Monthly Archives: December 2016

Blessings for you in 2017

I’ve hit the road with the fam to recharge the spiritual batteries before heading into the new year, throttling back the blogging just a bit. As we reflect on what’s happened & what’s to come, here’s a traditional Irish blessing I’ve always loved:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields; and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

My alma mater used it quite nicely in an ad a couple of years back.

Of course, the mordant Irish wit is best expressed in a different toast:

May those that love us, love us.
For those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.


Slainte (cheers),


Photography: A loving portrait of a master camera fixer

I think you’ll enjoy David Drills’s 2-minute glimpse into the world of Gian Luigi Carminati, “a passionate and poetic 76 years old man who spent his entire life repairing cameras.”

In his small workshop in Milan, [Gian Luigi] takes care of old cameras with just a set of screwdrivers and a lot of patience.
We got the chance to spend some time with him and he was happy to share with us topics like why the analog is still better than the digital, his 50 years old long relationship with photography and how technology shaped the approach to this art.
We were deeply touched by these thoughts about photography coming from a self described ‘technician’ instead of a photographer.
With this two minutes video we had the ambition to tell his life through his memories.

Danica McKellar & students do math in VR

 These are wonder years indeed. The Mathematician Formerly Known As Winnie Cooper demonstrates writing equations in virtual reality space:

That’s novel, but is it useful? Apparently so: Using the collaborative mode Tilt Brush, student John Sterling McGregor is learning calculus with others using Tilt Brush in VR with the HTC Vive. Here’s an example:

So, what does all this mean? Will it be useful & transformative, or is it just Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy? I’m eager to see.



An insane human-toting drone

Keep your eyes skyward tonight, children: We just may see Casey Neistat buzz by. 🙂


As they note, no one sells a drone capable of lifting a human, so they built their own. Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

If somehow—somehow—all this gets you thinking, “I wonder what it would look like if a Lego guy hacked his own drone to make it rideable”—well brutha, I’ve got you covered.


Illustration: The UI design of Rogue One

“Do you know how hard it is,” my buddy Phil asked me a few years back while creating on-screen graphics for Episodes II & III, “to use After Effects to exactly match analog graphics from the 70’s?” He noted that back in the day, production designers could literally whack a CRT to generate static, skipping, and other effects that he now had to laboriously recreate using keyframes, expressions, etc.

I’m reminded of this seeing the gritty GUIs that design firm Blind created for Rogue One and The Force Awakens. Super cool (and likely highly under-appreciated) stuff.





Google Motion Stills gets upgraded


  • Motion-tracked text
  • Sharper exports
  • Automatic loop creation

I’m a big fan of Google Motion Stills for iOS, and the team has just added a bunch of awesome, machine-learning-powered tech that you can read about on their blog. It enables stuff like this:

And it lets me easily make stuff like this:


A video posted by John Nack (@jnack) onDec 15, 2016 at 9:25pm PST

And this (by stringing together a bunch of Live Photos, letting me get a movie I’d never otherwise have shot):


Google Photos: Badass in a motorcycle jacket (?)

Heh—I enjoyed this mental image from Fast Company:

With its new Photo Scan (Android, iOS) app, Google basically donned a leather motorcycle jacket, strutted into a party full of regular photo-scanning apps, knocked everyone’s drinks out of their hands, kissed the prettiest one straight on the mouth, and told the DJ to take a hike.

They go on to say,

If you’ve got old photos to digitize, this should be your first stop. The app is fast, accurate, and best of all, free. And it’s a complete no-brainer if you already store your snaps on Google Photos, as it’ll zing all your scans there automatically.