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Photosynth Team Does It Again

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the see-what-i-see dept.

Graphics 144

STFS found an update to the Photosynth stories that we already ran. You might remember the amazing photo tourism demos. Well, this new version kicks things up several notches with paths and color correction to more smoothly transition between photos taken in different lighting conditions. As before, this stuff is worth your time. Check it out.

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24597699)

fp and piss lolololol

Huh (0, Offtopic)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597747)

"STFS Found an update to the PhotoSynth stories that we already ran."

STFS stands for :Shut The F ?????

Re:Huh (0, Offtopic)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597853)

Steal the F*cking Summary

it's the movement advocating article plagiarism and blog spam

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24597925)

Not up. Sideways?

Re:Huh (4, Informative)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597947)

Shut The Fuckup Sonny - it's what the old guys on Photo.net say when you tell them that photography as we know it is dead - especially if you mention film in the same sentence. It'd be like saying that BSD is dead here on /..

Wow (0, Flamebait)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597839)

I wasn't aware of any of this research/development. Thanks for sharing, this stuff is incredible!

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597969)

Seems a bit simplistic to me, I'd have thought that they'd turn the photos into a virtual world, using the colour corrected photos to create wireframes and bumpmaps and then being able to apply whatever lighting and other effects to the world. That allows you much more freedom to use other methods (e.g. LIDAR) to populate the database.

Creating 3d models also allows you to remove transient objects (people), or add objects to the scene, e.g. what would David look like on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square.

I suspect the reason they've done it this way is more about the patents than practical application.

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598383)

I imagine that's the ultimate goal. But what they have now is still amazingly impressive...

The next step in that goal would be making it automatically determine what's in the structure, and what's 'in the way' (a tourist, a security guard, a pigeon...). It would be annoying if a tourist was thrown in with the 3-d model if they happened to populate the set with a ton of pictures of them and the object you want modeled.

Still, as it stands now, it's still an amazing way to experience a historical landmark that maybe you can't afford to visit. Imagine showing your kids the Parthenon, the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, The Statue of Liberty, and the Kremlin. Not some static pictures, but a 3-d experience, photorealistic (Because it's populated by photographs, natch). It's the same kind of thing that, if I saw it in a movie 10 years ago, I'd have laughed at it for being stupid, because computers can't do THAT...

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599689)

Imagine showing your kids the Parthenon, the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, The Statue of Liberty, and the Kremlin.

Huh? Why not get out there, meet people from those countries, eat the food they eat, get drunk with them, and actually experience the world?

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599821)

Huh? Why not get out there, meet people from those countries, eat the food they eat, get drunk with them, and actually experience the world?

Of course! Because every familiy has the time and resources to visit every possible interesting place on the planet.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600143)

Huh? Why not get out there, meet people from those countries, eat the food they eat, get drunk with them, and actually experience the world?

Ummm, because we can't afford it? Taking six people to Greece would consume our family vacation budget for 3-4 years. I'd rather stay closer to home and spend more time with my kids.

Re:Wow (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600679)

I've long since learnt that photographs and video are a totally RUBBISH way of experiencing a new place.

If you want to see something cool, physically go there. No amount of photos or video will ever give you the feeling or atmosphere of most cool things in the world. The biggest problem has to be the lack of perception of scale that photos provide (even with ample references within picture).

Get out there and see stuff.

Remember: the best thing about real life is that it's ALL in glorious high definition with surround sound!

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24599357)

Nice. Way to piss on thier parade.

What they have done is nothing short of amazing. You missed the whole phone, they don't want to make a database that can be easily populated by LIDAR. The whole point is your can take pictures from anywhere and view them in an amazing new manner.

Re:Wow (1)

daedae (1089329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599651)

Sure, because that sounds easy... some people in my department are working on with stuff like that I think (construction of 3d models from collection of photos), and it requires a large number of photos (at a non-trivial amount of disk space) and a lot of processing power. Also, in a general-purpose application, you'd have to be able to correct for thing like people, birds, trees, etc...

