David Stone // Photosynth and Pointclouds

Microsoft’s Photosynth is a powerful tool that algorithmically arranges, scales, orientates and assembles a large collection of photos into a seamless ‘synth’. The synths can be explored similarly to a panoramic image but include a much stronger three dimensional element as it constructs a 3D environment out of the pictures uploaded. During the construction process it analyses the pictures, assigns XYZ points in 3Dimensional space to the similarities it finds and produces a cloud of points from the data.

There are a number of different methods of extracting this data: 

SynthExport allows you to download the data directly from the webapp using its web URL to formats that are more commonly produced by 3D scanning cameras. These formats can be converted to be used with AutoCAD and similar packages.

PhotosynthToolkit is a full suite of 3rd party applications that allows you to take the data from the website and go as far as constructing 3D models for use in 3ds Max and similar packages.

-BrowsePhotosynth available here is a plugin for AutoCAD that allows you to import the clouds directly into the 3D work environment circumventing the complicated steps required with the other methods.


Once in AutoCAD it is very simple to set-up a camera and path and render the cloud to a revolving animation.


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