Monthly Archives: November 2014

A 4K timelapse of the Sun

Constructed from more than 17,000 images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, this 7-minute video covers two weeks in October:

Creator James Tyrwhitt-Drake writes,

The surface of the sun from October 14th to 30th, 2014, showing sunspot AR 2192, the largest sunspot of the last two solar cycles (22 years). During this time sunspot AR 2191 produced six X-class and four M-class solar flares. The animation shows the sun in the ultraviolet 304 ångström wavelength, and plays at a rate of 52.5 minutes per second. It is composed of more than 17,000 images, 72 GB of data produced by the solar dynamics observatory + HelioViewer. This animation has be rendered in 4K, and resized to the Youtube maximum resolution of 3840×2160. The animation has been rotated 180 degrees so that south is “up”. The audio is the ‘heartbeat’ of the sun, processed from SOHO HMI data by Alexander G. Kosovichev.

[YouTube] [Via]

Brilliant kinetic Lego: Particle accelerator & human head

Love it:

This is a working particle accelerator built using LEGO bricks. I call it the LBC (Large Brick Collider). It can accelerate a LEGO soccer ball to just over 12.5 kilometers per hour.

I’m even more enamored of this one:

[A] kinetic sculpture of a human head. As the top of the head opens it reveals a wonderful world of pure imagination built using LEGO bricks.

[YouTube 1 & 2] [Via]

Black Friday: Get the Nik Collection for free with Kelby One membership

Great news from Scott Kelby & co.

The entire Nik Collection (it’s usually $149 by itself) included with your membership bundle, and our membership prices are the lowest ever!

The collection includes: Silver Efex Pro (the ultimate B&W conversion plug-in) Color Efex Pro (my personal favorite plug-in of all time); Nik Sharpener Pro; Nik Define; the brand new Nik Analog Efex; HDR Efex Pro and Viveza! You get it all!

Here’s the link to our Cyber Weekend Deals! (go there right now. There’s lots of great stuff to choose from).


Leica’s M Magazine

Spartan & gorgeous:

Whether the civil war in Central Africa or the problem districts of Caracas—countless stories are being told with the Leica M system. The LFI loan pool also contributes towards this: Leica cameras are being lent continuously to photographers around the world, so that they can produce very special stories. Discover the world of Leica M photography with exciting reportages and haunting picture series, news, films and the complete M Magazine. 

[Vimeo] [Via]

So, what does Photoshop feel like on a Chromebook?

Google & Adobe have been collaborating to enable Photoshop to stream to Chrome OS, and it works as well as you’d hope—and probably better. PetaPixel writes,

Essentially, this version would run off of a server, allowing you to use as weak of a machine as you like, since the program isn’t relying at all on your computer’s processing power.

The long and short of it is that, as Ars Technica puts it, “Streaming Photoshop looked like… Photoshop. That’s probably the best praise you can give it.”

That was my experience using it for a bit back at Adobe: surprisingly good.

Disintegrate yourself in realtime via Kinect

Check out Schnellebuntebilder studio’s eye-popping (and eye-quantizing/disintegrating) art:


Using custom software, they captured a live action actor with a Kinect 2, and convert him into a series of swirling cube particles and light rays, all in real time (see below). The team doesn’t explain how it works, but it looks like they modeled the actor beforehand and then mapped his particle-effect avatar onto the live action video.

Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

[Vimeo 1 & 2]

Animation: “Light Motif”

Frédéric Bonpapa has rendered a beautiful, albeit baffling, world:

Light Motif is conceived as a synaesthetic experience based on a visual transposition of Music for 18 Musicians – Section II, by the American composer Steve Reich. The ambition of the film is to cinematically capture the extraordinary life force that animates this essential work of contemporary music by offering a truly hypnotic experience where music can be “seen”.

I’m reminded of the Micronaxx exploring the works of Richard Serra.

[Vimeo] [Via Bridgette Wiley]

New Moleskine notebook connects to Creative Cloud

Hmm—this looks interesting:

The Moleskine Smart Notebook, Creative Cloud connected takes your ideas from paper to vector in an instant.

Draw by hand, use the Companion App to sync your files to the Creative Cloud and immediately open your image in Photoshop or Illustrator for refinement.