Such a technique would no doubt be cool, and probably could be useful for constructing models of areas without having to go there yourself with a team of photographers. It's overkill though for navigating your/a photo collection, which seems the main purpose here.

Actually, the color-correcting was interesting, but I have to wonder how novel their automatic correction algorithm is. I haven't had a chance to read the SIGGRAPH paper yet, but at first glance it reminds me of something one of my undergrad professors did several years ago (at least 5 or 6 at this point) to false color B&W photos based on a user-supplied color photo of a similar scene. The main difference here is I guess that the B&W false-coloring used luminance values to match against the color photo, whereas here correcting for different lighting conditions maybe means by definition the luminance is different?

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

ttapper04 (955370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598017)

Microsoft had better not repeat google's slight miscalculation. The credits given to the flicker accounts tell that they must of had to opt in, unlike streetview. This photosynth system would be incredibly powerful if it used all flicker images or crawled the web. People are clearly visible everywhere in this system, and some may become upset.

Re:Wow (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598655)

They could create some kind of agreement with Flickr & other photo-sharing sites where users could check a box to opt-in to photosynth.

(Or if they want to be sneaky about it, require the users to check the box to opt-out, or just change the Flickr privacy policy to opt-in all new photos.)

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24599057)

Google released a system that enabled a similar 3d navigation feature for user uploaded photos on panoramio.com a couple of months ago:

http://www.panoramio.com/blog/hi-look-around/

Re:Wow (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600637)

A large portion of Flickr photos are licensed under Creative Commons licenses. They could easily query for any tagged in that location under a suitable license. By selecting a By-Attribution license a photographer has already made their photos available to anyone doing something like this, legally.

Re:Wow (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24601205)

To be useful you have to have access to many pictures of the scene, all of these are likely to be copyrighted, and so any commercial application will not be viable...So who exactly are they doing this for?

Ordinary people do not have nearly enough photos to make it work....Companies will not be able to use it due to the vast majority of the material being copyrighted and unavailable for commercial use ..

color (4, Interesting)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597867)

The color matching section was quite impressive given the wide variety of lighting and color temp in the starting photos; if they wrote their own software to do that, it sure counts as R/D.

Re:color (4, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598173)

The color matching section was quite impressive given the wide variety of lighting and color temp in the starting photos; if they wrote their own software to do that, it sure counts as R/D.

AFAIK; adobe created the technology first in response to the needs of automation in the pornography industry. It seriously helped alot of "studios" color match the whole set just by having a wizard scan the pics and correct them all.

Re:color (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599671)

Lol, why does everything have to be for the porn industry. It couldn't possibly have been because it'd be useful for any other group that uses large numbers of photos... Just about any photographer would find it userful... whether it's a wedding or a fashion or a sports photographer. I'm not attacking you personally, there are just so many insane, "well this format won because the porn people picked it" type urban legends that it gets a bit ridiculous after a while.

Re:color (4, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599899)

Actually, I was a rabid Adobe Forum troll when some self-declared porno studios started clamoring for the feature. The other people it would be useful for actually dismissed it, as they did not seem to think they wanted that step in their workflow automated. But once the feature was added, everyone seemed to appreciate it. Of course, adobe is not one to normally listen to and assimilate feedback, especially not from their forums, so that could have just been coincidence.

No sense to limit how many photos you take... (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597873)

And THIS is why I tend to take huge numbers of photos and never delete any... Technology like this will account for easy geotagging, date I already have in the EXIF data, whereas people can be tagged with face recognition soon enough.

That done, I'll be able to navigate my tens of thousands of photos by asking for things like photos taken of the kids while outside at the cottage when they were 3 years old.

Also, remember to backup! :)

Re:No sense to limit how many photos you take... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24597953)

Why not just use a video camera?

