Creating my first Photosynth

Today, I’m in London, and inspired by Alan’s IT Suite Photosynth yesterday, I thought I’d have a go. And I am astounded at how easy it turned out to be.


I took my photos of Westminster Cathedral, which is right outside of our office. Just before you say “But that’s not Westminster”, then re-read the last sentence. It’s the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral, not Westminster Abbey.

Before I first worked in Victoria Street, I had no idea that this impressive building was a few hundreds yards from the Abbey. It is well described on its website: “Westminster Cathedral is one of the greatest secrets of London; people heading down Victoria Street on the well-trodden route to more famous sites are astonished to come across a piazza opening up the view to an extraordinary facade of towers, balconies and domes.”

Anyway, I stood in front of it, and kept taking photos – 103 of them – including close ups of the statuary, and the left hand-side of the building, and then loaded them into the Photosynth software. I didn’t have to tag them, or arrange them, or shoot in any particular order – it did all of the work. And after about an hour (analysis, upload and display time, I guess) that was it – a 3D model of the cathedral was made.

You can see a snapshot of a part of it on the right, and you can see my whole synth here.

I tried a few tricks, to see how they would work:

  • Walking in the left-hand door, and you can too, but the lighting made it impossible to take photos inside – LINK
  • A close up of the notice board by the door – LINK spot the bargain!
  • And a view around the side, with a close up of the mosaic over the door – LINK

I was astounded at the “3D dot” model it created, as it is an amazing trick from a few photos!

Have a go at Photosynth yourself. I think this whole model took less than 30 minutes of my time (plus the background uploading)!

Comments (6)

  1. ScottIsAFool says:

    How have you got the individual picture links?

  2. Ray Fleming says:

    Hi ScottIsAFool

    Did you choose that nickname, not expecting it to come up on screen 🙂

    The way you get a link to specific frame in Photosynth is to navigate to the view you want, and then use the “Email Link” button (the little envelope) on the right hand side.

    That generates a link to the same view that you’re looking at, rather than a generic link


  3. arichards says:

    I must say I was expecting the worst. I remember using the old versions from other suppliers that you had to setup the overlapping yourself.

    Photosynth was simple !!

    My next ones are:

    Comms Rooms

    IT Suites (Thin Clients)

    Main School frontage to be uploaded to the website

  4. istuart1 says:

    I created a <a target="_blank" href=";i=0:0:3&amp;z=506.64851999999996&amp;g=0&amp;p=0:0&amp;m=false&amp;c=-0.852341:0.729943:0.00857292&amp;d=-0.711735:1.66917:1.8026">synth of a place</a> near where I live a little while ago. It was so easy.

    I was wanting to use these to record some models that were made in CDT but photosynth has already been blocked by our IT dept.

  5. arichards says:

    I have the same issue here except its the local broadband provider who has blocked it. Being as most consortia use the same systems I imagine most Schools can’t access it.

    That could explain why so few entries to your competition Ray.

  6. Ray Fleming says:

    I was in Jersey today (lovely trip – more to share tomorrow on it. Shame about the weather, but a great, inspiring day, and I also saw the Red Arrows, a B-52 and the hurricane & spitfire of the Battle of Britain flight) and they have exactly the same – Photosynth is blocked – and nobody’s quite sure why.

    Anything that seems to involve user-generated-content (err, isn’t that 99% of the web these days!) seems to be "guilty until proven innocent" in the minds of filterers (is that what they’re called).

    Get on your email folks – get your broadband teams to be reactive to help teachers!