Welcome to Photosynth

We’re pleased to announce the first full release of Photosynth, available now at photosynth.com.  Photosynth takes a collection of regular photographs and reconstructs the scene or object in a 3-D environment.  For those of you who have seen the videos or tried our tech preview, you could experience synths that we made in the lab and get a feel for what Photosynth is and how it works.  But now, for the first time ever you can create synths from your own pictures and share them with your friends.  Explore great synths from others or create a few of your own.

Don’t know where to start?  Check out these great synths available today:

While there are plenty of interesting synths to check out already, the best ones will come from you.  If you need help creating a killer synth, check out our photography guide for some tips.  Or just watch our short how to synth video which gives you a quick overview of the best way to take pictures that will make a good synth.

photosynth home page

Because Photosynth is so new, you will probably run into an occasional bug or hiccup.  Whether you have a brilliant idea or find a bug, please let us know.  We’ll do our best to address them.

And be sure to keep watching this space, where we’ll share what we’ve learned about making great synths, talk with some members of the Photosynth team, provide synthing suggestions for advanced users and point you to some of the cooler synths that people are building.

Former New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath once said “When you have fun, you can do amazing things.”   We sure hope you have as much fun using Photosynth as we’ve had building it.

Comments (68)

  1. Brent says:

    PLEASE get a Mac capable version out the door. This is the first Microsoft product I’ve been itching in try in 7 years.

  2. Sir_Sid says:

    Will there ever be a linux version available? This is honestly one of the coolest projects ive ever seen, but Im afraid I may have to miss it with a lack of a PC. Great job even so. Im excited to see more things out of here.

  3. Hi there guys,

    Noticed your site says "Only runs on Boot Camp. No VM software."  I just downloaded Photosynth into a Windows XP on VMware Fusion 2 Beta 2, and took a tour of the Taj Mahal.  Very cool!

    You can check out the screencast here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz2ZS8nnNxY


    Pete Kazanjy

    VMware Fusion Product Marketing


  4. Doug Meikle says:

    Man I wish you’d got this up and running last year – now I’m going to have to do that trip all over again! Like Brent, I wish you had a Mac version too, but I’m that impressed I’m thinking of buying a PC just so I can play. Awesome work – congratulations 🙂

  5. Late yesterday, the Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth team released an update to Photosynth as well as offering,

  6. Anders says:

    What’s up?

    Can’t watch the synths in IE 7 despite having installed the plugin. Thought the plugin came bundled with the desktop download. Am i wrong?

  7. Amrish says:

    I’m glad to see this offered…have been following Photosynth for quite some time..and the software and ability for users to do it is finally. great work, and look forward to ‘synthing’!!

  8. AJ says:

    Wow, I’ve been following this for quite some time now… Finally a public version of this incredible product…


  9. Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 7:20 PM by synthy We’re pleased to announce the first full release

  10. Eero says:

    Why is it that every Synth is public?? I would like to share my pics with friends, not everyone in the world.

  11. Eero says:

    Nice work though… good product!

  12. Linux user says:

    Very very nice !

    But will there be a Linux/Mac version soon ?

    if i use this service i want to share this pictures with everybody and not only with Windows users.

  13. carrimak says:

    Very very cool!  I am assuming that you’ll (hopefully) add these features down the line…

    Better explanation of how to use view…that you can make full-size or see a slide show

    Privacy Settings

    Ability to embed in a Web page or blog, with user only requiring a plug-in that’s easy to get

    Terrific product..  THANKS TEAM …..can’t wait to upload my own synth….

  14. Marvelli says:

    This is very cool work indeed. I would be very much interested in your future ideas regarding the development, e.g. the possibility to synthesize full 3-D environments through this tech. Also, what kind of ideas do you have for increasing the accuracy? What about lens/perspective correction or utilizing RFID?


  15. Adam Estrada says:

    Any feedback on an API?  What about a Flash version that we can embed anywhere?  I am very impressed with this so far and am currently synthing some of my own photos…Good job y’all!

  16. Xellofalk says:

    Very cool.  But it would be nice if one could download and install JUST a viewer and not the creator if they never plan on making their own synths.

  17. harryterry2319 says:

    Too bad there’s no Mac version…

  18.     WOW!!!! This is amazing technology!! You always see things like this in movies.  Now it is real. Hats off to the person or persons responsible for creating this.  When my little girl gets home from school she will be amazed.  She loves National Geographic’s website.  Thank you for bringing this technology to us.

  19. Richard says:

    "Trust us, as soon as we have a Mac version ready, it will be up and available on our site."

    Your browser detection is lacking. I’m on Linux, not Mac.

  20. @Peter Kazanjy  

    Thanks for trying it out on VMware–nice screencast.  We only had a chance to check out Parallels before launch, and it apparently doesn’t support the directX graphics that the viewer uses. We’ll get that language updated on the site.  