Re:No sense to limit how many photos you take... (5, Informative)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600023)

Because a video camera is nowhere near the quality of a still image, still cameras will win for a number of reasons:
  • Still Camera - less motion blur, if any
  • Bigger sensor - less noise
  • Focus mechanism - an SLR has a much better focusing mechanism
  • Image Compression - almost all video codecs record a stream of images, and do not optimize the quality of an individual frame
  • Exposure time - A still camera can take from 1/8000 second to 5 minute exposures for a single frame, as opposed to a fixed time of about 1/30 second for NTSC
  • Aperture - A still camera can control the aperture to get desired depth of field

So, those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Video original better? (2, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597987)

It looks like taking a video would be easier. That way, you wouldn't have to spend time stringing all the stills to together - if I understood correctly.

Re:Video original better? (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598305)

It looks like taking a video would be easier.

Depending on what you are trying to do... My original point was that technology like this will make it possible to navigate the swamps of data we're accumulating.

I like having a lot of family photos, but traditional albums won't do when we have literally thousands of them. Stuff like this can make it possible to easily call up photos based on suitable criteria. Like I said we need other parts to, like face recognition, but summing it all up we'll eventually have a feasible way to navigate a huge amount of photographic data.

Re:Video original better? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598387)

Well the tech demo is using photos taken by arbitrary people. While it could be used to similar effect on your own photo collection (if you take enough photos from enough positions), the real power would seem to be when it's used on a large collection of user-submitted photos, or if its fed the contents of Flickr, etc.

Re:Video original better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24600211)

Did you WTFV? It allows you to use it on your own photos. You take a picture outside the Parthenon and one inside, feed them into the system, and and the tech spits out a personalized moving slideshow.

Re:No sense to limit how many photos you take... (2, Informative)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599287)

Geotagging is not that hard nowadays, assuming you have a device capable of creating a gps log and are using a digital camera (timestamps). Take the log, load it into gpicsync [google.com] and let the program tag your photos for you. Just make sure the gps device and your camera have their clocks synchronized. I'm still waiting for a decent way to browse photos on a map, though - pretty much what you're looking forward to, I guess. Picasa lets you view geotagged photos in albums in google earth, but it's not much more than a gimmick. Something that would let you draw a circle on a map to limit your search to that area, then use a time slider to further refine the search and then allow keywords, face recognition once we get that, would be useful.

Re:No sense to limit how many photos you take... (1)

3dr (169908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600897)

The Windows program TopoFusion (www.topofusion.com) will merge photos with GPS logs, and place them on a map. As you said, make sure the camera is synced to GPS time.

I've used TopoFusion for a few years and have been pretty happy with it (primarily used for cycling logs and making rough maps of trails).

Generalized, or just well-known, static objects? (4, Interesting)

pz (113803) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597883)

Very cool stuff! Does anyone know (are any of the project team members here?) how much foreknowledge of the object being orbited that is required?

For example, is a 3D wireframe model necessary?

Is a filtering of the photos necessary to ensure that they are all of the same subject?

What level of pre-processing is required on the photos, either automated, or manual?

How well does the system fare when the object being photographed isn't absolutely static? A drawbridge, for example, changes shape. Or Niagara Falls. Or a flag. Or a single person.

Anyone know?

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (1, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597913)

more importantly, does it have an anti-goatse filter?

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598009)

goatse

Awwwww Christ ... now you've put zooming and panning into my head at the same time as goatse.

Thanks.

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598221)

I haven't read any articles published by the authors of Photosynth (are there even any?), but they likely extract sparse features from the images (SIFT, Harris, ...), then match them across the image sequence and then run camera calibration. Wireframe model is not necessary, the pointcloud you see is actually a side-effect of automatic camera calibration. The scene on photographs doesn't have to be completely static, since most computer vision algorithms are inherently robust and thus they'll filter out the moving (inconsistent) objects.

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (4, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598229)

This is described in their SIGGRAPH paper, which was prominently linked from the article.

It's a bit dense and involves some cross references, but here's a part which may answer some of your questions. For more detail you oculd always read the paper yourself.

