Monthly Archives: September 2014

Deliriously silly animated messaging from JibJab

I’ve been a fan of the Spiridellis brothers for 15 years—ever since the mutha fo’ fathas kicked some Common Sense. Now they’ve rolled out JibJab Messages (App Store), “A Grab Bag of Fun for texting, tweeting, and posting!” The app offers a laughably easy way to take pictures of yourself & others, then insert them into little animations. Let’s see just how many people want to punch up their texting sessions this way.

And now, would you like to see me as a dancing hot dog? No you would not—but hell no is that going to stop me.

Photoshop comes to Google Chrome & Chrome OS

Ebony & i-vor-y: I love it when my peeps work together. Chrome PM Stephen Konig writes,

This streaming version of Photoshop is designed to run straight from the cloud to your Chromebook. It’s always up-to-date and fully integrated with Google Drive, so there’s no need to download and re-upload files—just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud.

I got to kick the tires before I left Adobe, and performance (at least over a fast network connection) was strikingly good even on a $200 Chromebook. The only limitation I noticed was the lack of GPU-powered features (canvas rotation, a soft-edged cursor for brush resizing, etc.).

Check out Adobe’s site for an FAQ & to apply for program access.  [Via]

Meet Nixie, a tiny wearable flying drone

Clever, useful innovation? Indictment of a self-indulgent, self-centered culture? Both? PetaPixel writes,

Like a camera watch with propellers, Nixie (in theory) could detach itself from you with the flick of a wrist, fly a few feet away, take your picture (or a panorama or a movie), and then return to your wrist in something resembling a gadget you might have seen in Minority Report.

Check it out:


FingerSense expands a device’s touch vocabulary

If “Double knuckle knock” becomes more than, I dunno, presumably some gross phrase you’d find on Urban Dictionary, you may thank the folks at Qeexo:

FingerSense is an enhancement to touch interaction that allows conventional screens to know how the finger is being used for input: fingertip, knuckle or nail. Further, our system can add support for a passive stylus with an eraser. The technology is lightweight, low-latency and cost effective.

[Vimeo] [Via]

Google animations show Burning Man from space

Check out a unique perspective from the newly acquired Skybox team:

TechCrunch writes,

[T]he GIFs actually prove Skybox’s big advantage over other satellite companies. Since its micro-satellites are much smaller and therefore cheaper, so it can more of them up in space than companies building big, expensive, traditional satellites that power the infrequent updates to products like Google Maps. One of those might have missed the ephemeral Burning Man event entirely.

iPhone 6 field test: Iceland

Spoiler: They don’t suck! Check out Austin Mann’s comprehensive overview:

PetaPixel notes,

Everything, from pano mode, to time-lapses, to video capability to the vastly improved autofocus was tested and in every regard the 6 and 6 Plus outperformed its predecessor noticeably. […]

When the 5S and 6 Plus are set one on top of the other and forced to shift focus from a rock to the water it’s thrown in, the 6 Plus is lightning quick while the 5S actually never refocuses at all.


Thrilling, hypnotic slow-mo “Streets”

Transcendent work from Tim Sessler captures NYC in a fresh, magical way:

Shot with the Freefly TERO in the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Stabilized with the Freefly MōVI M10 and M15.
Shot on the Phantom Miro LC320S (1500-2000fps) and Red Epic Dragon

Khoi Vinh puts things really nicely:

[A]s its four-plus minutes of slow-motion footage shot on the streets of New York City rolled by, I came to realize that it was capturing details that I hadn’t seen before, even after living in the city for many years—tiny, delicate moments, some of them unexpectedly abstract, hidden within the hurried onslaught of urban life.

It’s amazing just how fleeting these moments were, as you can see in a behind-the-scenes peek:

Bonus from the archives: Andrew Clancy’s “A Year in New York” looks (and sounds) just lovely.

[Vimeo 1, 2, and 3]

Layer Tennis (née Photoshop Tennis) is back


Friday is Opening Day, we’ll start with an Around the World Exhibition in which ten designers pass a file around the globe. The Main Event is Jon Contino vs. Dan Cassaro, with Rosecrans Baldwin providing the play-by-play commentary.

