Monthly Archives: December 2020

🎄Blinding Lights & Beach Boys

Although we can’t travel far this holiday season (bye bye, Mendocino! see you… someday?), we are, in the words of Tony Stark, “bringing the party to you” via our decked-out VW Westy (pics). I’m having fun experimenting with my new Insta360 One X2, mounting it on a selfie stick & playing with timelapse mode. Here’s a taste of the psychedelic stylings, courtesy of The Weeknd…

…and Brian Wilson:

Animation: “Mecha”

Apropos of nothing, check out 60 lovingly rendered seconds commissioned by YouTube:

Maciej Kuciara writes,

MECHA – the love letter to our youth. Watching anime classics as kids left a mark that stayed with us to this day. So we felt it’s due to time to celebrate our love to mecha and pay proper homage with this piece we did for YouTube.

An epic 50,000-Lego sculpture 🌊

Jumpei Mitsui‘s work is staggering. Colossal writes,

During the course of 400 hours, Mitsui snapped together 50,000 cobalt and white LEGO into an undulating wave that mimics the original woodblock print.

To recreate this iconic work in three-dimensions, Mitsui studied videos of waves crashing and pored over academic papers on the topic. He then sketched a detailed model before assembling the textured water, three boats, and Mount Fuji that span more than five feet.

Astro Adobeans

A couple of my old Adobe pals (who happen to dwell in the dark, beautiful wilderness around Santa Cruz) have been sharing some great astrophotography-related work lately.

First, Bryan O’Neil Hughes shares tips on photographing the heavens, including the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction and the Ursids Meteor Shower:

Meanwhile Michael Lewis has been capturing heavenly shots which, in the words of my then ~4-year-old son, “make my mind blow away.” Check out his Instagram feed for images like this:

And if you’re shooting with a phone—especially with a Pixel—check out these tips from former Pixel imagining engineer Florian Kainz (who’s now also at Adobe—hat trick!).

AR: Baby Yoda comes to Google Search

Putting the “AR” in “Galaxy far, far away…” 😌

Just don’t expect to get a Baby Yoda Hellraiser Pinhead version. 😬

Also, remember that if you have a Pixel 5G or a compatible Android 5G device, you can install The Mandalorian” AR Experience.

#ThisIsTheWay

AR: Come try new cars & makeup in Google Search

I’m delighted to be closing out 2020 on a pair of high notes, welcoming the arrival of my two biggest efforts from the last year+.

First, Google Search now supports 150+ new cars that you can view in 3D and AR (via iPhone or Android device), including in beautiful cloud-rendered quality (provided you have a good connection & up-to-date Android). As we initially previewed in October:

Bring the showroom to you with AR

You can easily check out what the car looks like in different colors, zoom in to see intricate details like buttons on the dashboard, view it against beautiful backdrops and even see it in your driveway. We’re experimenting with this feature in the U.S. and working with top auto brands, such as Volvo and Porsche, to bring these experiences to you soon.

Second, you can try on AR beauty products right through Search:

Now, when you search for a lipstick or eyeshadow product, like L’Oreal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow, you can see what it looks like on a range of skin tones and compare shades and textures to help you find the right products.

To help you find the perfect match, you can now also virtually try makeup products right from the Google app.

New tech promises super fast, high quality background removal

Google researchers Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, Brian Curless, and Steve Seitz have been working with University of Washington folks on tech that promises “30fps in 4K resolution, and 60fps for HD on a modern GPU.”

Our technique is based on background matting, where an additional frame of the background is captured and used in recovering the alpha matte and the foreground layer.

Check it out:


See the PDF, abstract, and GitHub repo for details.