We use our previously developed structure from motion system to recover the camera parameters for each photograph along with a sparse point cloud [Snavely et al. 2006]. The system detects SIFT features in each of the input photos [Lowe 2004], matches features between all pairs of photos, and finally uses the matches to recover the camera positions, orientations, and focal lengths, along with a sparse set of 3D points. For efficiency, we run this system on a subset of the photos for each collection, then use pose estimation techniques to register the remainder of the photos. A more prin- cipled approach to reconstructing large image sets is described in [Snavely et al. 2008].

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (4, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598645)

You just give it the photos - it figures out the rest. It works by stitching them together in 3D, so if there is a photo of one part of the subject that is not overlapped by one other, the photo won't be part of the finished "model". If you download the old demo, you can see the Yosemite demo, which shows what happens with movement (hikers climbing a mountain). If it can match up most of a scene in an image, the image can still be used. I'm sure it'll only get better. Another great example is in the old demo, where they simply searched Flickr for "Notre Dame", and then constructed the entire cathedral. It picked up a photo of a poster in someone's house, and seamlessly integrated it into the model. It recognised what it was from, and where on the cathedral it was positioned, and reflected that by putting that image exactly where it should be in the finished "model". Of course this is just stuff I've gleaned from watching the demo videos, using the demo, and reading as much as I can about it, so I might be wrong on some of it, but that was the impression I got. If I'm far off, I'd appreciate being put right, as this technology is nothing short of stunning.

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (1)

Fittysix (191672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599517)

Or a single person.

That makes me wonder if this software would be capable of identifying people as the age sortof. If it has enough data it could find a progressive path from one age to another, and you could find pics of yourself all over the place.

Re:Generalized, or just well-known, static objects (1)

pz (113803) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599869)

That makes me wonder if this software would be capable of identifying people as the age sortof. If it has enough data it could find a progressive path from one age to another, and you could find pics of yourself all over the place.

Totally cool idea!

fascinating (2, Informative)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597891)

Science fiction and VR have primed me to believe someday we would all be walking around some imaginary digital world (oh wait, WoW anyone?), but this is "virtualization" of the real world. Like Google street view on crack. I am simultaneously in awe of the technological achievement and embarrassed that my life in computers hasn't yet created anything so cool.

I, for one, welcome our new PhotoSynth overlords.

Can't wait..... (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24597929)

I can't wait for the ability to do a search and replace of all the images of women replacing them with naked Playboy playmate pictures. Then again, it would be embarrassing to walk into a church and be staring a Nun up and down with a woody.

Re:Can't wait..... (1)

Single GNU Theory (8597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598291)

You will probably not find any nuns with woodies in Playboy, though they did feature Caroline Cossey. Either your source material's suspect, or you've got the nuns and priests mixed up.

Re:fascinating (2, Interesting)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598041)

Read The Light of Other Days [wikipedia.org] by Arthur C Clarke.

Security (5, Interesting)

robvangelder (472838) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598013)

I was on an ocean cruise recently, and a little girl was lost... Ship's Security were looking for her.

I later heard she had been found, and as I walked back to my cabin I thought of this software.

Every corridor of the ship has cameras.

The parent could recall the last time she was with the child. An operator could then fly through a 3d map of the ship, from that point in time, with recorded video overlaid, following the girl in fast-forward until the current time was reached.

The flying would be like spectators do in first-person-shooter type computer games.
An observer could even be automatically tethered to the missing person.

Re:Security (1)

Indecision Bob (52021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598225)

The husband could recall the last time he was with his wife. An operator could then fly through a 3d map of the ship, from that point in time, with recorded video overlaid, following the woman in fast-forward until her new amore was reached.

Ultimate stalker/invasive state tool!

Convoluted (5, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598265)

Erm, isn't that a bit of a long winded complicated way of doing things ? I mean sure, Computer could do that for you but why not just ask instead ?

"Computer, where is " and that would be that. I mean typically she'd be stowed away in the engine room re-configuring the sensor array for some nefarious purpose but that's just kids nowadays I guess.

Re:Convoluted (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598717)

I tried that. The mic on my mouse must be broken.

