Monthly Archives: December 2007

I got yer brains, *right here*…

The ol’ noggin provides endless inspiration for artists:

In other skullduggery:

  • Brawndo "will make you wonder why you haven’t ever crushed a human skull with your bare hands!!"  Delicious!!  (I need to order a case of this stuff for the Photoshop team.)
  • The Skull-a-Day blog provides just that. [Via]
  • For next Halloween (or, just to be weird, maybe Valentine’s, or Arbor Day), you might hang onto these pumpkin skull templates. [Via]  I still think they’d have a time beating my wife’s Dia De Los Muertos-inspired doppel-pumpkin.
  • If this stuff is up your alley, see previous for lots more.

Borrow from Flickr -> Live to regret it

Through Google Image Search & the like, it’s almost ridiculously easy to find pictures of nearly anything you can imagine–and just as easy to drag them into editing tools for your own use.  Do it to a motivated photographer, however, and the practice can end in tears.

Last week, an image taken by photographer Lane Hartwell was used without permission in a parody video posted on YouTube.  She wasn’t pleased, contacted the band, and filed a takedown notice with YouTube.  CNET’s Stephen Shankland recaps the events to date, then interviews Hartwell.  She notes that she’s had to deal with similar incidents frequently (five in just the last two weeks).

Over in the NYT, David Pogue talks about “the generational divide in copyright morality.”He lists a number of the scenarios he mentions to gauge audience reactions to what kind of media copying is acceptable.  Short story: older people see shades of gray, whereas younger people think that anything goes.

I wonder what these folks would say about appropriating a piece of photography, artwork, or software.  If a college kid did a painting that got used in a GM ad campaign, I’m betting he or she would feel entitled to some compensation.  Now, if that painting got used in an amateur video on YouTube, would that be okay?  What if the video promoted a hate group?  Do these guys think that the creators of intellectual property deserve to have any say over how their work is used & whether they’re compensated?  Without any of their skin in the game, the general answer seems to be no.

[See also: Lawrence Lessig’s talk on “How creativity is being strangled by the law.”  Also, Derek Powazek has posted some sensible thoughts about collaborative media.  Rule 1: Ask First.]

Old-school Star Wars, Lego graffiti, & more

Mo’ betta illustration:

  • Star Wars goes old old school Euro in Baroque Wars. (Dig that crazy Death Star.)  [Via]  Coincidentally I just stumbled across this Wikipedia-hosted rendering of similar-looking Landsknechte mercenaries.
  • If, like me, you’re a no-good, non-gift-buying slacker, you can try to compensate by banging out festive imagery for loved ones.  These Photoshop brushes could help. [Via]   (I’m doing a mid-day mall sprint after publishing this; hopefully my boss isn’t keeping up on the blog. ;-P)
  • Street art :
    • A graffiti artist has found Jesus in the urban landscape. [Via]
    • Legos visit the Summer of Sam era with some stop-motion train-tagging.  (In light of recent world history, I wouldn’t be tossing around the phrase “train bombing” myself.)
  • Tyskie Beer commissioned some crafty flag renderings using its packaging as raw materials.
  • Kavel Rafferty offers “A reference for vinyl geeks and graphic artists” in Record Envelope–a whole blog devoted to record sleeve art.  I like the big-mouthed Knäppupp in particular. [Via]
  • The opening of Mark Ovenden’s Transit Maps of the World features a groovy subway map of the world.  (I take a weird pleasure in San José appearing (with accent!) on the map, but SF getting shut out.) [Via]
  • Hire An Illustrator will help you… um… bury people in Grant’s Tomb?  (Maybe it’ll just help you hire an illustrator.)
  • Edward Hann’s Internally Displaced People ’06 attempts “to demonstrate the scale of humanitarian crisis in Western Darfur and Eastern Chad,” and a quarter of the profits from its sale go to Amnesty International. [Via]  It’s too bad that the Web presentation makes it hard to see the work in detail, as I can’t really assess how it’s tackling the problem.

Trajan: The hack designer's friend

Trajan Trajan Trajan…”–it’s the Marsha Brady of fonts, at least when it comes to movie titles & posters.  Kirby Ferguson rips hack designers a new one in this very funny video.  Mark Hamburg quips, “If we want ‘cinematic’ UIs, then we obviously need to revise our typography…”

In other typography news:

Recent motion graphics goodness

  • The first four minutes of “The Kingdom” fly through “the history of U.S. involvement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”  You could call this treatment fast food history, but the concluding image is the most indelible rendering of a bar chart I’ve seen.  [Via]
  • For their latest ad Guinness commissioned a huge set of dominoes in an Argentinian mountain village, culminating in cars hitting one another.  Here’s the vid.
  • Post-It’s drop f-bombs in this trailer for Douglas Coupland’s The Gum Thief.  (Books have trailers now?)
  • Things blow up real good in this spot for the Nissan Note.  In a world full of CGI, what look to be good old-fashioned FX can feel pretty refreshing.
  • Adobe’s Dennis Radeke runs The Genesis Project, a blog devoted to sharing examples, info, and tips to get you started in After Effects and other Adobe tools.
  • Microsoft’s Zune Arts project features all kinds of interesting, often incomprehensible animation and design.  Peep “Masks” for a good example. [Via]
  • Here’s a simple but interesting time lapse showing the growth of the NYC subway system. [Via]  If that’s up your alley, see also Transit Maps of the World.
  • The Mac Video Pro hosts an interview with After Effects PM Michael Coleman (blog) discussing his thoughts for the future.  By the way, I’m told that the AE update for Leopard is due extremely soon–maybe by the time you read this.

Printing tips for Photoshop, Lightroom

Adobe’s famous Russell Brown has created three new video tutorials meant to help get the best results when printing from Photoshop CS3 (with the 10.0.1 update) to various popular printers:

Russell points out that many of steps shown in the HP & Canon tutorial steps can apply to other printers from those manufacturers.  Links to the latest drivers from each manufacturer are on Russell’s site (scroll down to the Photoshop CS3 Tutorials section).

Meanwhile Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty has posted info about printing on Mac OS X Leopard with Lightroom 1.3.1.  Tom talks about geeky bits like the Mac’s transition from "Tioga" printer drivers (introduced in 10.0, now unsupported) to CUPS-based drivers (now required).  The upshot, says Tom, is that for proper results you should "seek out a fully Leopard compatible printer driver from the printer manufacturer."

Antarctica in HD, bug photos, & more

[Filed under Scientific & Technical Imaging]

Urban decay, pigs on mopeds, & other good photos

Friday Illustrations: Japanese cuteness, Grand Theft Auto, and more

LL Cool P: Ladies Love Cool P'shop

There’s an interesting article on TechCrunch, saying that according to software usage tracking company Wakoopa, "women spend about twice the time in Photoshop than men." [Via]

I’m not sure how they arrived at this stat, and I don’t see evidence of a gender-based usage difference in Adobe’s internal research numbers.  Here’s a funny one, though: women responding to those surveys seem more likely than men to have pirated Photoshop.  In fact, whereas women comprise 46% of the legal responders, they comprise 64%–nearly two thirds–of the suspected pirates! 

This finding prompted a chorus of "Aaarrghs!" from the women of Adobe Research, not to mention some ill-advised plays on the word "booty." ;-)  [Via Claiborne Brown, Julie Baher, & Bryan Hughes]