Category Archives: Illustration

Oil paintings come alive in AR

A couple of years ago, Adobe unveiled some really promising style-transfer tech that could apply the look of oil paintings to animated characters:

I have no idea whether it uses any of the same tech, but now 8th Wall is bringing a similar-looking experience to augmented reality via an entirely browser-based stack—very cool:

 [YouTube]

Beautiful illustrations of crappy reviews

These loving treatments of 1-star reviews of natural treasures are pretty wonderful:

[D]esigner Amber Share decided to create a series of hilarious travel posters for all 61 parks, featuring the Internet’s funniest, snarky comments.

Share came up with the idea for her Subpar Parks series as a way to “put a positive, fun spin on such a negative mindset.” Each retro-style poster design features colorful graphic renditions of America’s mountains, lakes, and forests. However, each pretty scene is matched with hand lettering that spells out the bad reviews.

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The charming story of “Red Monster”

I’m a longtime superfan of (now longtime!) Adobe designer Dave Werner. Just as the one good thing to come of my first two futile years at Adobe was meeting my wife, the clear good that came from my final project was hiring Dave. Our project mostly crashed & burned, but Dave hung in there & smartly made his way onto Character Animator. Here he provides a delightful inside look at how the app’s little red mascot came to be.

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[YouTube]

Adobe Character Animator wins an Emmy

Early in 2012, I was lucky enough to tag along with After Effects creators David Simons & Dan Wilk as they dropped in on Pixar, Stu Maschwitz, and other smart, thoughtful animators. After 20 years of building the industry-standard motion graphics tool, they didn’t yet know quite what they wanted to build next, so it was fun to bounce ideas back and forth with forward-thinking creators.

Fast forward to 2020, and the product that resulted from those investigations—Character Animator—has just won an Emmy:

Today, the Academy announced that it will honor Adobe Character Animator as a Pioneering System for Live Performance-Based Animation Using Facial Recognition, showing excellence in engineering creativity. In the biz, this is an Emmy! We might be on a bit of a roll here, for industry bling, since this latest award follows on from our two technical Academy Awards in 2019 for Photoshop and After Effects.

The tool has powered the first-ever live episode of The Simpsons, live interviews with Stephen Colbert that morphed into Our Cartoon President, and more (see recent roundup below).

Congrats to the team (who are now “EgOts,” I think—winners of Emmys & Oscars!); we can’t wait to see where you go next!

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[YouTube]