3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2009 2:33 AM by (Jack_Daubs)

    Photosynth Effect

    Level 1
      I can't see that anyone has asked this before, and apologies if they have,
      but does anyone know of any way (other than a lot of manual tweaking) of
      creating a 3D Photosynth type effect in AE?

      In case you've not heard of it, Photosynth is a Microsoft product (sorry Mac
      people) that stitches a whole series of pictures taken at a scene together
      in 3D space so you can swing around and zoom into images and experience
      moving through the space where the pictures were originally taken.


      It's not like the old QuickTime VR, which swung around a 360 panorama from a
      fixed point, instead Photosynth lets you move through a 3D space and view
      from multiple points.

      Since After Effects is just 2D layers in 3D space it's the perfect software
      to try it in and I really enjoy the organic arty feel Photosynth gives, like
      a 3D cubist painting (I'm talking earlier Analytical not the later Synthetic
      Cubist style here!) or even one of the photo collages Hockney used to


      I just thought some one has probably been here before me and knows a few
      tricks, hence the post.


      John (aka Jack)
        • 1. Re: Photosynth Effect
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          I don't think that is in any way easily possible. There's a reason MS run extra servers for it and wrote Silverlight plugins... ;-) Since it works by projecting intersection points in 3D space to detect similar features with correct spatial relation, you would have to have quite some code to figure out the matrices. I tend to think you could this with some high contrast artwork on a very few layers (10 at most) with very few sample points (no more than 10 per layer) using expressions, but anything beyond that would probably kill off AE's interactivity completely. Even with those few points you'd be running 100 intersection tests in loops and, given the nature of such vector math, it would be heavy on AE's expression engine. An easier way to achieve peace might be using Photoshop's panorama stitching tools and Vanishing point, complemented by applying your stitched backgrounds to tools like Trapcode Horizon and importing the VPE for some more detailed foreground layers. You can always get this broken up look by using 3D layers placed inbetween as adjustment layers or even mattes (you know that this also works with 3D layers, do you?). if you wanted to go fancy, you could even add some fake sample points with a plugin such as Trapcode form, textured with your image... BTW, part of that "look" can also be achieved by using camera projection techniques in 3D programs, where your warped photographs projected onto geometry would give this spiky/ edgy look when viewed from other angles...

          • 2. Re: Photosynth Effect
            Ko Maruyama User Group Manager
            Photosynth Effect

            All of those overlapping intersections would be hell to test. Also, zooming in and replacing source materials with different resolution / similar images would be a nightmare.

            Although you'd still need some manual setup, LayerTools might be able to help you out here.

            • 3. Re: Photosynth Effect
              Level 1
              I know what you mean, there's a lot of computation going on there. For now I
              just had in mind trying something a bit less complex than plotting lots of
              points and morphing between them, I like things when they have rougher edges
              so I was just going to play around.

              Analysing images and plotting data points and then using them to combine or
              manipulate photos and videos is on Adobes radar as it is with the whole
              industry, so we can expect it to turn up in After Effects at some point. I
              guess everyone here has seen Adobe Creative Technology Lab's Dan Goldman

              ...and this one about using stills to enhance a video scene:

              There's an old Photosynth demo on TED for Mac users who can't run Photosynth