Re:Convoluted (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24601005)

She'd be in the jeffries tubes somewhere near engineering. Everyone knows you don't need to actually go into engineering to reconfigure the sensor array.

Re:Security-indeed (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598527)

imagine the salivations of the UK security forces.

there is a book, 'lacey and his friends' which contains a few short stories about a society with such abilities...

not pleasant.

Re:Security (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598529)

Forget the ship, use all of London and any other place with CCTV. Orwell was an optimist.

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598607)

Rob,

You should read Time's Eye by Arthur. C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. It's a nice work of fiction about application of the system you propose and it's influence on social behaviour.

Re:Security (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599095)

An observer could even be automatically tethered to the missing person.

Or you could just tether the kid to the parent with a kiddy leash.

WTH? "Error establishing a database connection" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598035)

No offense, but I've seen the words "Error establishing a database connection" lots of times before... I don't understand why this Photosynth Team is going gaga about "Error establishing a database connection"

I'm confused by all this (2, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598075)

I've seen some of these articles about Photosynth, and there seems to be a lot of hype. But... I don't get it.

I see that Photosynth can glue a series of images together so that you can zoom into and move around a scene and get an epileptic-seizure of correlated viewpoints. This group seems to have made a virtual walk-through using this. But I am unclear:
1) What is the point
2) What is the breakthrough

As for #1, Photosynth is ugly. I would much rather have a few good quality same-lighting photos to look at than to have my eyes torn out trying to make sense of this. So unless my brain works differently from everyone else's, the point is not an aesthetic one. It must be a technological one. Is it the promise that we could one day use this to combine amateur images into a real 3D image? Why would this matter when doing that with professional images is easy to do and looks much better?

As for #2, without reading the entire paper I'm unclear how much of this was done automatically. If someone manually entered the GPS coordinates and direction of these photos and then wrote a program to glue them together, I see a lot of hard work but no science. If this required creating a rough 3D layout and it was able to extract the positions programatically, then that is impressive. If it was able to make this entirely from nothing other than the images, then holy moly that's amazing. But I can't tell from the video which of these it is.

Can someone explain this to me and why I should be interested?

Re:I'm confused by all this (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598169)

If this was an OSS project, your post would have been rated "flamebait".

Re:I'm confused by all this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598227)

It needs neither input of coordinates or input of a rough 3d layout. It generates its own 3d model by analyzing the photographs programatically, you do not even need to tell the program they were taking in the same area. The photographs are then automatically applied to the generated 3d model and finally it lets you move freely in the generated 3d world selecting the best photo matching your current viewpoint while applying perspective remapping, color correction and lens correction.

Re:I'm confused by all this (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598239)

If it's the same project I think it is, this can do it all using image recognition - correlating photos that appear to be of the same location, and then stitching them together.

It takes a crap load of processor time to do it, but it's largely a hands off process.

Re:I'm confused by all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598741)

It's the same way that photo panoramas are auto-stitched together (did a project on this in my master's computer vision class).

You use a patch detection to find matching pieces of the image (for relatively similar viewpoints) and then construct a homography matrix to project these points from one image to the other.

With enough images you can identify many points in 3D (these are the little scattered points you see in the photosynth demo).

The breakthrough is that you can accurately (an automatically) recreate 3D geometry from 2D images given enough images and processing time.

Re:I'm confused by all this (5, Informative)

hkz (1266066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598255)

From what I took away from the original demo, they were doing everything algorithmically. The original demo showed a wireframe of the Notre Dame generated completely from amateur pictures, then overlaid with those same pictures to give it texture. So yes, it is quite impressive. I'd be surprised if Google wasn't doing anything similar for Google Maps though.

Re:I'm confused by all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598277)

I can answer #1 for you. Photosynth is ugly (at least in their demo) because it utilizes all relevant images regardless of image quality. And you are right; The point is a technological one. Let's say you extend the project from the small Flickr samples it's using, to all photos ever taken, linking together pretty much all visual information ever digitized. The scope of that alone should blow you away. It puts us well on the way to creating an accurate virtual version of our world.

