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.
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.
Physics-based space simulator Universe Sandbox² looks pretty badass, merging “gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet. Create, destroy, and interact on a scale you’ve never before imagined.”
“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.
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.
Both on iOS and Android, text in the Text tool can now be easily centered vertically and horizontally. Also, we’ve refreshed the presets of the Face filter, giving more options for fast and easy enhancements.
On Android, the Perspective tool brings back the old horizontal and vertical adjustment modes that many users asked for. With this addition, Perspective lets you apply any kind of transformation and perspective adjustment you can think of.
Also on Android, you can now choose the target folder for exporting a photo, allowing you to store it on an SD card or elsewhere. To enable it, just go to the settings menu for exports.
“Envision a blimp flying over the country, and then we’re laying the cable from the blimp.”
I really enjoyed the latest piece from Google’s Nat & Lo, showing how networks are physically connected (interactive map) among continents.
The internet allows us to see videos, photos, and news from anywhere in the world almost instantaneously. But how?! In this video we learn about the hundreds of underwater fiber optic cables that connect continents, cities, and data centers all over the world –– and investigate how these cables are made, how they’re installed, and more.
You know Photoshop’s in my blood (and vice versa), but wow, it looks like they’ve got some solid competition on their hands. Check out the new features in Affinity Photo 1.5 (including 32-bit HDR creation and editing, spherical photo editing (which has actually been in Photoshop for 8 years—though I guarantee that no one knows that), focus stacking (ditto), and more.
I love the idea of easily placing photo objects in space, getting a feel for what’s possible:
From the designers at Artefact, Storyboard VR is a prototyping and visualization tool that helps content creators, artists and designers use their existing skills to imagine and visualize VR experiences, no development tools or skills required.
This documentary looks super fun and interesting—and not just for Afrika Bambaataa’s tremendous eye furniture.
808, the heart of the beat that changed music. The acclaimed documentary that chronicles the incredible legacy of the TR808 drum machine will be exclusively available on Apple Music December 9th 2016. Discover the iconic records, artists and producers influenced by the 808’s unique beats and find out the secret behind its sudden discontinuation.
Hmm—this Frankenhelmet is, well, aesthetically questionable, but I’d love to take it for a spin:
Bridge is a VR & Mixed Reality headset made specifically for iPhone. It brings positional tracking and obstacle avoidance to VR with a Unity plugin, and full mixed reality, where characters blend into the real world around you
Check out the latest from all-time great Robert Hodgin (anybody here old enough to remember Flight 404?):
Taxi, Taxi! is 1 of 4 different pieces we created exclusively for the towering video wall. It uses NYC Open Data taxi data plotted against routes created with Open Street Map which is displayed within a 3D model of New York City. It is designed to run in realtime and was created with the Cinder C++ coding framework.
Do yourself a solid and enjoy the next two minutes:
The beams seek out and outline the vaults of the huge space using a custom system of 48 computer-controlled lights. Designer Adam Heslop, who helped visualize the performance, said it required the studio to develop a whole range of new techniques.
What’s the relationship between perception & creativity?
In this fascinating TED talk, Google’s Blaise Agüera y Arcas talks about everything from the structure of the brain to how the inflow of data can be reversed to synthesize really trippy imagery. Maybe if I watch it a dozen more times I’ll start to grok what’s happening here—but in the meantime, trust me, it’s well worth watching at least once:
We’re on the edge of a new frontier in art and creativity — and it’s not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, principal scientist at Google, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this captivating demo, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be run in reverse, to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages (and poems!) that defy categorization. “Perception and creativity are very intimately connected,” Agüera y Arcas says. “Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create.”
Rob Whitworth has returned with another eye-popping hyperlapse of Turkey:
Experience the towering fairy chimney formations, immense subterranean cities, stone-carved mansions, and inimitable cultural energy that make Cappadocia one of the world’s most unforgettable travel destinations.
Shot in the filmmaker’s signature flow motion style, the video takes viewers on a time-distorting, gravity-defying tour of Cappadocia’s unique natural and manmade attractions, while immersed in a lyrical narrative of the region’s cultural and historical pedigree. Filmed in brilliant 4K resolution using cutting-edge hyperlapse techniques, the video presents one of Turkish Airline’s most amazing destinations as it has never been seen before.
The desktop app works only as a screen saver and features native Mac integration. Once installed, ‘Google Featured’ will appear as an option in the Desktop & Screen Saver preferences window… The 7.8 MB app is free and works with macOS 10.9 Mavericks and above.
Featured Photos can be accessed through the Google Wallpapers app launched with the Pixel. Available for all devices, an update rolling out today will add Google+ as a new source to select for your home or lock screen image. The Wallpapers picker will include attributions to allow for easy following in Google+ and allows for auto updating once a day.