Monthly Archives: July 2016

Illustration: Create a personalized pop art icon print

I’ve long loved the icons that Chop Shop Studio has made for everything from classic sci-fi robots to vehicles to horror films. Now they’re Kickstarting a project to create an online tool that’ll let you roll your own custom posters & prints. (“If I could make one, I’d do all vehicles!” chimes in 7-year-old Henry, peering over my shoulder right now.) Check it out & maybe back their play:


Motion graphics: “How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump”

How did the main US political parties swap ends of the political spectrum—with Republicans going from antagonizing white Southerners to the point of secession, to becoming the dominant party in (and voice of) that region?

I found this explainer video from Vox lucid, efficient, and clear—not ax-grindy, as otherwise I wouldn’t share it here. You might enjoy watching it & may learn a few things along the way.


Update: If you watch this—as I think you’d find worthwhile—and find parts of it inaccurate or misleading, please speak up and shed some light instead of turning away or changing the subject. I’m genuinely interested in increasing understanding (my own & others’). TIA.

[YouTube] [Via]

New software predicts how you look with different hair styles, colors, appearances

Check this out: 

A new personalized image search engine developed by a University of Washington computer vision researcher called Dreambit lets a person imagine how they would look a with different a hairstyle or color, or in a different time period, age, country or anything else that can be queried in an image search engine.

After uploading an input photo, you type in a search term — such as “curly hair,” “India” or “1930s.” The software’s algorithms mine Internet photo collections for similar images in that category and seamlessly map the person’s face onto the results.

Beyond obvious fun & beauty applications, tech like this could be amazing for the age-progression work of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.


[YouTube] [Via]

Magic Picker panel for Photoshop gets even more powerful

The popular $19 add-on from developer Anastasiy Safari has gained a range of new capabilities:

I added Vector Shape color control, new color spaces like HSL, YCbCr, YUV, XYZ display on the color wheel. And also MagicPicker now displays the name of color, which is a real help for web designers and color blind artists! Full Retina/4K/5K+ screens scaling. And Interactive Help now makes it easier to learn all MagicPicker’s functionality. Still supports all Photoshops from CS3 up to newest CC2015.5.


Google introduces a visual Shazam for art

Sounds pretty cool:

Just pull up the app, point your phone’s camera to a painting on display and find all the information you want to know about the artwork. We’re planning to roll this out to museums around the world—so stay tuned.

 The app (for iOS and Android) also supports VR tours and more, and the Web version enables things like interactively exploring artists’ work (e.g. via this timeline of Van Gogh’s paintings).

What do you think of Polaroid Swing?

Blurring the line between photo & video, Polaroid Swing lets you capture 1-second clips that play as users scroll, scrub, or tilt their phones.

I find myself kinda nonplussed. It’s beautifully executed, and I’ve long wondered why Instagram has so steadfastly failed to take advantage of device characteristics like gyroscopes. On the other hand, this feels more like a feature than a product (see also Fyuse), and it’s hard for me to imagine frequently nailing 1-second captures.




Runcible, a funky, circular wearable camera/phone

Hmm—I’m not quite sure what to make of this thing, but I’m intrigued by its form factor & materials:

Circular & palm sized. As powerful as a smartphone, but designed with a sense of quiet serenity and longevity. This anti-smartphone can do “smartphone things” like make calls, type, take pictures & video, explore the web and get directions. The rest of the time, Runcible is quiet, beautiful, and truly yours.



[Vimeo] [Via Dan Rubin]

No Google? No problem. Try sheep.

Tired of waiting for Street View cars to capture the beautiful, winding roads of the Faroe Islands, local residents have devised SheepView360! Resident Durita Dahl Andreassen writes,

I gently placed a 360˚ camera, powered by a solar panel, on the back of a sheep that would take photographs as the animal freely grazed the open hillsides of the Faroe Islands. Photos are then transmitted back to my mobile phone so that I can upload them to Google Street View myself, finally putting the Faroes on the map in a very unique way!

Sometimes, in an often dark & sad world, someone—and some sheep—go and make it less so.


Check out Snapseed’s new built-in tutorial stream

Apply a saved look to your image just by tapping it in a tutorial (stored in the “Insights” drawer at the bottom of the home screen).

Snapseed 2.7 is rolling out today and we’re excited to introduce Snapseed’s new Insights stream on your iOS device! Insights offers helpful editing tips directly within Snapseed: quick tutorials, pro editing tips, and inspiration from great photographers are now at your fingertips, with new content published often.

In addition, both updates on Android and iOS have minor bug fixes and adjustments.

Feedback is, as always, most welcome!


Demo: An augmented reality sandbox

My Lego dam breach-loving sons would likely dig this thing (literally), especially in a drought:

The Verge writes,

[T]his special sandbox uses a Kinect sensor and a projector to create an interactive topographical map with real-time water simulations… You can use your hands or a shovel to push around the sand to form mounds and valleys, and the software uses the Kinect’s distance readings to overlay a color-coded topographic map atop the sand — red means high elevations and blue the opposite. If that weren’t enough there’s an accurate water simulator: open your hands above the sandbox and you’ll rain down water into the virtual world, which will then flow naturally and gather in the lowest-lying areas. 

Cue my typical invocation of Brave New World.



Photography tutorial: Creating a rain of sparks with steel wool

Cool stuff from GoPro, though I’d have liked a bit more detail on the actual camera/lighting settings: 


Please note PetaPixel’s important note of caution:

Warning: This photography technique can be very dangerous and can cause serious bodily injuries and damage to a place if not done in a safe and controlled manner. In 2016 alone, steel wool photography has been blamed for burning down an iconic shipwreck and a 1920s landmark. Thus, it should only be done with appropriate care for surroundings, adequate safety equipment, and permission to use the specific location.


Choreography: A Kaleidoscopic Chimera

I dig the sharp, split-screen editing of these bodies in motion:

Inspired by the mythological chimera—a fierce hybrid of a lion and a goat with a snake’s head for a tail—director Steven Briand’s balletic short sees dancers merge three unique movement styles through a single sequence, all choreographed by MIA collaborator Cathy Ematchoua.

[Vimeo] [Via]