As for #2, I'm unsure as well. Can someone elaborate?

Re:I'm confused by all this (4, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598675)

Because you can, say, search Flickr for a landmark, get the images, run them through this, then you can navigate through the space in 3D, looking at high-res imagery of the subject, from all available angles, without having to previously know anything about the subject. Even the system doesn't need to know anything about the subject, it only needs the photos. It is ENTIRELY automatic, using only images. If you look at the old Notre Dame demo, you can see that it even correctly inserted a photo of a poster of Notre Dame into the 3D model, in the exactly-correct position. 100% automatic. That's the breakthrough.

Re:I'm confused by all this (1)

Catil (1063380) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598715)

In theory, giving the huge amount of photographs available online, probably already covering every public inch of the populated world, a program capable of automatically crawling, indexing, glueing the images together and autocompleting their geotags could render a fully accessible 3D-'streetview' of the world without any human interaction. Although a final implementation might still be a few years away, this project is most certainly a milestone on the way to achieve it.

Re:I'm confused by all this (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598753)

It does not need input other then a massive amount of photos. The program does all the piecing together and building of the 3D layout. If you goto the microsoft site on it they have more details. For the video all they did was get a bunch of photos from different people of the same object and feed them into the program and you saw what they got.
As for the bad part, it takes days and a powerful computer for anything beyond the very basic set of pictures.

Re:I'm confused by all this (1)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598949)

Can someone explain this to me and why I should be interested?

If it works as I believe it works (i.e. the stitching is automagic), then tagging two photos with GPS coordinates should be sufficient to tag all of the photos with fairly accurate (two so you have orientation, or just one with direction as well as location).

Depending on what you want to do with this, you may or may not be excited. I've got a lot of photos that simply do not capture the scale of some of the things I've seen. Not that the photos are bad, just that the medium they're expressed through (i.e. a 2-d photograph) simply isn't enough. Climbing a mountain, being in a huge stadium, and so on. This would allow you to have a fly-through of the area.

Not interested in that reason? How about this one. Do you like GTA? Imagine the realism that could be added to the games if someone with a camera could just drive around your city snapping photos and this could automatically build a level for you.

Maybe you'd like to design a garden for your home, wouldn't it be nice to have a full blown 3d representation of it so you could just drop plants in where ever instead of having to get several photos and photoshop each one?

If you take all the photos from a trip (and if you take the photos frequently enough), you could follow yourself around where you went. It'd be great for explaining some stories (as a good visual aid).

These are just a few things of the top of my head, and I still haven't had my coffee...speaking of which...

Nice view (1)

Pravetz-82 (1259458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598097)

"Error establishing a database connection"
Nice view indeed!

One Step Closer to Blade Runner (0, Offtopic)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598099)

Any one else remember seeing the photo 'enhancement' device that allow Mr Ford to see round a corner?

Re:One Step Closer to Blade Runner (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598513)

Yes, and this is nothing like that. That was apparently creating additional information that simply wasn't in the original photo. This is using a whole bunch of photos of the same scene, taken at different times, angles, etc to automatically build up a 3d model. Nothing is being enhanced, you're "merely" being shown the most appropriate, pre-existing photo based on your location and view direction in the generated 3D model.

Damn cool tech, but not the same as that used in Blade Runner (or CSI, or any other "enhance this photo to make that illegible squiggle that's beyond the resolution of the photo readable" plot device)

Re:One Step Closer to Blade Runner (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599199)

Yes. Along with the program's absurd degree of voice control.

Page Error (0, Redundant)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598149)

The page says: "Error establishing a database connection"

I'm not too impressed if that's what Photosynth can do. ;-)

Video (4, Informative)

c_g_hills (110430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598175)

Obligatory link to the youtube video [youtube.com] (not a rickroll, I promise!)

Thanks, Network Mirror!

Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (0, Troll)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598223)

Photosynth started out as Photo Tourism [washington.edu] on Linux. Guess that puts to rest the "fact" that Microsoft innovates and OSS steals.

