Today, Microsoft Live Labs has announced
the worldwide availability of Photosynth
where users can create their own Photosynth collections - or "Synths" - for free. Previously, Photosynth was only available as a Technology Preview without the ability to create your own Synths.
To start using Photosynth yourself, just head on over to the new Photosynth website
and login with your Windows Live ID and create a Photosynth ID. This Photosynth ID will be tied to whatever Synths you create. Depending on the number of photos in your Synth, it could take anywhere between 2 to 30 or more minutes to create and upload. When you create a Synth, you can give your Synth a name, description and even assign it some tags. Everyone is given a quote of 20GB for their Synths.
To view and create Synths, a 7MB plug-in must be installed first from either Internet Explorer (6 or 7) or Mozilla Firefox (2 or 3).
The Photosynth plug-in does all of the processing - or "synthing" - of your photos prior to uploading the results to the Photosynth website.
The installation of this plug-in also puts a link to Photosynth on your Start Menu for quick Photosynth access!
So how does Photosynth work? Photosynth analyzes your photos for similarities to your other photos in the set and then uses the information to estimate where the photos were was taken from. Photosynth then re-creates the place the photos were taken and uses that as a canvas to display your photos. Pretty neat huh? The work done in analyzing your photos is done via the above mentioned Photosynth plug-in.
Want to know how to make good Synths? No problem. Check out the Photosynth Guide
which explains in great detail how to take photos that can be used to create good Synths in Photosynth. You can also watch this awesome "How-to" video
from Laura Foy on creating good Synths in Photosynth as well.
You should also check out the Encyclopedia of Life Synths
. These are great examples of some of the Synths you can create. The Encyclopedia of Life is a global project to document and photography the Earth's 1.8 million species and make the information freely available via the Internet.
Photosynth allows you to also embed Synths directly into websites and blog posts. To celebrate tonight's launch - I've created my very first Synth from images taken a few months ago from the top of the Space Needle. I took a lot of shots from different angles that I thought would make a perfect Synth.
to view a larger version of my Synth.
My Space Needle Synth consisted of 95 images. Those 95 images together was about 176MB. It took me about 20 minutes to "synth" these photos together and upload them to the Photosynth website. Each Synth has a "synthiness" rating. My Space Needle Synth has 96% Synthy. The more synthy you are - the more "connected" your photos are in that Synth. You want to be synthy.
Photosynth is a very exciting release and I can't wait to see all the cool Synths people will be uploading. Try out Photosynth today and leave a comment with a link to some of your Synths for me to check out!
Channel 10's Nic Fillingham got to sit down and chat with several members of the Photosynth Team for Channel 10's photography show ShutterSpeed. Give it a watch
Be sure to keep your eyes on the Photosynth Team Blog
for more on Photosynth!