This is a guest post by swami_worldtraveler, a fairly new user who has really jumped in and started producing some great work and finding interesting ways of sharing his new passion with others.  We’re very excited to see people like him take such an interest in Photosynth (and we’re jealous of his profession… he lists it as “world traveler”).
-View the original article here.

Photosynth Primer


I decided to put together some visuals and text to entice you into my latest foto/3D obsession....


Here are a series of screen-grabs. They were chosen to be visual compelling, and to cover a broad range of features, user controls, and user interface particulars. Highlighted ruins include the Temple of the Inscriptions, a grand view of the site, and the skull from the Temple of the Skull. Totally new to most, and hopefully exciting, is the 3D "point cloud" model resulting from the synth. Exactly what this is will be come clear below.


Take a quick visual scan below, then jump right in, if you like!

Go here: Mayan Ruins of Palenque (take 3's the charm!?)" - and yes, it was the charm :)
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=0c71b1c4-8113-4bc4-bf4d-71ec4d9c6749


For those interested in getting the full experience (or who just get into this stuff), your tour begins now :) ...
(Or for a quicker introduction, consider looking at the "Quick Guide" in my travel blog)

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This is the basic, COMPLETE INTERFACE running in the Firefox web browser. You can see multiple planes (fotos) making up the panorama. Most of the fotos are concentrated around the temple in the center. And notice the interface icons around the border. Click 'em and see what happens! Hold the mouse cursor over one to get a description.

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In FULL-SCREEN mode, here's a different angle of the temple. This is certainly the preferred viewing mode.

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BAM! 3D 'POINT CLOUD' MODEL! The program has used sophisticated robot vision algorithms and relative spatial analysis to create a 3D facsimile of the scene! Clicking and dragging the donut in the middle reveals the various viewpoints shot. Use the 'p' key to enter this mode. Click 'p' multiple times to cycle thru.
Note: this donut only appears under certain conditions.

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This is another view of the temple point cloud, but no foto was taken from this exact angle! By doing a Ctrl+click-n-drag on the donut you can orbit anywhere and get a better sense of the 3D environment. More fotos of a given area lead to more detail (i.e. points). The sparse points to the upper-right of the temple represent the trees on the ridge.

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This is a "grand" view taken from the Group of the Crosses. This is the first screen you see for this particular synth. The Temple of the Inscriptions can be seen center-left, just behind some trees, and The Palace is just to its right. To the fore-left is the Temple of the Sun.

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And here's the grand view seen full-screen.

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This is the GRID VIEW. It's a simple layout of all the fotos in the synth. They're grouped into 'clumps.' These fotos are all connected in a 3D space. They all have objects in common with at least one or more other fotos. Click the 'm' key to move from clump to clump. This works in Grid View and 3D view. Fewer clumps mean more connectedness and a greater "% synthy" scene. But "100% synthy" does not necessarily mean better. In this scene I've included maps, and hieroglyphs which aren't meant to connect, but add to the experience.

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Here's the GRID VIEW in FULL-SCREEN mode. More real estate; easier to navigate!:)

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This is a CLOSE-UP of a foto in GRID VIEW. Single-click to select and zoom to. Use '+' and '-' to zoom in and out. You can also click-n-drag. And quite useful is to use SPACEBAR/Shift+SPACEBAR to move from foto to foto. This works in 3D view, too. In fact, this is a good way to ensure you see all there is to see. You can also click the PLAY icon.

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By double-clicking on the foto in grid view you go to 3D view, centered on that foto. Can you find this skull!?

OK. That's it. Have fun :)