorama and then upload those photos as a photosynth. The result is neither a good panorama or a good photosynth. If you were standing in one place and just turning around without zooming in or out or moving positions, then you should upload your photos as a panorama. You can do that with three different tools, currently.

1: Microsoft ICE
2: Adobe Photoshop
3: Photosynth's mobile app (Coming soon to Windows Phone)
NealPT (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for the reply.  Are you saying this is a panorama? (
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
If you did zoom or walk around between shots, then that's not stitchable into a single panorama and you should upload those photos as a photosynth (as long as you followed Photosynth's shooting guidelines).

There's just one place that you can create photosynths and that is: 
The Photosynth app for Windows
(The Photosynth app for mobile devices only creates panoramas, so far.)


Here's a helpful video playlist for understanding how to shoot panoramas:

You can get Photosynth's guide for shooting photosynths here:
And you can watch Photosynth's beginner's guide to shooting photosynths here:
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi! It looks like we were typing at the same time. ツ
Yep, you've got it! That's a pano and a beautiful one at that.
NealPT (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks for your reply.  I read some stuff that you had written on another thread. I am just getting started and am trying to understand stuff so I can try it. It sounds like you've had quite a bit of experience with Photosynth.  Thanks for the links....I shall bookmark them and look through them so I can learn.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Glad to be of service. ツ

I was going to also mention that if you're interested in getting into shooting photosynths, you might find some discussion of it by people who have used it helpful and to that end, here's this:
It's a long read, but some of the other discussions I link to at the beginning are shorter and make good distinctions.


I've gone for contrast above, but that's only to drive home that panos and synths are two different things. I've seen people try to say that one is better than the other, but reality is that they are both best at what they do. They just don't do the same thing. Bill Buxton is fond of saying that, "Everything is best for something and worst for something else.". 

Looking forward, we will be able to move between different panoramas in the same way that we currently move between different photos in a single synth. Likewise, we'll move between photos + panos. Here's a preview:
RP104864 (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, may I know how do we upload as a panorama?