Photosynth Point Export – Photosynth as a 3D Scanner?

Take a look at the movie below and make sure you watch it all the way through – note the export of the model from photosynth into a stand alone 3D package:

This opens up the possibility of using photosynth as a free 3D scanner, and one that would work on objects up to the building level scale. It seems to be early days but there is a lot of discussion going on around the tutorial here.

If anyone has any more insight do let us know via the comments…

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  1. Achim - September 23, 2009

    A bit offtopic but perhaps interesting as well:
    One fact about psynth is the need for quite a lot of pictures of the object or scene in the first place. A nice workaround (apart from grabbing public images from flickr) is using a hd-camera and cutting the video into frames to go on with the psynth-processing.

  2. Smithee - September 23, 2009

    That’s an interesting point – so just film around an object in HD, save as frames and upload.

    Do you have any examples?


  3. Mikko - September 23, 2009

    There is another free web service called Arc3D that exports point-cloud models from digital photos without that much hacking. It’s at

  4. Achim - September 23, 2009

    Actually I just tried it once – on myself 😉
    You`ll find the synth on my blog The video was done in 1024×768 at 15 fps.

  5. Smithee - September 23, 2009

    Arc3D is interesting, we have been meaning to give it a try so now is a good chance – we will post some thoughts soon as we get chance.

    The synth is impressive – 1024×768 seems to work really well.

  6. Achim - September 23, 2009

    I`m testing ARC3D at the moment with some shots of the manhattan skyline. Going to post some results as soon as I have them.
    Perhabs DU could do a post or two about MS Image Composite Editor and Seadragon? In my opinion that`s two really impressive technologies for getting fast and accurate panoramas and a good access to 50mp+ pictures:
    BTW: It was just a fire in a local factory – looks far more impressive than it actually was.

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