  21. Dave says:

    Shame – I can’t run it on a mac or linux.

    I don’t have access to a window machine, so I can’t run it.

    (One day people will learn that web apps should just work)

  22. Dan says:

    This is a fantastic program and looks amazing, but please UP the bandwidth. I know everyone wants to try it but I keep getting the "there is a lot of synthing going on – please try again later". Very frustrating! I have been salivating over this program since it was discussed over a year ago.

  23. Rik says:

    Awesome job…can’t wait to try it!

    However, same as Dan above…keep getting the "please try again" message.  

    I’m sure you’re looking into it, but could you please post a blog entry on the status?  

  24. Demifantasy says:

    Hi there,

    I am very happy to use this tool!

    I am using Firefox 3.0, and it works just fine!

    Gonna send this page to my friends to let them know about this new tool!

    Thank you!

  25. don says:

    too bad you guys’ve  already shut down creating new synths.

  26. Lee Wright says:

    Thanks for funding the development that resulted in Photosynth.  I’d checked it out months ago following an earlier announcement, so it’s great to see the launch.  (Thanks to Walt’s column this morning for the tip.)  In it’s beta form, it’s certainly interesting and opens up opportunities for individual creativity.

    Questions and comments:

    – The large PDF guide for taking pictures was helpful.  It seems like the next obvious step would be to make this a wiki.

    – Why not stream the "How to" video?  (Silverlight?)  

    – Any plans to enable people to contribute photos and collaboratively edit a ‘synth of a given subject?  (Of course you’d include all of the standard "report this as offensive" kinds of tools and controls to reduce pranks that were abusive.)

    – And as you’ve surely noticed, the blog spell check doesn’t recognize "Photosynth," which seems somewhat humorous given the context.

    Again, thanks for funding and supporting this innovation.  I hope it continues to evolve in a fashion that will allow more collaboration, creating yet another great model for your colleagues.

  27. A new version of Photosynth has finally been released at http://photosynth.net. The major change to…

  28. Joe in Sales says:

    The (synth) website is down.

    Can someone please reboot the web server.

  29. SDA says:

    I appreciate that this is a technology preview and all, but I really think that MSFT should have anticipated the response they would get. Having the servers overloaded is pretty much bush league. I didn’t see such behaviour ever on Picassa or Flickr.

    I’m disappointed that I can’t upload my images and try this out !

  30. one says:

    Yes, it is disappointing even to see the exploring options do not work. Heck, the links from this blog, for exploring synths, do not work. They redirect to a fictive page which picks randomly different synths. Never what you want.

    Congrats! hehe

  31. Alan says:

    System already down? Got to love MicroSoft. Guess I’ll wait to boot into Windows from my Mac when they recover from their latest problem…

  32. OwlBoy says:

    Another request for a Mac version here.


  33. Juan d t says:

    Not available yet!?! What does Stonehenge look like from the inner circle? I have a masonic writing that has a quite a few images from within this sacred site. Not getting a panoramic view from a book now are we!

  34. bfz says:

    This is the most wonderful thing i’ve ever see in the net.


  35. Paul says:

    I love all these people begging for Mac versions. Maybe they’ll make one after Apple bring back the Windows version of Logic audio, or put out iPhoto for Windows so people can use a Mac Mini with their TV for photo slideshows.

  36. I hear a convincing argument where crime scene photos are presented in this fashion to demonstrate the progression of cause and effect.  Which leads me to wonder if this is posed to become the closest thing to the "Esper" forensic photography used in Blade Runner.


  37. Sonny_Ariz says:


    Nice site, but can I download pix to my harddrive?  You column suggests we download to "her" harddrive??

    How about "your" harddrive.

  38. This doesn’t seem to work. When I load the site, Firefox says I’m missing a plugin, which it can’t download. Is the site broken perhaps?

    I’m on Leopard 10.5.4, Firefox 3.0

  39. Craig says:

    I can’t wait to try this out with one of my wedding clients! Can yu imagine taking images from the center of the aisle and having them actually BE at there wedding again!?!

    I’m also building some trailers on my site where you move through the space in 3D… If I could fuse the two techniques together it would make for some great imagery.

    Imagine a wedding album with a flat screen in it… Maybe someday…



  40. trufru says:

    Software looks good and does need some tweek’n, also push it through Mac OSX Leopard and see the passion flow 🙂

  41. efex says:

    Totally cool!

    Looking forward to the Mac version, hate having to boot into windows.

    Also would like private synths.

  42. idclip says:

    This is the most incredible piece of tech I’ve seen. Good work, can’t wait to try it out!

  43. Robr says:

    sure wish the site would come back online…

  44. Damaris says:

    This is fantastic!  Thanks a million for creating this software, I’m already taking pictures like crazy – and now I have a perfect destination for them, finally!!!  Will be making a virtual tour, showing my artwork, creating a zen walk through the garden, share my knowledge with how-to’s, and, and, and…  :-))


  45. greg7mdp says:

    When will we be able to export a 3D model, complete with textures?


