Photosynth Turns Still Images Into Interactive 3D

Stephen Yagielowicz

When it comes to selling images online, merchants in the highly competitive realm of adult entertainment will tell you that it takes more than a pretty face to close a deal today — a unique selling proposition (USP) is needed — something that you can offer that the other guy doesn’t; which in the saturated porn market, may not mean a new performer as much as it means a new way of enjoying the existing crop of talent.

One arena to see tentative inroads in adult is 3D, which can mean different things to different folks: from “cartoons” to content that requires special glasses to view.

Photosynth software offers a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3D, allowing users to share their creations via Facebook, publish them on Bing, or embed them in a blog or website.

It can also mean immersive images that viewers can navigate through.

According to Microsoft, its free Photosynth software ( offers a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3D, allowing users to share their creations via Facebook, publish them on Bing, or embed them in a blog or website.

For those interested in capturing their world in 3D, Photosynth offers two styles for creating immersive experiences: panoramas and “synths,” each of which provides unique visual differences and each of which requires different tools to enable creating them.

The most well-known of these images types is the panorama, with the Photosynth app enabling users to shoot panoramic images where a full view of an entire scene is captured from a single location, all while using a single zoom level for visual consistency.

Microsoft notes that this is great for giving the viewer a sense of what it feels like to be in a particular place, providing a bi-directional 360° view that is simple to navigate — with controls for panning left and right, scrolling up and down and zooming in and out…

Panoramas can be made directly from images on a mobile phone, with current support for Windows Phone and Apple’s iPhone, or by processing the desired photos in Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor.

The second imaging type are synths, which are good for capturing different sides or details of an object, and were the original experience offered on the Photosynth site (and remains its unique feature). In practice, synths are more complex to navigate than are the more common panoramas, because synths involve moving from photo to photo.

Think of the difference this way: while both panoramas and synths allow the viewer to change perspective for a more comprehensive take on a scene, panoramas are shot from a single vantage point, where the scene moves around the viewer; while synths are captured from multiple vantage points, allowing the viewer to move around the scene.

Trying it yourself makes it easier to understand, so visit for a glimpse at the possibilities.

If this looks like something that would improve your site’s content, get started now: begin by creating a Photosynth account and then download the tools you need, which in this case, include the basic Photosynth application.

To make panoramas from images on your PC, the Image Composite Editor must also be installed; while the Photosynth app from the Windows Phone Marketplace is sufficient for users of Windows Phone 7.5 or above; and iPhone users can get in on the panorama production using the Photosynth app from Apple’s App Store.


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