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (1)

c_g_hills (110430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598325)

If you read the paper [washington.edu] you will see that it is the same researchers!

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24599501)

Yes, typical Microsoft behavior. When they see something they like they:

1. Attempt to copy it themselves.
2. Attempt to buy it if they can't re-create it.
3. Attempt to shut it down via lawsuits/backroom deals if 1 and 2 fail.
4. Use the media to spread FUD until the other product dies when all else fails.

Looks like this time they managed to combine both 1 and 2.

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598441)

... yes. Because the platform an app runs on determines its copyright status.

Safari runs on Windows and Linux! SAFARI IS OSS.

http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/ [washington.edu] - what's that, a Microsoft logo on the official website. Oh, stolen? Perhaps you should try fact checking.

(You sir are the definition of a zealot).

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598481)

I meant to say OS X, isn't this embarrassing... well, it runs under Wine. Regardless, my point is the same.

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598447)

Absurd thing is, they buy out the researchers and at least use a fake multiplatform thing like Silverlight to impress/trick people about its possibilities.

So, Linux thing has become Windows only as result of buyout. Complete Microsoft way of doing things and exactly why people like me says "Stay away from Silverlight, .NET, their open source clones and people involved with them."

That is the "open source loving" Microsoft for you which will transform itself to multiplatform company. If you buy it...

correction/sorry (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598469)

First line should be:
"Absurd thing is, they buy out the researchers and "don't use" a fake multiplatform thing like Silverlight to impress/trick people about its possibilities."
(blame coffee)

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24601219)

A "fake multiplatform" thing? Like Java? [washington.edu]

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (1)

Paaskonijn (1220996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598503)

I'm confused. When was Photo Tourism ever OSS?

Moreover, the Photo Tourism web site [washington.edu] seems to suggest that it has been supported by Microsoft Research from the start.

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598853)

Microsoft have turned Photo Tourism into something incredibly more powerful. But don't let that get you off your high horse. Some of us don't play the "them" and "us" game.

Re:Microsoft stealing from Linux again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24599473)

Nice comment moron, IT STILL RUNS ON LINUX.

MS did not steal anything from anyone. They are funding smart people doing smart things.

This is EXACTLY why all the non-techies I know think that linux users are assholes. Way to screw it up for the rest of us.

is it even real? (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598339)

Is anyone else a little underwhelmed by their so called 'demo'? It seems like the program does not contain any ov the technologies that are being 'developed' at microsoft, and is instead a hard coded 'interactive movie' showing how this 'new technology' is supposed to look, if they ever get it working.

Most likely this barley interactive photosynth demo will be used to secure patents on '3D Virtual Reconstruction', and the final product will ship with no such features, instead being marketed as an alternative to adobe lightroom.

Am i wrong? Well, can anyone tell me that photosynth is really a working 3d-photo-viewer? and if the technology is there, why cant i open my own photos in it instead ov just viewing the sample photos? Does photosynth really do anything that can't be faked in flash? And if it cant, they who is to say that it is not being faked in photosynth?

Re:is it even real? (1)

yuggler (521092) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598713)

I'm just guessing/thinking aloud here. There are two parts to the Photosynth-process. First the computer (allegedly, if you're into the Microsoft conspiracies...) analyses all of the photos and gives them a location. This is the processor-intensive part, that takes both time and processing power. The second part is the viewing. When you already know the position of the photographs it's a small(er) feat to present them in a pleasing way. So I believe that PhotoSynth is real. The reason that you can't upload your own photos? This is cool tech, and Microsoft probably wants to use it comercially. Maybe in Windows 7?

Re:is it even real? (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598921)

Blaise Aguera y Arcas on Photosynth [ted.com]

the book thing, i don't think can easily be faked by flash, nor the gigapixel resolution image nor the really neat zooming and zooming and zooming into stuff.

really what photosynth, and by extension seadragon which is what photosynth is built on, promises us is a way to semantically link all those photo's on the web together, to build up those real places into virtual places with little or nor human intervention.

this should enrich the web in a way we are only just beginning to see.