  46. Microsoft sucks says:

    Site is already down and crashing, yeah yeah yeah the usual excuse, overwhelmed, stressed, everybody is interested… typical response from Microsoft’s monkeys… you guys are hopeless.

  47. Pisss says:

    Your activx crap has crashed my machine, screw you idiots.

  48. Franco says:

    OK, Time to buy stock in Microsoft!!! This is amazing!

    Thank you!

  49. Franco says:

    OK, Time to buy stock in Microsoft!!! This is amazing!

    Thank you!

  50. Robert says:

    The original PhotoSynth demos showed data where the (deduced) location of the camera and its focal length, etc were.

    I can’t see that data any more! Any way of seeing it?

  51. LD says:

    The first original And Creative thing ever done by MS!! This may make all the years of struggling with Window$ worth it.

  52. Yumi says:

    I’m so stoked to try this out.

    How soon will you have a mac version up?

  53. Photosynth Photosynth Blog : Welcome to Photosynth (소식) 사진들을 분석해서 3차원상 알맞는 위치에 배열하는 Photosynth 기술. 아직

  54. Mj says:

    I loved the jab at non-windows users and not being "cool" enough – Good to see microsoft having a go back for once!

    ->From my macbook (next "personal computer" will be windows based 🙂 )

  55. Sergio says:

    I don’t see how you’re going to make this multi-platform when you’ve built it using Microsoft’s stuff.  They are the last software vendor on Earth that wants to be compatible with anything.  Silverlight, DirectX?  Yeah, good choices for a heterogeneous world.   And if you do, no doubt MS lawyers will bog it down with too many strings attached.

  56. Chris says:

    Not cool enough eh?  I appreciate the humor.  Now make it work so that people can enjoy the products that you make.  If you worry about making good products, then you don’t have to perform vendor lock-in so that people are stuck with your crap.  In other words, produce and people will flock to your product.  Release crap, and all you’ve got is lock in.  Is that cool enough for you?  I will be back in a month to see if I can use it as it looks wonderful.

  57. Rweber4821 says:


  58. Eric says:

    Some of my images seem to get hung up during the uploading process (the bar is 80% done and it says "publishing synth") but nothing happens – others seem to work fine. I have waited for about 30min and will keep waiting but think something must be wrong. The synth has about 30 images and they were shot the correct overlapping panoramic format shot on a tripod. any advice??

  59. Arthur says:

    I look forward to a Linux version of this soon.  We’re looking into deploying this as a method for tours, but with Windows being a requirement, we’re afraid we’ll lock out some of our customers.  Also, for myself, it’s a pain to keep booting into Vista to do anything with Photosynth.  I really love this project, though!  Thanks for all the hard work.

  60. Linda says:

    This is so cool I have a project in mind, but I can’t find the information on what size the photos should be a max limit would be useful—what extensions- will it accept RAW TIFF or JPEG.  

    This is an exciting project

  61. Gavza says:

    Steve Jobs must be kicking himself – Blaise demoed the SeaDragon zooming technology to Apple in June 2003 (before it was called SeaDragon), and Steve said they weren’t interested.  I’m a big Apple fan, but Photosynth puts iPhoto to shame.  Looking forward to a mac version…..

  62. inBerlin says:


    @Online Website Team

    Could you please insert a "ratesystem" into the online database!? This would help to find the best pieces!

    Categories, Rate, Location, etc.

    Thank you!

  63. Dave Schinkel says:

    Why do you even allow 0% syths on your site?  I see them all over and what a waste of space on the front end.

    What’s the point of a 0% synth or even 20%?  At the least you should require that people put enough good pictures to make at least 50% quality synth or the site is going to be a joke a year from now and people are going to get tired of trying to find decent uses of this technology when they browse and try to see synths on this site.  

    I’m a huge advocate for Photosynth but you also don’t want to be to laxed on the requirements here for individual uploads.

  64. lenalfred says:

    Photosynth is great! Nice work, now, add it to Live Mesh as a link, and things would be dandy!

  65. GajaKannan says:

    Great work.  Could be a flickr killer

  66. Kenneth Kelly says:

    I have a modern computer fast and plenty of graphics and much more.  This program will not run properly on this machin.  MS says I have the required system and does not know why it will not work.  

        I do think there is more that needs to be done to the program so it will do as it says it will do.  

        I know this is BETA and that is why I am writing.  I sure would like to use this program, or at least be able to use it to see if it is worth the trouble.  I do have a program that will do panaramas and a good job of it but it does take a long time to get it all done.  

        Keep at it and I will be back soon to see if it will work.  Until then I will unload this one and wait.  

  67. Bob Morris says:

    I can’t find the hardware and software requirements referred to by the message synth throws up when it fails.  Where are they?

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