If you’ve ever rocked out to Ladytron, you know Reuben Wu’s musical work—but it turns out he’s a helluva photographer, too. Check out his recent drone work in Peru:
For as long as he can remember, Reuben Wu has been obsessed with mountains. […] Wu’s new project uses night drones to illuminate the ice blue walls of the Pastoruri Glacier in Peru, 16,000 feet high in the sky. Taking breaks in between shots to catch his breath and warm his hands, Wu attempts to photograph his vision, painting the landscape with light from his drone, the stars and the moon.
Hmm—from the look of the skinned models to the project hosting on Indiegogo, I wouldn’t have expected this from Lego—but I can dig it:
LEGO FORMA is a premium LEGO experience designed for adults looking for a fun, engaging way to reconnect with their creative side. LEGO FORMA mechanical models are cleverly designed but simple to assemble. Sturdy rods and parts combine with customizable skins to create a joyful creative challenge. Taking design cues from nature, LEGO FORMA incorporates life-like movement, colors, and patterns. The result is an elegant conversation piece that’s a tasteful addition to any room.
I love seeing the creative lengths to which the Geo team goes in capturing our planet’s richness:
At over 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometres wide, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. A small team of Googlers spent the last two months scouring every meter of its coastline, using a Street View Trekker mounted on a boat, to collect gorgeous 360-degree imagery around this former supervolcano.
Google collaborated with artist Es Devlin to help London passerby contribute to an ever-evolving poem projected on Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
Cast in 1867, the four monumental lions in Trafalgar Square have been sitting as silent British icons at the base of Nelson’s Column for the past 150 years. Overnight on Monday 17 September, a fifth fluorescent red lion will join the pride. This new lion will roar poetry, and the words it roars will be chosen by the public. Everyone is invited to “feed the lion”, but this lion only eats words.
Today’s stop-motion, animated video Doodle celebrating Mister Rogers was created in collaboration with Fred Rogers Productions, The Fred Rogers Center, and BixPix Entertainment. Set to the iconic opening song of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”), the Doodle aims to be a reminder of the nurturing, caring, and whimsy that made the show feel like a “television visit” between Mister Rogers and his young viewers. Everyone was welcome in this Neighborhood
Mrs. Rogers approves:
“I’m so thrilled that Google is celebrating Fred and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with this charming tribute.This stroll through the Neighborhood is delightful, and Fred’s gentle kindness is beautifully captured in the Doodle.”
“We probably could have done this digitally, but we actually shot all of this practically in a studio” says Alan Dye, Apple Vice President of User Interface Design, of the motion faces. “What I love about the fact that we did this is that it’s just so indicative of how the design team works. It was really about bringing together some of our various talents to create these faces. There are of course art directors, and color experts, and graphic designers, but also model makers who helped build these structures that we would eventually, you know, set on fire.”
Google has launched “Mini” stickers for iOS and Android, which use machine learning to craft personalized emoji from your photo. More precisely, the feature uses a combination of machine learning, neural networks and artist illustrations to conjure up the best representation of you, taking into account various characteristics like your skin tone, hair color and style, eye color, face shape and facial hair. Just access Mini from within Gboard and start the creation process by taking a selfie. It will then automatically create your avatar and generate packs of stickers you can use.
Formerly known as “Project Puppetron” (see previous re: the underlying tech), Adobe’s new Characterizer will soon be part of Character Animator CC:
You will be able to bring original art into Character Animator, record a series of sounds and facial expressions, and Characterizer will generate a new unique character… In a matter of seconds, you have a completely unique puppet that’s ready for your performance, regardless of your previous animation experience.
Here’s a quick tour from my buddy Dave:
Meanwhile After Effects is adding some fun new chops to its puppeting toolset:
“Teaching Google Photoshop” has long been my working mantra here—i.e. getting computers to see like artists & wield their tools. In a similar vein, researchers from Adobe & MIT have teamed up on “An AI for CGI“—tech that automatically separates image elements in discreet regions for augmentation. I can’t wait to give it a try:
Photoshop’s venerable (oh God, how can it already be venerable?!) Content-Aware Phil is growing up nicely, as seen in this new sneak peek from my friend Meredith. I look forward to seeing whether the increased power/finesse more than offsets the apparent jump in complexity—as I expect it will.
John Oliver tries speaking truth to power in perhaps the only language—overwrought animation—our Dear Leader understands. The animation begins around 19:40, in case the embed below doesn’t start you at the right spot:
The whole segment (overview) is chillarious (chillingly hilarious). As they say, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
I’ve certainly found our Home devices handy when helping our boys with their Spanish homework.
Family members in bilingual homes often switch back and forth between languages, and now the Assistant can keep up. With our advancement in speech recognition, you can now speak two languages interchangeably with the Assistant on smart speakers and phones and the Assistant will respond in kind. This is a first-of-its-kind feature only available on the Assistant and is part of our multi-year effort to make your conversations with the Assistant more natural.