Monthly Archives: February 2014

Concept: A multitouch car UI

Hmm—I’m not sold (at all) on the discoverability of this thing, but I remain deeply eager to see someone break open the staid, hoary world of in-car electronics. (The hyped Sync system in our new Fusion is capable but byzantine & laggy. What’s waiting a second+ after button pushes between friends—besides roughly 100 feet traveled at speed?) What do you think?

[YouTube] [Via Christian Cantrell]

Google brings non-destructive editing to Android

I’ve been a diehard Snapseed user since the app’s debut, but I’ve always wished it were more flexible, letting me go back & change my mind about edits. Thus I’m delighted that my new teammates have just released a powerful, Snapseed-inspired mobile editor. Todd Kennedy lists the key enhancements:

Non-destructive photo editing across devices
Starting today you can start your edits on one device, and continue (or start over) on another. This means you can backup full-resolution photos from your desktop, edit them in seconds on your phone, then add some finishing touches from your tablet. (And you can revert to your originals at any time!) The technical term for this experience is non-destructive editing in the cloud, and we think you’ll really enjoy it.

Brand new filters and creative tools
Now when you edit your photos, you’ll have a powerful set of tools (like crop and rotate), 1-touch filters, and Snapseed-inspired enhancements (like Drama, Retrolux, and HDR Scape). Mix and match to make your photos look their absolute best.

A single view of all your photos
The new ‘All’ view displays your entire photo library — whether it’s on your current device, or backed up in the cloud. If your library is really large (> 10s of thousands of photos), the app won’t show all your photos initially. But stay tuned, because we’re supporting larger and larger libraries over the next few weeks.

An easy way to browse your photos by date
In addition to search, there’s now another way to find your photos fast. Just swipe through your photos in the ‘All’ view, and look for the scroll bar on the right. Dragging the scroll bar up or down will quickly move you forwards or backwards in time.

As Bill & Ted might say, “Great things are afoot at the Big G…”

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From Chaplin to the Dude: Illustrated homages to film

Cinemagraphics is Pier Paolo’s charming little love letter to the history of film:


Motionographer writes,

Pay close attention to the music, as it pays homage to the soundtracks of each film by subtly weaving their overtures into the electronic tapestry of the short’s audio.

Along similar lines, here’s a rather brilliant set of 8-bit movie GIFs


I love the Total Recall & Pulp Fiction ones especially!

[Vimeo] [Via Christian Cantrell]

The (Tourist) Lady Vanishes

A few years back photographer Martin Evening took a series of photos…

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…then used them to create an interesting tutorial on how to make the moving tourists disappear via Photoshop Extended. I wanted to see how Google Photos would handle the same set of images.
I dragged the folder of photos into Google Drive (think Dropbox, in case you haven’t used it), which I’d linked to my Google Plus account. A little while later I got a message on my phone to check out the Auto Awesome photos that had been created. In the first example Google removed the moving objects, then enhanced the color and tone of the resulting image:
Fountain Eraser
This was entirely automatic: I did nothing more than back up my photos to the system. It also built an animation from the frames:

Pretty slick, eh?

I find this all deeply exciting. How can we bring imaging magic to everyone—to people who don’t know it’s possible, much less how to do it themselves?

Tesseract: Refocusing for the rest of us?

Tesseract promises “a new camera technology that allows you to perform SLR-like depth of field effects, digital refocusing, 3D color filters and much more on your mobile phone.” Noting its ability to generate separate layers, TechCrunch says, “It’s part RAW, part PSD but straight from your mobile device’s camera.”

Post-capture refocusing still strikes me as a parlor trick, but image segmentation to enable better extraction, compositing, and depth of field effects seems highly useful. You can get a bit more info from founder Kshitij Marwah’s recent talk.

Meanwhile, the company has released FOCII, a printable transparency mask that lets you “take any existing DSLR and convert into a light field camera for post capture refocusing with a simple $1 filter!”

[Vimeo 1 & 2]

From Alice To Ocean, to now

“After seeing the Macintosh and then reading this issue of Macworld,” writes John Siracusa, “I had an important realization in my young life: people made this.”

That’s how I felt upon popping my first CD-ROM into the first Mac I actually owned, at the start of freshman year in 1993. It was From Alice To Ocean, and it blew my mind. It wove Rick Smolan’s gorgeous photography together with Robyn Davidson‘s story of trekking thousands of miles across the Outback with camels:


The work established Rick as my interactive storytelling hero, and his later works (Passage to Vietnam & many others) have kept him there. Now the Alice story is coming to the big screen via the producers of The King’s Speech:

I can’t wait to see it.