Category Archives: Illustration

Giphy World: Social remixing of AR collages

A few years back I was really intrigued by Mixel, a social collage app that enabled easy creation & mixing of scenes. It didn’t take off, but I thought the underlying concept was strong, and now Giphy is taking a run at something similar:

Allows you to place gifs in 3D space, share videos of them or even share the whole 3D scene in AR with friends who have the app. They can then add, remix and re-share new instances of the scene. As many people as you want can collaborate on the space.

You drop GIFs into the world in the exact position you want them. A curated and trending mix of gifs that have transparency built into them is the default, but you can also flip it over to place any old Gif on the platform.

Interesting; let’s see what happens!



AI learns about tattoo art


A couple of developers for the app Tattoodo wanted a better way to categorize all the tat pics they receive, so they built an algorithm. The pair created a neural-network and taught it how to use an iPhone camera to determine the style of a tattoo.

More images means more ideas being shared, more tattoos being categorized, and — perhaps one day soon — better recommendations to help inspire your next piece. 



Sh*t gets real: Google acquires AIMatter, maker of the Fabby computer vision app

This won’t seem like much right now, I’m sure—but I’m really excited. Per TechCrunch:

The search and Android giant has acquired AIMatter, a startup founded in Belarus that has built both a neural network-based AI platform and SDK to detect and process images quickly on mobile devices, and a photo and video editing app that has served as a proof-of-concept of the tech called Fabby.

In a lot of ways it’s the next generation of stuff we started developing when I joined Google Photos (anybody remember Halloweenify?). If you’ve ever hand-selected hair in Photoshop or (gulp) rotoscoped video, you’ll know how insane it is that these tasks can now be performed in realtime on a friggin’ telephone.

As to what happens next—stay tuned!



Check out Playful Palette, Adobe’s new color mixing tech

Back in 2011 we built a neat app called Adobe Color Lava (demo)—a Photoshop companion app that enabled color mixing on iPad. Later I followed the researchers behind it, Steve DiVerdi & Aravind Krishnaswamy, to Google Photos. Now Steve (who was instrumental in Photoshop 3D-based Mixer Brush & more) has returned to Adobe & is working on the blobtacular Playful Palette. Check it out in action:



New Character Animator-powered Cartoon Trump show coming to Showtime

Okay, okay—no one has said publicly that Showtime is using Adobe’s Character Animator app for this new spinoff of Stephen Colbert’s Cartoon Trump character, but come on, I’d be shocked if it weren’t powering the production. I love this live-animated character, and even more I love how the tech enables realtime visual expressivity. It should be a fun show, and in the meantime, here’s a segment produced for Colbert’s Showtime election special:



A brilliantly projection-painted car looks Photoshopped out

“Dude, you’re so transparent,” I once told a girl-chasing Photoshop engineer, “I can see a little checkerboard right through you.”

That came to mind seeing this project, which I find just unreasonably charming:


As part of the Stenograffia street art and graffiti festival in Russia, a collaborative of artists worked to create this phenomenal illusion that appears to “erase” a collection of graffiti from a small car and trash dumpster. With the help of a projector, the team painted the familiar grey and white checker grid found in most graphics applications that denotes a deleted or transparent area. The piece is titled “CTRL+X” in reference to the keyboard command in Photoshop for deleting a selection. You can see nearly 100 behind-the-scenes photos of their process here.


[Via some Facebook friend of whose original post I’ve lost track]