Re:is it even real? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24601095)

Why don't you see for yourself [live.com] . It works by intelligently looking at photos and constructing a 3D model out of the photos, entirely automatically. You can't load your own photos yet, as it's still in beta. The demo is the output of their previous tests, as it has not yet been updated with the latest version. And no, it can't be easily faked with flash, as this is 100% automatic, and faking in flash would require a massive amount of work by hundreds of people.

Microsoft (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598341)

The Photosynth technology preview runs only on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. nuff said.

Re:Microsoft (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598463)

They've made an effort to make it run on versions of Firefox up to 3.0 (PS was out before FF3.0, so don't think it of it as a "they did it just to say they did it" thing).

I think it's just more of a they haven't got to it yet as opposed to sheer malice. Although they'll probably aim for FF3.0 compatibility before Linux.

Although, I'll admit... there's a reasonable chance there won't be a Linux version until this thing is a lot more mature (i.e. your own collections can be formed... but that's when it'll be it's best).

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598489)

The Photosynth technology preview runs only on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista. nuff said.

Oh noes, it only runs on 90% of the worlds computers?

Re:Microsoft (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24601127)

It's still in beta. Eventually it will be running in Silverlight, which runs on the OS of your choice. And Linux once Moonlight is finished.

Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only (-1, Troll)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598379)

Of course, as it is from Microsoft, the software displaying photos mostly edited on Mac OS X won't work on photographers number 1 choice OS.

Why did I bother anyway? More importantly, how long will Microsoft stay this way? Look at General Motors and see what happens to gigantic, untouchable companies when they become spoiled.

Market doesn't mercy, really...

Re:Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only (1)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598827)

What do your comments have to do with the technology at all except offer the already abundant rhetoric about the company itself? Oh wait, nothing.

Re:Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599431)

http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html [adobe.com] . See how many platforms supported?

That is how companies work in age of 2008 where people uses 2-3 different operating systems in a day.

I am not your average "anti M$" guy to pick at, I am just telling that kind of actions will result in some kind of reaction, it depends on the money company has and it is not infinite.

I can't comment about the technology since I can't view it!

Re:Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24599675)

Way to overshadow a cool tech demo with your own bullshit point of view that has nothing to do with the linked story.

The story had nothing to do with Windows you moron. Hell the demo source code for the project runs on LINUX.

sheesh.. what a whiny b*tch.

An open source photosynth? (4, Interesting)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 6 years ago | (#24598401)

There was some discussion recently about the possibility of building an open source photosynth - and creating an 'open voxel space' map of the planet.

Anyone know if there's been any progress on this?

http://lists.burri.to/pipermail/geowanking/2008-June/005373.html [burri.to]

mod Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24598925)

that has 6rown 0up Practical purposes number of FreeBSD we all know, GAY NIGGERS from Can no longer be then disappeared startling turn Many users of BSD

On the other hand... (1)

Maint_Pgmr_3 (769003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599401)

From a company that is really hot-to-trot on patents, I find it interesting that they would make a product where you can really fake photos. "But your Honor, there is a photo of me watching TV at home, taken on the night of the murder."

But can they take it all the way? (1)

Shamenaught (1341295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24599413)

This technology is great, but I wonder if they'll actually ever reach the pinnacle of this kind of technology.

What do I mean by this? I mean using multiple photos to form 3d models of the subject, then going back over all of the data using a super resolution [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia] system, thus creating a resulting set of images containing more detail than any individually contributing image.

It's what the human brain does all the time! Then-again, human brains can do all sorts of stuff that we're probably not gonna see computers doing any time soon, like thinking, and loving...

Soon, my Commodore 64, soon...

Boom! (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 6 years ago | (#24600107)

Crashed Firefox (3).

Twice.

PhotoSynth ...esis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24601189)

Did anyone else read the headline and think to themselves "artificial photosynthesis? Cool!"?

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