Monthly Archives: June 2016

Google Maps & Earth upgraded with beautiful high-res imagery

Lovely. PetaPixel writes,

Google Maps and Google Earth just got a whole lot sharper thanks to NASA and its Landsat 8 satellite. Using beautiful high-res imagery captured by the new satellite, Google has built a better high-res cloud-free mosaic of the world based on some 700 trillion pixels of data.

Check out the difference below:


See the team blog post for examples & interesting details:

Like our previous mosaic, we mined data from nearly a petabyte of Landsat imagery—that’s more than 700 trillion individual pixels—to choose the best cloud-free pixels. To put that in perspective, 700 trillion pixels is 7,000 times more pixels than the estimated number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, or 70 times more pixels than the estimated number of galaxies in the Universe.

3D: The Mill’s amazing “Blackbird” rig

This thing is beyond bananas:

The Mill has created The Mill BLACKBIRD, the first fully adjustable car rig that creates photoreal CG cars – it’s a car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car. Created in collaboration with JemFX, Performance Filmworks and Keslow, Mill Blackbird inspires and expands creative opportunities, offering a truly flexible production tool without sacrificing any quality or direction.


[YouTube] [Via Scott Valentine]

Adobe powers Cartoon Trump, enhances Character Animator

I awoke from a Bailey’s-tinged snooze a few months ago to behold Stephen Colbert interacting in realtime with a lurid, loudmouthed cartoon Donald Trump. Quickly I shot a note to my friends working on Adobe Character Animator: “Hey, have you guys seen this thing? I wonder what app they’re using.” “Uhh… {something something, we can neither confirm nor deny…}” they wrote back.

I’m delighted that the team can now take credit for powering this silliness—along with the recent live-animated Simpsons episode. Check out the Trump puppet in action:

They’ve also recently announced lots of improvements to the app. Here’s a taste:


[YouTube 1 & 2]

Flying over Christo’s Floating Piers

“Visiting The Gates was one of the highlights of my life,” says Margot wistfully, wishing we could make it to Italy to walk on the Floating Piers. At least this short film gets us closer:

Visitors can experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which is framed by The Floating Piers. The mountains surrounding the lake offer a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice.

“Like all of our projects, The Floating Piers is absolutely free and accessible 24 hours a day, weather permitting,” said Christo. “There are no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers are an extension of the street and belong to everyone.”


[YouTube] [Via]

Quick demo: Star Wars augmented reality from ILM & Magic Leap

You can start to see why Google has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into these guys:

Per TechCrunch,

ILM & Magic Leap “are building a joint research lab, the “Collab Lab,” at Lucasfilm’s San Francisco campus…

“[B]efore magical realism becomes a seamless part of everyday life, it needs some advanced prototyping. Our ‘Collab Lab’ is a focal point of practical problem solving, concrete groundwork, sweat and hyper innovation.”



Snapseed 2.6 enhances B&W, WB

Rolling out today on iOS & Android, the release delivers some bigger stuff…

  • A Blue filter in Black and white – this creates a high contrast black and white image by pushing blue tones white and yellow tones black (check out the image for a comparison of all color filters)
  • White Balance in the RAW editor on Android – use the color picker to select a neutral color in the photo for automatic corrections, or choose from 8 different presets like Tungsten, Daylight and Sunny
…plus some smaller tweaks:
  • Added Talkback capability for Healing tool on Android – with Talkback enabled, the Healing tool will announce where the patch is being applied
  • Fixed a crash on iOS when flipping images under specific conditions
  • Minor bug fixes


Meet the new Google Fonts

It’s “a design geek’s paradise,” the Verge writes. Check it out:

The new Google Fonts is now in line with the company’s Material Design guidelines. It has both a new logo and a far easier way to test out new fonts, compare them with others, and change preferences on the fly while viewing sample text in a four-font grid. You can filter by categories like Serif and Handwriting, sort through trending and popular fonts, filter by language, and toggle between different degrees of thickness and slant. Each of the more than 800 open source fonts available now also contains bio information on its designer, as well as statistics on its usage and a list of popular fonts to pair it with. Google Fonts will let you either download the font or give you the code to directly embed it into your site.

The view counter to date might make even McDonald’s insecure: