Monthly Archives: July 2018

YouTube/After Effects event in SF July 25

Some motion designers from the YouTube team are hosting a mograph event aimed at aspiring YouTubers: 

Awesome Scripts and Plugins for Motion Graphics Artists and YouTubers

Local designers will share their favorite tools for a range of animation software including After Effects and Cinema4D in short micro talks. Take your animations to the next level.

First several guests will receive a YouTube-branded Google Cardboard unit 🙂


NVIDIA AI promises superhuman noise reduction & watermark removal

Back in the way back, the Adobe User Ed team got in trouble for publishing a Healing Brush tutorial that demonstrated how to remove watermarks (sorry, photographers!). Now bots promise to do the same, only radically faster & better:

“Recent deep learning work in the field has focused on training a neural network to restore images by showing example pairs of noisy and clean images,” NVIDIA writes. “The AI then learns how to make up the difference. This method differs because it only requires two input images with the noise or grain.

“Without ever being shown what a noise-free image looks like, this AI can remove artifacts, noise, grain, and automatically enhance your photos.”

See many more examples over on PetaPixel.



3D capture & scanning, if you don’t mind looking like a tool

“Oh, is that True Love Waits conference?” my friend once snarkily asked as we drove past GPU conference attendees milling around downtown San Jose. “Is this Virgin-con?” Their dorktastic style comes to mind seeing demos for the helmet-mounted Wunder360.

Given that my trusty, if imperfect, Theta S 360º camera has gone MIA, I’m thinking about possible replacements. Having busted on the Wunder a bit, I’ll say I’m intrigued by the mapping possibilities. Given all it promises (especially relative to, say, the $499 Rylo camera), I’d worry that it’s oversold, especially at $159—but I guess we shall see.

The device promises:

  • Capturing 360 videos with in-camera stitching, no extra post-production software is needed;
  • Easy 3D scanning, enables the ability to create in 3D for everyone;
  • AI-powered smart tracking, locks on your favorite view;
  • Super smooth stabilization, say goodbye to shaky shots;
  • Compact, lightweight and portable, pop the S1 in your pocket;
  • With 100ft waterproof case, S1 works with you anywhere;


New MIT tech can visually isolate & remix musical instruments

I fully approve of this witchcraft. Now, to apply the “I forced a bot to watch 1,000 hours…” technique to my kids’ band recitals. 😉

VentureBeat writes,

The fully trained PixelPlayer system, given a video as the input, splits the accompanying audio and identifies the source of sound, and then calculates the volume of each pixel in the image and “spatially localizes” it — i.e., identifies regions in the clip that generate similar sound waves.




Field Notes go to space

Man, I love it when people take wacky “Y’know what’d be really crazy/cool…” ideas seriously and actually do them. To promote their new notebook sets that come with papercraft spacecraft, Field Notes actually sent one of the little guys into space (or something very close by). Bananas:

Each 3-Pack consists of three Memo Books, one each for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. These books are full of facts and figures. They feature dramatic photographs of iconic moments from those missions on the covers… 

Additionally, you’ll notice these 3-Packs come in a slightly larger package than usual. That’s because each set also contains three “Punch-Out and Assemble” Mission-Specific Crew Capsule Models, for fun and education.



Photography: So *that’s* how they got that drone shot

You know what’s really hard? Flying steadily in one direction while smoothly sweeping the camera around to focus on a subject and maybe climbing/descending and maybe tilting the camera? Yeah, just kidding: it’s nearly impossible.

But maybe now*, through the use of Course Lock mode & with this guidance from Drone Film Guide, I can pull it off.

In a nutshell:

  • Pick a heading & speed
  • Start flying back & forth along this fixed path while varying rotation/height/tilt
  • Dial down the sensitivity of your yaw control


In a second installment, Stewart goes into more detail comparing Course Lock to Tap Fly:

*”Now” is relative: Yesterday my luck finally ran out as I flew the Mavic into some telephone wires. At least it’s not at the bottom of Bixby Canyon or Three-Mile Slough, where other power lines threatened to put it on previous (mis)adventures. (“God helps old folks & fools…”) The drone took a hard bounce off the pavement, necessitating a service trip to reset the gimbal (which moves but now doesn’t respond to control inputs), but overall it’s amazingly sturdy. 💪😑 

[YouTube 1 & 2]

Childish Gambino animated via MacPaint on an 80’s Mac

My 8-year-old and 42-year-old selves just high-fived & it was glorious. Oh my God, I am so here for this. Check out the animation below & the making-of thread here.


[Via Alex Powell]

A printable master list of Adobe keyboard shortcuts

After busting my ass there for two solid years, I came within hours of being laid off from Adobe, only to be saved by Russell Brown. During that purgatorial period, my soon-to-be-ex boss Michael Ninness tossed me the bone of updating his Photoshop keyboard shortcuts book for PS7. I was grateful for the gig (as who knew what lay next?—certainly not getting a call to work on Photoshop!), and ever since I’ve had a particular soft spot for anyone working to make Adobe shortcuts more comprehensible. Enter Shutterstock:

[W]e created a handy printable chart for all the most common and useful shortcut key combos* in the big-three Adobe design programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign). It’s color-coded, labeled, and grouped for maximum efficiency. We call it the Periodic Table of Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts, and we’re letting you download it here, totally free.