Photosynth Help

Navigation is simple in panoramas. You just drag the panorama to move left, right, up, or down. To zoom, you scroll your mouse wheel, or use the +/- buttons.

It's more complex in synths because there is no single 3D space that holds all the photos. Here are the key affordances for navigating a synth.


The best way to explore a synth is with quads. These are the semi-transparent white rectangles you see when mousing over the photos. Each quad represents another photo that matched into the scene. Click one to navigate to it.


The arrows can be used to go left, right, in or out. These controls are very dependent on the connectivity of the photos. In general, they will move to connected photos in the direction if available.


If the author created highlights you'll see them in a filmstrip on the right hand edge of the Photosynth. These are particular points of interest within the synth to which you can navigate directly by clicking the thumbnail in the highlight reel.


Use the +/- buttons or your mouse wheel to zoom. Most of the photos in Photosynths are high resolution.

Want to go back a photo?

Hit the back arrow or type 'z'.

Other Views

Other views
Use the view selector to toggle between the 3D view, a 2D grid of all photos, a top down view or a view just of the point cloud.

Making a Synth

Creating the best synth starts with the right photos.

Here are some key tips:

  • Take overlapping panoramas from different locations
  • Have lots of overlap between shots to get good matching
  • Limit the angles between photos (no more than 25 degrees - at least 15 per full rotation)
  • Pick scenes or objects with lots of detail and texture
  • Don't crop your images before synthing
  • Rotate your photos to be 'up' correctly before synthing

For more details see our guide:

The Photosynth Photography Guide (1.2Mbyte pdf)

The Photosynth Photography Guide (1.3Mbyte xps)

Other Languages:

Catalan (translated by Josep Vilalta - Microsoft Innovation Center - Productivity Center (Manresa, SPAIN).)

Dutch (translated by OmniSynThesis)

Hebrew (translated by aridolan)

Russian (translated by sgalagan and babikms)

Spanish (translated by Josep Vilalta - Microsoft Innovation Center - Productivity Center (Manresa, SPAIN))

Making a Desktop Panorama

Many photosynths consist of photos shot from a single location. Our friends in Microsoft Research have developed a free, world class panoramic image stitcher called Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE for short.) ICE takes a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, and creates a single high-resolution image. Photosynth now has support for uploading, exploring and viewing ICE panoramas alongside normal synths.

Here? how to create a panorama in ICE and upload it to Photosynth:

  1. Download the latest version of ICE.
  2. Start ICE, and add your source photos.
  3. Click on "Publish to Photosynth" ICE will merge your images, then launch Photosynth to upload the stitched panorama.
  4. Enter the title, keywords, description, and other details. You'll also need to select a region of the panorama to use as the thumbnail.
  5. Click "Upload" to upload the panorama.