Reach out and synth somebody?

You may have tried to create a synth of a person, only to find out that it didn't work very well.  Of course there are some notable exceptions, this boxer and this tattooed man being just two of them.  (Make sure you hit 'p' to look at the point clouds of these).  Why did these work when most synths of people don't? 

The boxer

Photosynth doesn’t know the difference between people and background objects like trees.  The main problem is that when creating the synth, Photosynth can only use things that aren't moving.  If something moves, it is ignored.  People have a really hard time not moving, which is why they're hard to synth.  They smile, tilt their head, shift their weight from one foot to another and generally just find it difficult to stay completely still.  Your synth will turn out better if you can put them in a position that's easier for them to hold--like leaning against a wall, sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down.  It may also help if you take the pictures quickly so the person has less time to move (many SLRs have a burst mode).  If you're trying to synth your kids, you'll probably just have to wait until they're asleep.

The second big issue is that photosynth needs texture to synth, so people with freckles or tattoos are more synthy.  Of course, everything has texture if you zoom in enough, so high resolution close-ups may yield a denser point cloud and tighter reconstruction.

Try it and see.

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