Monthly Archives: June 2019

Introducing AR makeup on YouTube

I’m so pleased to be able to talk about the augmented reality try-on feature we’ve integrated with YouTube, leveraging the face-tracking ML tech we recently made available for iOS & Android:

Today, we’re introducing AR Beauty Try-On, which lets viewers virtually try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to get tips, product reviews, and more. Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones. Currently in alpha, AR Beauty Try-On is available through FameBit by YouTube, Google’s in-house branded content platform.

M·A·C Cosmetics is the first brand to partner with FameBit to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign. Using this new format, brands like M·A·C will be able to tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users, and measure their results in real time.

As I noted the other day with AR in Google Lens, big things have small beginnings. Stay tuned!

Google makes… a collaborative game level builder?

Hey, I’m as surprised as you probably are. 🙃 And yet here we are:

What if creating games could be as easy and fun as playing them? What if you could enter a virtual world with your friends and build a game together in real time? Our team within Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, took on this challenge. Our prototype is called Game Builder, and it is free on Steam for PC and Mac.

I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin!

Predicting someone’s gestures from just their words

Whoa—what an eerie, funky thing to undertake: using a computer to anticipate a specific person’s idiosyncratic (yet predictable!) hand gestures based just on a recording of their speech:

Now they just need to automatically add accordions.

As for the training data:

Our speakers come from a diverse set of backgrounds: television show hosts, university lecturers and televangelists. They span at least three religions and discuss a large range of topics from commentary on current affairs through the philosophy of death, chemistry and the history of rock music, to readings in the Bible and the Qur’an.

As always, “This is the strangest life I’ve ever known…”

[YouTube]

3D scanner app promises to make asset creation suck less

Earlier this week I was messing around with Apple’s new Reality Composer tool, thinking about fun Lego-themed interactive scenes I could whip up for the kids. After 10+ fruitless minutes of trying to get off-the-shelf models into USDZ format, however, I punted—at least for the time being. Getting good building blocks into one’s scene can still be a pain.

This new 3D scanner app promises to make the digitization process much easier. I haven’t gotten to try it, but I’d love to take it for a spin:

[YouTube]

No more sync between Google Photos & Drive

It was powerful but confusing. The team writes,

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

See also more detailed info as needed.

FWIW I bailed on this integration a long while back. Instead I now import images from my SLR & Insta360 to my Mac; edit/convert the selects to JPEG via Lightroom Classic & the Insta app; then drag the JPEGs into a photos.google.com in a browser window (so they’re grouped with my phone pics/vids); and finally back up the originals to an external HD. It’s not exactly elegant, but it’s simple enough and it works.

NewImage

Speaking of AI putting words in people’s mouths…

We’ll see whether Facebook reverses course & deletes this deepfake now that it involves Mark Zuckerberg:

Adobe & co. enable video manipulation through typing

There’s no way this can end badly—no way.

The Verge writes,

When someone edits a text transcript of the video, the software combines all this collected data — the phonemes, visemes, and 3D face model — to construct new footage that matches the text input. This is then pasted onto the source video to create the final result.

In tests in which the fake videos were shown to a group of 138 volunteers, some 60 percent of participants though the edits were real. That may sound quite low, but only 80 percent of that same group thought the original, unedited footage was also legitimate.

NewImage

See previous: “Audio Photoshopping” using Adobe VoCo:

[YouTube 1 & 2]

Give ’em a hand: Google Nest Hub Max recognizes hand movements & faces

For the last couple of years I’ve randomly observed colleagues waving at Frankenstein-looking circuit boards & displays. As with many odd things at Google, I’ve channeled Bob Dylan—”Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”—and moved right along.

Now some of the fruits of that labor are coming to light, as the new Nest Hub Max has been announced, complete with the ability to recognize gestures (e.g. to stop music or an alarm) and faces (to show you personalized info like your calendar). Dieter Bohn offers a nice overview here:

[YouTube