We’re really excited about this update to Photosynth. We’ve added a major new feature to our viewing experience and have improved the viewer to reach even more people. With our new highlights feature you can point out the “can’t miss” areas of your synths and the new Silverlight viewer will allow you to share your synths with people on more operating systems.
Silverlight-based Cross-Platform Viewer
Our goal has always been to share the Photosynth experience with as many people as possible, but our Direct 3D viewer hasn’t been friendly to our Mac friends. We’ve been working on our Silverlight experimental viewer and I’m excited to say we’re promoting it to be the main viewer for Photosynth. This will allow PC and Mac users to not only view synths but join in the rest of the Photosynth community by leaving comments, marking favorite synths and getting to know their fellow synthers.
Our embedding code has also been moved over to Silverlight so now you can embed your synths around the web and reach even more viewers with your fantastic creations.
Updated Viewer Controls
We’ve updated the viewer controls in the Silverlight viewer to be more useful when exploring synths. Based on your feedback and support we’ve consolidated all the navigation buttons in the center bottom of the viewer. No more hunting around with your mouse to all the corners of the viewer to get around.
Photosynth does an awesome job taking lots of flat photos and stitching them into immersive 3D experiences… but sometimes it can be hard to find all the best places hidden around a synth. With our new highlights feature you not only can find some of the best spots in a synth… you can take a smooth journey through the synth from highlight to highlight.
A Couple Great Highlight Rich Examples… (More Coming too!)
How to Add Highlights to Your Synths
-Click Edit Synth and Highlights in the right info area for your synth. You’ll need to be logged in.
-Find A Great Photo (Optional: Give it a Title & Caption) – Click Add Highlight
-Find Another Great Photo… repeat.
Now you can explore your synth with the newly added highlights.
One Step Back. Two Leaps Forward.
Moving to the Silverlight viewer might look like a step back in performance because of the lower frame rate and delayed point cloud density… but this move has allowed us to take two leaps forward. We’re now able to allow Mac users to fully participate on our website and we can build editing and highlights features right into the viewer code. We haven’t written off performance for these two new benefits. Our team is working hard on improving performance so that the Silverlight viewer can not only be more feature rich than the D3D viewer but be equally high performance if not better.
If you’re looking for the old D3D viewer you can still get to it from the “View Synth in Direct3D Viewer” link in the bottom left of the viewer area on any synth page.
Where’d My Halos Go?
Probably the saddest thing we’re missing in the Silverlight viewer is the Halos or Donuts that we used to show where there was an object that can be rotated around. This feature is still there, it just has a different visual icon. Again, this is something we know some of you will miss and we’ll find a way to keep making the Silverlight viewer better and more donut-y.
You’ll also probably notice a new Unlisted feature. This lets you upload a synth without making it public. This will be great for fine tuning your synths before sharing the final version with the public. This unlisted option comes along with some commercial features for bigger brands to start using Photosynth, but I’ll cover those details in more depth in a future post.
Now go add some great highlights and share them with your friends!