Quick Guide to Navigating thru a Photosynth "Synth
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First, WHAT IS PHOTOSYNTH?... Well, it's only the coolest FREE web-base program to compile 2D photos into a navigable 3D environment! This result is called a "synth."
Photosynth is a visual thing, so words alone fall way short in explaining the concept and the experience. For a great introduction, check out this excellent short video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHzw98qt5Lo (Note: the Photosynth interface has changed slightly.)
So, HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE A SYNTH?... Well, it's really quite easy with a few hints and a lot of playing around:)
There are several ways to get around in a synth...
- You can hit SPACEBAR/Shift+SPACEBAR for a quick tour. Click repeatedly.
- You can click-n-drag with the mouse, or just click a photo.
- You can use the keyboard cursor arrows and other keys. (See end of this guide for a list of keyboard shortcuts.)
- You can click the onscreen navigation icons.
- Plus, you can use the tool group in the upper-right of the interface.
Using the mouse to click-n-drag is pretty intuitive: just drag around! Sometimes this doesn't always get you everywhere you can go. In this case, use the onscreen navigation icons to move left/right, up/down, and in/out. The keyboard cursor arrows, plus 'u' and 'j' do the same. Lastly, don't miss the tool group in the upper-right. Hold the mouse over an icon to get a description, plus the keyboard shortcut. Click the PLAY/PAUSE (1) icon for an automatic, guided tour, or click the 3D GROUP (m) icon to cycle thru connected photo groups. Lastly, click the GRID VIEW (~) icon to display all the images in their groups. Click-n-drag, or use Spacebar/Shift+Spacebar to review photos. Single-click photo to select and zoom to. Double-click to enter the 3D environment centered on that photo. Be sure to use '+' and '-' to zoom in and out (some of the photos can be very hi-resolution!). Oh yeah, and for the maximum experience, go FULL-SCREEN (f) using the icon in the lower-right.
And here are a couple advanced controls. If you see a faint donut in the center of the screen, click-n-drag it to orbit around. Hold the Ctrl key at the same time for a cool surprise! Or just hold the Ctrl key down at any time (even while clicking anywhere).
OK, it's a synthy world, so off you! Have fun...
Excerpt from Photosynth Guide v7.pdf
Viewer keyboard shortcuts
Try these keystrokes and mouse actions to get the most out of the Photosynth viewing experience.
Zooming and Neighbors:
Scrolling the mouse wheel zooms you in or out. The zooming is centered around your current mouse position.
+ or -
Zoom in or out around the center of the window.
← or →
Move left or right to a neighboring photo, when one is available
Move inwards or outwards to a neighboring photo, when one is available
u or j
Move up or down to a neighboring photo, when one is available
Tours and History:
Go to next photo in the spatial tour.
Go to previous photo in the spatial tour.
Go to next photo in alphabetical order by filename. (Depending on your camera, this is usually shooting order.)
Go to previous photo in alphabetical order by filename.
Go to the last image you were on. (Like Back in a Web browser.)
Undo z. (Like Forward in a Web browser.)
Fun with the Point Cloud:
Holding the control key down temporarily hides all photos allowing you to see the point cloud in all its glory. Dragging a halo with the control button down lets you spin around the entire point cloud. Try it!
Switches among three modes: points, images, both
Center the current image
Toggle between 2D and 3D
Go to the next 3D group in the synth
Toggles world-up verses image-up. This is useful when Photosynth has trouble working out which way is up.
Free Navigation (Only in 3D view):
- Swami's Photosynth webpage!:
- Photosynth homepage:
- Photosynth on Live Labs:
- Microsoft Live Labs:
- Wikipedia for Photosynth:
- Photosynth on CSI!:
- Photosynth explained by Microsoft Live Labs:
- Photosynth demo by Microsoft Live Labs:
- Photosynth demo at TED by Blaise Aguera y Arcas of Microsoft Live Labs
(includes associated Seadragon technology to handle massive data sets):