And this season, you can play, too:

Anyone who’s interested in playing can show us their chops by posting a sample match (play with a pal!) to their Online Portfolio at Behance… Make sure you tag your samples with “LayerTennisQualifier” so we can check them out easily.

New iOS design resources

  • Tethr bills itself as “The last UI kit you’ll ever need” and “The Most Beautiful iOS Design Kit Ever Made.” I’ll leave that judgement to you, but at a glance it looks like some nicely assembled PSD templates.
  • You don’t actually need Photoshop to leverage these templates, either: Adobe’s Web-based Project Parfait can extract content “as 8-bit PNG, 32-bit PNG, JPG, and SVG images.”

Google Fonts meet Aesop’s Fables

This site features lovely details (e.g. your cursor becoming a stylized fox head, vainly chasing “sour” grapes) while presenting good font pairings:

There are over 640 Google web fonts available for free. Problem is, pairing typefaces isn’t easy. And, many of the fonts in Google’s library don’t work well when applied to typical webpage (desktop) layouts. Part of the 25×52 initiative, this collaborative, ongoing project helps provide typographic inspiration for using Google’s web fonts for web applications.

Check out Google’s Cartographer backpack for indoor mapping

 Here’s a powerful—if ungainly (“…Ladies”) new wearable tool for map makers. TechCrunch writes,

The Cartographer uses a process called “simultaneous localization and mapping” (SLAM), a technique that’s typically used for mapping new locations and that Google is now putting to use to map anything from hotels to museums.

As the backpacker walks through a building, the floor plan is automatically generated in real time, Google says. The wearer also uses a tablet to add points of interest while walking around the building (say room numbers in a hotel or the exhibits in a museum).


New features for Adobe Anywhere, After Effects, and more

I’m thrilled for my wife, her teammates, and most importantly their customers as they unveil an enormous number of new enhancements in the Creative Cloud video tools. Apropos of her product in particular,

Adobe Anywhere for video adds robust collaboration support for After Effects CC users and brings refinements to the Adobe Anywhere app for iPad, including new scrubbing gestures and sorting options. A new streaming API allows facilities and broadcasters to integrate content from Adobe Anywhere into a variety of user experiences on the web or mobile devices.

Check out their blog post for tons more detail, and please drop by to say hi if you’ll be at IBC in Amsterdam. (And if during that time I go out like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, well, that’s what happens when she leaves me alone with the Micronaxx.)

Now you can instantly share your Google-stored videos on YouTube

When you automatically back up your iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows videos using Google+, you’ll be able to share them on YouTube simply by going to and clicking “Import your videos from Google+.” My raw/video backup strategy now consists of “Plug in SD card; the end,” and this change eliminates the need to upload clips piecemeal for sharing. Congrats to my teammates who made it happen!


The Invisible Artist: Blending Into Liu Bolin’s Paintings

Photoshop previz + paint + volunteers = visual meditations on identity:

Chinese artist Liu Bolin camouflages himself into urban backdrops using acrylic paint, becoming “The Invisible Man.” We went behind the scenes of his blending process at London’s SCREAM gallery to document his process as he created two new, unreleased works, using director Jack Newman as his chameleon-like subject.

Vice writes,

With his surrealistic photographic performances, Bolin addresses issues at once as personal as they are intrinsically human; Buddhist notions of illusion, Taoist practices of stillness, contemporary ruminations on transparency and the nature of surveillance.




“Bikerlapse”: A handheld hyperlapse

Y’think that in the next decade or two, comedians on a VH1 “I Love The Teens” show will laugh about how into hashtags, dubstep, and hyperlapses everyone got? Yeah, probably—but in the meantime let’s enjoy the ride. For this piece Nathan Kaso took a spin around Melbourne:

The video quality is pretty lo-fi but that stabilization technology is nothing short of amazing. The whole video was shot hand-held, one hand to steer and one hand to hold the camera. All of the these shots are straight out of the app, with no post stabilization or effects.

I used a RØDEGrip iPhone mount for extra stability while shooting and an Arcadia USB power bank to keep my phone charged for the whole day.

[Vimeo] [Via]