Just got around today to try out Photosynth where the popular TV Series CSI featured in some older episode, it’s cool looking and fun to use.
The attractive part of it is, it’s ease of use. While doing so, I discovered Bing Maps and being a big fan of Google Maps, Bing Maps does offer what Google Maps don’t and a bit more. We’ll be covering Photosynth for now, will write more about Bing Maps at a later time.
[A screen shot of PTGui. Picture from Rosauro Photography]
Photosynth is easy to use, the provided application for “stitching” or what they call, Create a new synth is simple with not much option. The beauty of it is just that, less option, cut the clutter! I know the daunting look of PTGui when I first launched it, it looks so complicated and it’s over time that those advance option is required that will make you want to look deeper but for Synth, it’s simple.
[Screen shot of Photosynth, yep, that’s it. Simple and elegant!]
There are giga photos around for the hobbist and serious photographers in some of us that’ll take a lot of work stitching or even specialised equipment like the Gigapan but with Synth, there’s not a need. It’s also recommended that you simply use a point and shoot camera. That’s all it takes actually.
Speed and Workflow
Stitching time is fast too. Consdering when my workflow in PTGui, copying from CF card to the PC, masking the nadir in Photoshop, feeding them to PTGui, adjust control point, adjust HDR when needed, export the equi image out, convert to cubes, add my signatures, generate the Flash/ DevalVR in Pano2VR with all the relevant text like copyright, details, create new post in this site, upload the files via FTP and linking them together, getting information of the pano I gotten from the place of visit’s website or from Wikipedia, post it…all that, takes roughly 30 mins to an hour per pano…Synth, pack all the images I want in a folder, drag and drop type in name, description, click Synth. It took me around 30 mins too for the following 9 images stitch of Ion Orchard but 15 mins was simply waiting for the program to finish the stitch and upload it while I am typing all these!
Effectively, it took me les than 5 mins! With the rest of my time left to waste some time on Youtube searching for classic Joan Jett videos and having a listen!
Hosting and Price
There’s flickr for photographers not wanting or do not know how to run their own site or do not want to fiddle around with codes, maintaining a site, worry about uptime, do no need custimisation of anything except, well, their showing off or sharing their photos. Synth has that taken care of. 20Gb upfront, Free of charge for anyone to host their Synth.
Popular stitching application PTGui cost a few hundred dollars. Photosynth, free application that help you to stitch, upload and a big site with free 20 Gb of space to host your Synths with a big community to ask for help – Free.
So long you have a LIVE ID, you simply sign in, create a new profile and you’re on your way to Synth-ing. So if you have a Hotmail account, uses MSN Messenger, you’re set. Log in using the same ID and password. Synth will prompt you if it detect you have not use it before.
I love this concept and not wanting to registering again and again on sites that I may be interested in, thus the Facebook connector login on this site too. You do not have to register with us to post comments, simply use your Facebook account.
Synth uses Silverlight. A plugin like Flash…that is from Microsoft. Small installation. Free but annoying end of installation checks of Enable Windows Update, Set Bing as your homepage blah blah blah…
Simple to use software
Ready site to host and showcase your Synth, good support from fellow users
Price – Free.