Thursday, October 4, 2007

Microsoft Live Labs: Photosynth

This is extremely cool, and it'll sure revolutionize jobs like mine whenever it's released! Microsoft Live Labs: Photosynth

Photosynth is a piece of software that gets fed tons of different images of the same area or thing, then analyzes all the photos to find similarities, in order to determine where the camera was when the picture was taken, in relation to the subject. Then it finds points on the subject that are in multiple photos (thousands, usually), and creates a 3-d 'cloud' of points of the original subject!

It's really amazing - the free demo is definately worth the install. I found the 'Shuttle on the Launch Pad' to be the most impressive - how can it find the same point in multiple pictures on, say, the External Tank, when it's round and pretty much the same all around!!?

Anyway, I can just imagine only having to go to a building we're remodeling, taking a hundred or so pictures, then coming back and feeding them into photosynth, then taking the generated cloud and letting a 3-d modeling software make faces from it that I can cut down to a 2-d floorplan! The day is coming, I have no doubt, but I sure would love to get my hands on that software! The viewing interface needs a little work, however...they need to allow you to freely 'walk' or 'fly' around the model, rather than only jumping from one picture vantage point to the next...it's hard to ever get out to the view you want, though the 'fly around' button helps.

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