Create Photorealistic 3d Models by Taking Pictures

I've first seen it at Ted Conference. They were just demonstrating it at that time. Now it's open to public for free. You can both create your own Photosynths and play around with the ones created by others.

Photosynth was born of a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, based on the research of Steve Seitz (UW), Noah Snavely (UW) and Richard Szeliski (MR)

Photosynth is an entirely new Visual Medium. The system analyzes each photograph for similarities in textures, and builds a model based on where the photos were taken. The program then models the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos.

This modeling behavior is what makes it superior to photo stitching which is widely used in the architecture practice.

First of all you don't have to be as precise while taking photos as you do for photo stitching.
Only this property by itself opens up a lot of new opportunities.
For example you can model places by collecting photos from the internet even without laying a foot on the site. A group/class of people can share their photos to build a model of the site..

After all raster modeling based on the point of shoot is a smart new idea and we'll be seeing a lot of smart ways to use this new medium.

Try it at Photosynth.net

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