Can’t seem to get something to synth right? Curious about what lens is best? Ask your fellow Photosynthers here.
How do you create a synth which scrolls smoothly without each individual photo showing as in this synth:
That confused me at first, too. Follow the directions for creating a panorama and download the software if you don't already have it. Creating a 360 panorama that scrolls smoothly is quite easy. The software is free and is Microsoft Image Composite Editor.
BessieBee is exactly right. Here's an easy to remember link for Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (We all just call it ICE): http://bit.ly/msrice
The Photosynth site does currently host two different types of photographic imagery: photosynths and panoramas. You are actually wanting a panorama.
In photosynths, each photo stays separate and is simply positioned in three dimensional space. 'Synths', as we call them, are an advance in image matching. Panorama stitching had been around for quite a few years and relies on your camera's lens staying in the exact same place in the air if you want perfect results, whereas photosynths give you the freedom to move all around objects and explore. They also begin to perform 3D reconstruction of the environment that the photos were taken in.
Examples (use the [P] key to view the point clouds): http://bit.ly/lilysynth http://bit.ly/martellotowersynth http://bit.ly/dougsynth http://bit.ly/woodensynth
In panoramas, the most 3D you will ever get is a simple sphere, but none of the objects in the photos will have their depths/shapes reconstructed and as I said above, you will need to keep your camera's lens as close to one spot in the air as possible for the best stitch. This is because panorama stitching is essentially 2D stitching, whereas photosynths are 3D stitching (that is exactly what the point clouds are).
For standing in one spot and just looking around you, though, panoramas are a much better choice than a photosynth (unless you are interested in a moving object, such as a person performing an activity).
A bit of a pet peeve of mine is people who think that photosynths are just panoramas or that panoramas are photosynths (because they are actally quite different, though in the future, there is no reason why a panorama will not be just another sort of photo that you use in a photosynth).
Many people shoot their first synths as though they are shooting panoramas (even I made this mistake). By doing this, you do not get a good photosynth (you would need to move all around a subject to get good 3D reconstruction) or a good panorama (you can only see a few photos at time).
To sum up, both panoramas and photosynths are great ways to share what it is like to be in a place, but they are very different experiences, both in viewing and in shooting. For panoramas, it is important to stay in one place and look all around. For photosynths, it is important to move all around individual subjects, but you get the freedom to move in any direction, so long as you use small steps.
Moving forward, the vision is for panoramas and photosynths to begin to be linked to each other online and to link panoramas to panoramas and photosynths to photosynths.
This will be done via Bing's newly announced collaborative effort, named Read/Write World. For more details, see: http://bit.ly/readwriteworld
I also meant to mention that there are two other ways to upload panoramas to the Photosynth website.
1:: PhotoShop plugin: http://bit.ly/pstops
2:: iPhone 3GS & r, iPod Touch 4, and iPad 2 app: http://bit.ly/photosynthforios
Also, a third type of imagery may be coming to the Photosynth site later: Spin Movies
Here's some video previews from Microsoft Research (check the video description for more videos): http://youtube.com/watch?v=_WjMwbmJj8o