Photography: Beautiful timelapse of Grand Canyon clouds

Happy Thursday.

On extremely rare days cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, which in combination with moisture and condensation, form the phenomenon referred to as the full cloud inversion. In what resembles something between ocean waves and fast clouds, Grand Canyon is completely obscured by fog, making the visitors feel as if they are walking on clouds.

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[Via Bryan Lamkin]

Cool Google Maps news: Mapping pollution, seeing restaurant wait times, and more

 

  • On Google search (and soon Maps) you can see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world. Search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section. “You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.”
  • Google mapped air quality across California, with Street View cars spending 4,000 hours driving 100,000 miles in SF, LA, and the Central Valley. Check out the preliminary results.
  • Did you know that your timeline on Maps makes it easy to revisit the places you’ve been, filter by activity (e.g. horseback riding), and more?

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Illustrator gets Puppet Warp

I was really pleased to incorporate this After Effects-originated technology into Photoshop years ago, and now that it’s gone through a couple more generations of refinement (thanks in part to Character Animator), I’m excited to see that it’s now in Illustrator:

With Puppet Warp, you can now transform your vector graphics while maintaining an organic and natural look. You can reposition a character’s limbs or reshape an object. Puppet Warp is not limited to just animate objects, though—it works great on lettering and icons as well.

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[YouTube]

At last, Illustrator adds a Properties panel

On today’s episode of Old Man Nack’s Software Woulda-Shoulda, I’d note the inordinate amount of time I spent lobbying fruitlessly for Illustrator & Photoshop to add properties panels of the sort you’d see in Macromedia apps—but who the hell cares, it’s here now:

The new Properties Panel shows you the controls you need, when you need them. It organizes all of your panels into one location so you can access them quickly and easily, resulting in a clean, clutter-free workspace.

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3D: Meet Google Poly

“With Poly,” says Google AR/VR lead Clay Bavor, “our mission is to organize the world’s 3D information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Poly lets you quickly find 3D objects and scenes for use in your apps, and it was built from the ground up with AR and VR development in mind. It’s fully integrated with Tilt Brush and Blocks, and it also allows direct OBJ file upload, so there’s lots to discover and use.

Check it out:  

You’re frequently allowed to modify the models in case they don’t quite fit your needs, and you can share them as GIFs or explore them in VR viewers.

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[YouTube]

A trio of interesting 360º cameras

Remember Instagram hyperlapses—or if you’re nerdier, stabilization app Luma (acquired by Instagram)? Creator Alex Karpenko is back with Rylo, a $499 360º camera that promises great built-in stabilization & innovative software features. PetaPixel notes,

The second feature is called Follow, and that lets you track action with just a single tap on the app. The software will then adjust the orientation of the camera and keep the action in the frame.

Next up is Points, a feature which controls the camera’s perspective. Tapping on specific points of interest, Rylo will produce a smooth shot that “connects each of your points.”

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Meanwhile Motorola has introduced the $299 moto 360 camera, a small pop-on addition to its phones that promises “360° photos and 4K video with 3D sound.” The size, immediacy of the phone connection, & ability to switch to the device’s regular cameras on the fly look pretty appealing.

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Not to be left out, GoPro is introducing the Fusion, a $699 (relative) behemoth:

Its six onboard cameras can capture VR and non-VR in 5.2K resolution, with 360-degree audio. It also has an OverCapture feature that “punches out” a regular image from a spherical photo and onboard stabilization features allow for smooth capture. The Fusion works with the GoPro app and the camera is waterproof up to 16 feet.

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Game on!

[YouTube 1 & 2]