webDotWiz talks Windows Live

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May the synth be with you

There’s no doubt that the digital camera has brought photography to so many more people compared to the old days when we had to struggle with the old film camera. One amazing feature of the digital camera is that the worry of wasting a costly film because of some malfunction (by the camera or the photographer, or both) is no longer there.

Then along comes a free program such as Windows Live Photo Gallery which enables us to take a series of photos and stitch them together to create a panorama. Now these panoramas turn out to be much wider or higher than our computer screen but we can pan around in Photo Gallery to view them in all their glory. But what about showing off our creative work to family and friends? Invite them over for a viewing? Not likely when many can still recall those boring slide nights!

Alright, then, we can show our panoramas on our own web site such as Windows Live Spaces. But wait a minute, panoramas can be far wider (or higher) than a computer screen. For example, if you stitch together half a dozen photos, each about 2000 pixels wide, you’ve got a photo that is about 10,000 pixels wide (allowing for overlap) – computer monitors aren’t that wide!

Here’s a panorama taken from the shores of Waranga Basin – it’s 11,200 pixels wide and reduced to about 600 pixels wide to fit on this web page:

Waranga Basin Panorama 10Aug2008

So along comes a free program with plenty of free online space where you can compose and upload your panoramas so your family and friends can pan and zoom your creations. We talked about Deep Zoom Composer a few weeks ago so go back to that article if you want a quick refresh of what’s possible. To view the panorama above after being processed in Deep Zoom Composer, click this link.

Exciting as creating a panorama is, there’s something missing, namely being able to view more of the panorama above and below what’s currently in view. That is, stitching is linear – your creation is either a horizontal or vertical view.

So a completely different way of viewing our photos has just been introduced – it’s called Microsoft Photosynth which takes a collection of photos and creates a 3D view which can be zoomed and panned. As well, using your Windows Live ID, you’re given 20 gigabytes of free online space in which to store your synths so we can all view your creation. webDotWiz”s first attempt is the Rushworth Community House Multipurpose room – this synth is made up of about sixty photos. Use the Explore link on Photosythn.net to view plenty of other synths that range across all sorts of topics.

The Photosynth site has plenty of tips about how to get the best results, that is, how to get a high synth score for your collection. There’s a video to watch or you can download a how-to document.

You don’t need any special equipment although a tripod for your camera is a good aid. All you need do is take a series of photos that have about a fifty percent overlap. For example, synthing a room entails snapping shots from the centre of the room, followed by taking more shots along each wall and then from the four corners. Then go to the Create page at Photosynth.net, download and install the add-in (only required the first time) and your photos will be synthed into a 3D view and uploaded (this latter step requires a broadband connection obviously).

To get some ideas, view those synths that are already online at Photosynth.net, in particular those that have a high synth rating.

synth_07

Rushworth Community House Multipurpose Room synthed

Whether you’re viewing the art works at a famous art gallery, touring one of the world’s well-known landmarks, enjoying some wedding photos or looking inside somebody’s garden shed, Photosynth has brought a new way to view our photo collections.

Here are some sites to get you stared:

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synth_03

May the Synth be with you.

Posted using the Tech Preview of Windows Live Writer.

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