Category Archives: Miscellaneous

“Squoosh” is a new Google app to slim down Web images

Cool—and open source. 9to5 Google writes,

By using WebAssembly, Squoosh is able to use image codecs that are not typically available in the browser.

Supporting a variety of web formats like MozJPEG and WebP and traditional ones like PNG, Squoosh allows you to quickly make your images web-ready. The app is able to do 1:1 visual comparisons of the original image and its compressed counterpart, to help you understand the pros and cons of each format.

[YouTube]

Integrate voice commands into visual prototypes with Adobe XD

“Even as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and other voice assistants have taken off like wildfire,” writes Khoi Vinh, “designers working in voice have been stymied by the nearly complete lack of voice tools oriented around the design process. All that changes today.”

Check out this 50-second demo, and see Khoi’s post for the backstory on how this tech came to Adobe & its tools.

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New character-animation hotness from Adobe

Formerly known as “Project Puppetron” (see previous re: the underlying tech), Adobe’s new Characterizer will soon be part of Character Animator CC:

You will be able to bring original art into Character Animator, record a series of sounds and facial expressions, and Characterizer will generate a new unique character… In a matter of seconds, you have a completely unique puppet that’s ready for your performance, regardless of your previous animation experience.

Here’s a quick tour from my buddy Dave:

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Meanwhile After Effects is adding some fun new chops to its puppeting toolset:

[YouTube 1 & 2]

Google Assistant goes bilingual

Days of miracles & wonder, man.

I’ve certainly found our Home devices handy when helping our boys with their Spanish homework.

Family members in bilingual homes often switch back and forth between languages, and now the Assistant can keep up. With our advancement in speech recognition, you can now speak two languages interchangeably with the Assistant on smart speakers and phones and the Assistant will respond in kind. This is a first-of-its-kind feature only available on the Assistant and is part of our multi-year effort to make your conversations with the Assistant more natural.

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[YouTube]