Back in September I mentioned a photo stitching software called Photosynth. (Photosynth Part I, September 11, 2009). As a recap, Photosynth is very helpful when recreating a scene that you can “walk through.” However, it does take a little getting used to.
Instead of going for the “money” shot, you end up canvasing an entire building or area, carefully choosing the right shots to take in order to aide the software. You do have to be very mindful of what shots you’ve taken, pan slowly, and make sure that when you zoom in on a detail, that you leave something in the shot that can be recognized by the software so it can correctly be put into the composite of other photos.
My latest PhotoSynth, Houle Feeds, came out 100% Synthy. Each project is given a synthiness based upon the number of photos it was able to stitch together and the number of “extra” pieces it didn’t know what to do with. If you had, for example, 100 photos, and it was able to stitch together 96 with 4 left over, you’d receive something such as 96% synthy. You improve your synthiness by better panning and ordering of images.
A new feature that has been added since the last blog post is an enhanced Geo Tagging which I am very excited about. It combines the Microsoft Maps (Bing) with PhotoSynth. After you’ve created your PhotoSynth you can map the location and align the picture with the satellite image. This allows not only a pin point on the map, but also the ability to “fly in” to your Synth. Right now you can only do one Geo Tag, but I envision that some day, the orphan photos that it couldn’t match up will also be able to be Geo Tagged in order to help the software better assemble them–very exciting.
Here are a few additional Photosynths I’ve created since the first post (all 4 include Geo Tagging) – Note, these will require the Microsoft Silverlight browser plugin to view:
- Livestock Pavilion, MN State Fairgrounds
- Heritage Square Exhibit, MN State Fairgrounds
- Houle Feed, Forest Lake, Minnesota(100% synthy!)
- White Bear Boat Works, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
As I/we get better and obtain enough data, who knows, maybe a holodeck-like exhibit could be created some day. But first, we need to document it. If a freely available program can stitch images together into a 3D universe, it isn’t that far fetched–well, holomatter and a room of holograms is maybe really, really far off, but 3D computer game-like simulation is not.
This is not too far off (aside from holomatter) as Microsoft already has the ability to stitch building photos together in order to add 3D renderings to their maps. Add PhotoSynth with it’s Geo Tagging feature and virtual re-creations will soon come to life.
All of my PhotoSynths my be viewed on the PhotoSynth Web site.