22 August 2008
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A Whole Lot Of Synthin' Goin' On - Part 2

I started yesterday's blog with:

Microsoft has this new service.  It's called Photosynth.  You upload a bunch of overlapped photos and it synthesizes them into a mosaic by matching pixels in different photos.  It should be very nice and I couldn't resist trying it out.

I discovered Photosynth, as did most, in Mossberg's column in the Journal, and most got there first, or so it seemed.  It was unavailable for the whole day and I unstintingly provided the error messages instead of an example.  It had un-crashed by early this morning, and I got it to "synth" yesterday's photographs. 

How I Built the Synth

I just went outside to the deck overlooking the pool, and shot a number of still photos at minimum "zoom," i.e., the widest angle possible, and which overlapped to a significant degree.  This allowed the program to stitch them into a continuous mosaic.  Next, I zoomed in on a few features, including a small flowerpot at maximum zoom.  Because this overlapped with the wider photos, it was also stitched into the mosaic in the right place.  The result of this was a "photograph" that in certain respects is about a million pixels wide!

On the left is what the whole panorama looks like, but much tinier.  On the right you can see the flowerpottwigs, petals and allin closeup, on the same photograph.

Sorry, no frog.

You can "experience" the whole "synth" by going to Photosynth.net and searching for "Back yard experiment" or just click on the link*, which I think should work but may not be permanent.  The site is still a little raw.  For example, the search window doesn't honor the quotes around the phrase.  Normally you'd expect Back yard experiment to return anything with "yard" or "experiment" but putting quotes around it should return only that precise phrase.  You get a lot of yards even with the quotes.  Picky picky picky.

Making the synth was very easy.  So easy that until the new wears off I suspect I'll be taking many more photos than I have any reason to.  Give it a try yourself!

*As of the day of the blogitem the link doesn't seem to work, so you'll have to use search phrase.  I'll fix the link when Microsoft allows linking or when I figure out what I'm doing wrong.  (Or, of course, both.)  It may also be that you have to install the Photosynth software and authorize an Active-X control before it functions.

Special Advertising Section
Please buy the lovely blue Corvette ZR1 on the left!  The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 on the right is sold, pending completion of the transaction. 

Thank you.

NP:  "Mad About You" - Belinda Carlisle

Richard Factor

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