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Monday, April 13, 2009

Microsoft research photo tools

At last I’ve posted me first photos at PhotoSynth. Here they are.

Photosynth - from Microsoft. Imagine being able to share the places and things you love using the cinematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world. With nothing more than a bunch of photos, Photosynth creates an amazing new experience.

<update>New to Photosynth? Be sure to press ‘P’ while viewing this synth</update>

<update II>Too bad Microsoft didn’t port it to MacOS and Linux…</update II>

I’m a bit disappointed with the result, probably because of the lens I’ve used – a 16mm fish-eye, and mostly because of the way I’ve used it – I’ve shoot it mostly from 2 or 3 positions, and swivel all around on a panoramic technique. This is the way to do it with stitching, but probably a bad way to take photos for Photosynth. With this technique I’d use Image Composite Editor, like this:

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Belém, Lisboa, Portugal

Oops, now that I think about it, I should have used a lens with perspective correction, now I can see how confused was Photosynth

Here’s ICE:

Image Composite Editor - from Microsoft Research. Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. While Photo Gallery includes the same stitching "engine", this application provides a lot more fine control. The stitched panorama can be saved in a wide variety of formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to multi-resolution tiled formats like HD View and Silverlight Deep Zoom.

PS: the monument on the photos is Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's discovery of a maritime path to India.


Tiago Epifânio said...

Mário, Microsoft didn't port Photosynth to MacOS and Linux but it is already available in Silverlight wich means you can you use it in MacOS. Don't know if it works in Moonlight though.
You can also browse Photosynth collections in the iPhone.
The whole story here:

Mário Romano said...

For the viewing you're absolutely right. I'm afraid Microsoft still didn't port the editor that allows us to create synths. The way people like you and I see the internet is a social network of people that are both producers and readers, not the old editor / reader paradigm.

When creation tools are closed within a platform, we are not only limiting access to something like 10% of the internet population - reducing diversity - , we are also limiting the success of this cool platform. I've both Vista and Mac OS, and mostly use Mac OS for my photo workflow. It's a pity that I have to use both OSs for this...

And just imagine if Photosynth was created by a 'cooler' Google or Apple, their would probably exist millions of synths - yes, Microsoft social networking tools doesn't get much traction with most people. So I believe Microsoft should invest on porting Photosynth to OS X and Linux, and continue this cooler trend of open their products to other platforms.

Tiago Epifânio said...

You're absolutely right. I was only thinking about the viewing part.
And thinking about it, I don't think Microsoft will be releasing the editor for other OSs.
Now, will the cooler Google (not Apple) release something that will overcome Photosynth in popularity? Probably, maybe, maybe not... I don't know.

Development Catharsis :: Copyright 2006 Mário Romano