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ICT in Collaborative, Project-Based Teaching and Learning Malta, Summer 2013

What is

Photosynth is a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3D. You can share your creations with your friends on Facebook, publish them to Bing, or embed them in your own blog or Web site.

How does it Work?

The Photosynth hosts two different styles of 3D experience. The first style, and the one that still uniquely defines the product, is what we call a synth. A synth is a collection of overlappi ng photographs that have been automatically reconstructed into a 3D model of the space. The synthing process solves the same problem our brains are confronted by when we look at the world: the slight differences between what our left and right eyes see gives us cues about how far away different parts of the scene are. In a similar way, the differences between two photos taken from nearby positions can be analyzed to determine which parts of the scene are close, and which are further away. Amazingly, the synthing algorithm can reconstruct a scene of 200 photos in just five or ten minutes on an average laptop. In addition to synths, Photosynth supports spherical panoramas, which we often refer to as panos. Unlike synths, where different camera locations are required, the idea behind a pano is to capture the view in every possible direction from exactly one location. A panorama doesnt give you any depth information, but it makes for a seamless viewing experience because the combined imagery seems to wrap around you just like the real world does. Both synths and panos are viewed using the multi-resolution technology acquired when Microsoft purchased the Seadragon startup in 2006. This means that photos in synths can be of any resolution whatsoever, and every pixel is preserved and delivered to viewers as they zoom. Similarly, our tools allow you to make a gigapixel (1000 megapixels) panorama if you want, and it can be opened by a viewer on the Web or in a mobile app in just a couple of seconds.

How do I Capture the World in 3D?

Photosynth offers two styles for creating immersive 3D experiences: panoramas and synths. Check out the differences between them, and the tools available for creating them. For best results always take photos with 50% overlap.

Shoot a panorama when you can capture everything from a single location with a single zoom level. Great for giving a sense of what it feels like to be in one particular place. Can be 360 in both directions, but doesnt have to be. Simple to navigate - all you can do is go left/right, up/down and zoom in/out.

Make them directly on your mobile phone (Windows Phone and iPhone), or by processing photos in Microsoft Researchs Image Composite Editor.

Good for capturing different sides or details of an object. Synths were the original experience on this site, and they remain its unique feature. More complex to navigate than panoramas because you are moving from photo to photo. Make them by processing your photos in the Photosynth desktop application that runs in Windows XP and above.

How do I get Started?

First create a Photosynth account. Then download the tool or tools you need: Install Silverlight. To make panoramas from your Windows Phone 7.5 or above, get the Photosynth app from the Windows Phone Marketplace. To make panoramas from your iPhone, get the Photosynth app from Apples App Store. To make panoramas from your PC, install Image Composite Editor and the Photosynth application. To make synths, just install the Photosynth application, if you dont already have it.

Create a Synth
1. Copy the photos from your camera to a new folder your computer. 2. Open the Photosynth Application and log on with your email address and password. 3. Add photos by 5 3 clicking on the Add photos button. Select all the photos from your computer and click open 4. All the photos selected will be displayed on the right hand side of the window. 5. Now you can name your synth and select a photo which will be displayed first. 6. Once the synth button is pressed, the photosynth will start matching and merging the photos while being uploaded.

7. Once the process is finished, you will be redirected to Photosynth webpage from where you can make particular settings from the tool bar shown. 8. General Change title, enter description and select the starting image 9. Location Geotag you synth by placing the pushpin on the map

10. Highlights Select a photo or part of it to highlight it. 11. Advanced Advanced setting on how the synth is displayed.

Create a Panorama
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Copy the photos from your camera to a new folder your computer. Open Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE). Click on File > New Panorama. Browse and select the photos you want to include in your Panorama and press OK. ICE will render, match and stich the pictures accordingly. Press the Publish to Web button in order to upload the panorama to your Photosynth profile. 6. Wait while Photosynth compresses the image. You may be asked to enter your email and password to log on to your Photosynth profile.

7. Enter the information needed and select the thumbnail that best represents your panorama. Press upload.

8. Be patient while Photosynth will start uploading the image file to the Photosynth web page . 9. You may view and edit the panorama online. After all desired changes have been made, press Save and Exit to view your work!!