Live Labs: 3D photo worlds with Photosynth

img Photosynth small A few months ago we have seen the prototype and some videos of Microsoft Research’s Photosynth application.

It was quite impressing and yesterday Photosynth has been released as a public technology preview on the Microsoft Live web site.

Live Labs is describing the software as:

Photosynth combines hundreds or thousands of regular digital photos of a scene to present a detailed 3D model, giving viewers the sensation of smoothly gliding around the scene from every angle. The scene can be constructed regardless of whether the photos are from a single or multiple sources. It’s like a hybrid of a slide show and a gaming experience that lets the viewer zoom in to see greater detail or zoom out for a more expansive view. By viewing the photos in a 3D context you are able to get a better sense for the place where they were captured.

The Photosynth client shows you the 3D point cloud, but more importantly, it also shows you the original pictures overlaid on the model. Imagine a slide projector placed at each original camera position, aimed how the camera was, and projecting the picture that camera took. A screen is placed in the 3D environment at an appropriate distance from the projector. As you move around in the Photosynth environment, projectors turn on and off, giving you a changing perspective on a world built entirely out of the original photos.

In short: The software uses are series of algorithms that can stitch together thousands of photos into a 3D image of a place or location and let you navigate the photos by gliding through this space and look at things from different angles.

The concept of moving through photos in 3D by reassembling the real world in pictures and bringing order to a sea of information is quite intriguing.

Click on the image for the jump

link to LivelLabs Photosynth site

You can look at each single photo, zoom in or see where pictures were taken in relation to one another. Photosynth also includes a search feature to find photos similar to the one you’re currently viewing.

For the time being users can only watch the collections available online but Live Labs is working on a version that will allow creating your own collections.

We are looking forward to see solutions bringing together Microsoft’s newly introduced Spaceland or other 3D worlds like Google Earth with Photosynth.

There is a series of videos online showing you what is possible today with Photosynth. For further information go to the Live Labs Photosynth web site.

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