Monthly Archives: September 2018

Ethereal, drone-lit mountains @ 16,000ft.

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.

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[YouTube] [Via]

Get fishy with Lego Forma

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.

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via GIPHY

[YouTube] [Via Tony Scott]

Cruising around a supervolcano lake in Street View

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.

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[YouTube]

Illustrator to get drag-and-drop toolbar tweaking

Sure, why not? Seems nice enough.

I remain kinda sad, though:

  • Illustrator broke its Photoshop-style ability to Shift-cycle among tools years ago & will never fix it, because LOL nothing matters.
  • We’ve never gotten (and presumably never will get) settings sync that enables frictionless sharing of bold, imaginative reshapings of Adobe app UIs—because, LOL… you know.

But, anyway, rock on with this.

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[YouTube] [Via]

“Please Feed The Lions”: AI-driven collective poetry writing in Trafalgar Square

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.

Go behind the scenes or just check out this 60-second overview:

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[YouTube]

Google’s beautiful stop-motion tribute to Mr. Rogers

Aww—check out today’s doodle:

The team writes,

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.”

Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

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[YouTube]

Cinematography: Making the Apple Watch faces with practical effects

Whoa—songs of ice & fire:

“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.”

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[YouTube]

Giant artificial flowers react to your emotions

Ah—so this is the backstory on the large installation now populating our lobby.

The flowers are built using Raspberry Pi running Android Things, our Android platform for everyday devices like home speakers, smart screens and wearables. An “alpha flower” has a camera in it and uses an embedded TensorFlow neural net to analyze which emotion it sees, and the surrounding flowers change colors based on the image the camera captures of your face. All processing is done locally, so no data is saved or sent to any servers.

Better still, the code has been open-sourced.

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