Photoshop brushes are cool and all…

…but how about this thing*? Rogue genius-types at MIT Media Lab have developed the I/O Brush, “a new drawing tool to explore colors, textures, and movements found in everyday materials by ‘picking up’ and drawing with them.” The ability to sample and apply a short video sequence is particularly brilliant. [link via]
If you like that, check out the Pixel Roller, a “paint roller that paints pixels, designed… to print digital information such as imagery or text onto a great range of surfaces.”
On a personal note, it was the chance to work with alpha geeks like this that drew me to Adobe. When I first encountered the LiveMotion team, I heard that engineer Chris Prosser had built himself a car MP3 player (this was a couple of years before the iPod). Evidently he’d disassembled an old Pentium 90, stuck it in his trunk, connected it to the glovebox with some Ethernet cable, added a little LCD track readout, and written a Java Telnet app for synching the machine with his laptop. Okay, I thought, I don’t want to do that, but I’d like to hijack the brains of someone who could. Chris has now moved on to After Effects, and I get to pester the likes of Thomas Knoll, Chris Cox, Arno Gourdol, and the rest of the team, trying to get some pet idea or other implemented.
* Caution: Features the most grating soundtrack since that Canon 20D video.

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