This way, you can focus on the idea when you’re offline, then elaborate it when you’re back at your workplace.

[YouTube] [Via]

Photographers: Moving to mirrorless? Check this out

DSLR doubters, my colleague Brian Matiash is ready to show you a new path: 

I’m really excited to announce the release of my very first self-published eBook called Moving to Mirrorless. A little over a year ago, I began my transition of moving away from my dSLR camera equipment and onto the Sony mirrorless ecosystem. When I shared my progress, I got TONS of questions from people who were curious about the process. After spending a great amount of time using this camera system all around the world and in all sorts of environments, I knew it was a great time to share my story. So, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to write an eBook about it and give it away for free! 🙂 

Here’s the download link.

Check out Google’s new photo classification tech


If you were in my shoes, how would you leverage this tech within Google Photos? Knowing that the system can automatically backup your lifetime’s worth of moments, then automatically synthesize things like movies & stories, what would you have it create on your behalf?

PetaPixel notes,

The system is far more intelligent than a simple tagging system. It not only picks up on the details, like a color or object, but also understands the scene in context. In other words: it can not only understanding that a photo has ‘snow’ and ‘trees’ in it, the program could tell you that, “the snow is falling in front of the line of trees.”

The program automatically captioned this: “Two pizzas sitting on top of a stove top oven”





The Grid: “Artificially Intelligent Websites That Design Themselves”

This new design/hosting service promises a ton of goodness & has me intrigued.

This is not another do-it-yourself website builder. The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it – videos, images, text, urls and more – and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you. As your needs grow, it evolves with you, effortlessly adapting to your needs.

[YouTube] [Via Alex Powell]

ColorPicker goes HTML, comes to Photoshop & Illustrator CC 2014

“They may take our Flash,” a blue-faced Mel Gibson is bellowing somewhere, “but they’ll never take… our panels!!”

I’m delighted that longtime friend to Photoshop-based painters Anastasiy Safari has released a new, HTML5-based version of his MagicPicker panel for Photoshop & Illustrator. Check out the new goodness:

MagicPicker Color Wheel/Picker 4.0:

  • Finally brings full CC 2014 support (Photoshop and Illustrator)
  • Introduces Color Temperature Wheel that lets artist separate warm color palette from cold color palette
  • Improves Tone Lock: Lock tone of color when changing its hue or saturation
  • Brings Big Color Swatches that improves perception of colors
  • Supports all major versions of Photoshop and Illustrator (Adobe Creative Suite and Creative Cloud): CC2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, CS3
  • Introduces new color wheel engine and more features and improvements



Demo: Importing PSD files into Adobe’s new Brackets editor

168 steps, man. 168 steps.

That’s how much effort it took to import a single 20-layer Photoshop file into Flash Professional when I was a designer & get the layers ready to animate.

Then Adobe shipped LiveMotion, and 168 steps fell to two (import, convert to layers). Years later we added the same support to Flash itself & other tools, and it always made a huge positive difference.

Now you can do the same with Adobe’s coding tool, Brackets:

Brackets is now 1.0 and even has the ability to open PSD files in it to extract images, CSS, text and other content.

Check it out:


Fly-X3: A motorized phone stabilizer

Photojojo is offering a clever doohickus for creating smoother handheld video:

Secure your phone in the Fly-X3 cradle and the stabilizing motor will automatically tilt the phone to find a level shot. As you move, the gyroscope automatically turns your camera to keep the phone level, giving you the smoothest video possible.

Capture action shots easily while you run, jump or bike without any shaky video. The Fly-X3 acts as an extra stable arm extension when you need to wriggle around tight spaces like a concert, the passenger seat of a car, or a tiny kitchen.

Somewhat ironically, it doesn’t support the iPhone 6 Plus (which offers built-in optical stabilization & thus would presumably be the choice of people who’d care enough to drop $300 on an accessory like this):


“People don’t like to wait while they wait”

Newly minted Googler & interface expert Luke Wroblewski here provides an interesting 5-minute tour of what works & what doesn’t in mobile interface design. In emphasizing the need to get people to the good stuff fast, he includes a great quote from Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger: mobile apps fill potholes of boredom, and “People don’t like to wait while they wait.” The whole thing is worth a watch: