Skip to main content

See also:

Create motion with 3D Photosynth

Back in 2008, Microsoft introduced their response to Apple's QuickTime VR, Photosynth. Apple had ruled the VR (Virtual Reality) space for over 20 years. In fact a whole industry grew out of the Apple QuickTime VR format. In fact one of the other major panorama players was Gigapan. Gigapan introduced the concept of the gigabyte panorama. With this technology, each "cell" of a panorama would be the size of the camera's sensor. So, if you have a 10 megapixel camera, and you took a series of 50 photographs for that panorama, you now had an image that was measured in gigabytes not megabytes. "Geek Alert!" Using this example, each frame measures 3776 x 2520 pixels. When multiplying the width by the height, the final resulting image dimension would be 37,760 x 12,600 pixels. That's total of 47,577,600 pixels or about .5 gigapixels. So when you "zoomed" in to the image, you can see an amazing about of high resolution detail. Check out this image I made using the Gigapan Epic rig.

Here are the basic steps for creating your 3D Photosynth on the web. The very first step is to create an account on the Photosynth site.
Here are the basic steps for creating your 3D Photosynth on the web. The very first step is to create an account on the Photosynth site.Microsoft Photosynth Team/Jarvis Grant
Create four types of 3D motion model panoramas easily with 3D Photosynth.
Create four types of 3D motion model panoramas easily with 3D Photosynth.Microsoft

What's really cool with 3D Photosynth, is that Microsoft, the purveyors of geek, have hidden all of the geeky stuff under the hood of a web browser UI (user interface) so the user, geek & non-geek, can have fun doing this. You don't need anything other than a camera (that's any type of camera) and your imagination. No extra plug-ins, tripods, special tripod heads or calculators are required. It's all incredibly easy. Here's how.

There are four different of 3D Photosynth categories. They are, the Spin, the Panorama, the Wall and the Walk.
1. The Spin is when you want
take photos around a small or large object looking in. This can be a full 360°. 20 - 30 photos

2. The Panorama is when you want to make a 360º view of the environment.
hold the camera at arm's length and take photos as you spin around a space 25 - 40 photos

3. The Wall is when you want to move
sideways in a scene up to 200 photos with a minimum of about 20 shots.

4. The Walk is when you want to take images that move though a space by
moving "forward" in a scene. Up to 200 photos. A minimum of 10. The fewer you take the "faster" the experience, so take lots of photos.

Once you've captured your images, then simply upload them to the 3D Photosynth site and follow the on screen instructions. That's it. You will receive an email from Photosynth when your project has been processed. If you want to know more about the techno-magic taking place, click here. Very basically, the software is actually a series of software components that create a "rough" 3D model from similar elements in the series of images called "Features". Then Photosynth stitches these "features" together creating the effect of motion in a 3D space.

So, when one frame simply cannot do justice telling the whole story of a space, try using 3D Photosynth. In the end it's more fun to do than read about, so go over to the Photosynth site and create your very own 3D motion graphics. Here's my DuPont Circle Photosynth Walk.