Viewer: “Where the hell should I look?” Creator: “Where the hell do people look?”
Making compelling 360º content—like both pimpin’ & impin’—ain’t easy. Fortunately YouTube is adding some new analytical tools:
Today we’re introducing heatmaps for 360-degree and VR videos with over 1,000 views, which will give you specific insight into how your viewers are engaging with your content. With heatmaps, you’ll be able to see exactly what parts of your video are catching a viewer’s attention and how long they’re looking at a specific part of the video.
Take your VR video creation to the next level. YouTube is taking applications for a 3 month learning and production intensive for VR creators. Participants will receive advanced education from leading VR instructors, 1:1 mentoring, and $30K – $40K in funding toward the production of their dream projects.
The application window has now closed (sorry I didn’t the news ’til now), but hopefully this will go well & future openings will emerge.
“Our virtual photographer ‘travelled’ ~40,000 panoramas in areas like the Alps, Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada, Big Sur in California and Yellowstone National Park,” hunting for the best compositions, writes Hui Fang of the Google Research team.
Per PetaPixel, “Once it finds a nice-looking photo, it uses post-processing techniques to improve the look of the shot like photographers do in Photoshop or Lightroom. Edits include cropping, tweaking saturation, applying HDR effects, adding dramatic lighting with ‘content-aware brightness adjustments.’”
Potentially interesting sidenote: In 2013, before Google Photos became a standalone product, Google+ was backing up & applying semantic Auto Enhance to more than half a billion photos per day. The process mimicked the edits a skilled human would apply (e.g. treating skin differently from skies, sharpening & brightening). This all happened automatically, so almost no one noticed, and when we turned it off, almost no one cared (cf. bad wine). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Google’s artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an AI that has managed to learn how to walk, run, jump, and climb without any prior guidance. The result is as impressive as it is goofy.
“Simpler, speedier and more reliable”—I can get behind that:
This new tool replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac/PC.
Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they’re no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Check out the help center if you need details—but generally it should be set it, forget it, get (optionally) free unlimited photo storage.
“Dude, you’re so transparent,” I once told a girl-chasing Photoshop engineer, “I can see a little checkerboard right through you.”
That came to mind seeing this project, which I find just unreasonably charming:
As part of the Stenograffia street art and graffiti festival in Russia, a collaborative of artists worked to create this phenomenal illusion that appears to “erase” a collection of graffiti from a small car and trash dumpster. With the help of a projector, the team painted the familiar grey and white checker grid found in most graphics applications that denotes a deleted or transparent area. The piece is titled “CTRL+X” in reference to the keyboard command in Photoshop for deleting a selection. You can see nearly 100 behind-the-scenes photos of their process here.
[Via some Facebook friend of whose original post I’ve lost track]
Here’s some trippy, claw-level view footage thanks to an eagle making off with researcher Matt Beedle’s GoPro:
So, how did they actually get the camera back? PetaPixel writes, “Thankfully, his father had seen the branch the eagle had landed on, and the two men searched for hours over two days before they managed to find the camera and the footage within.”
The makers of Lightform call it “the first computer made for projected augmented reality.”
Lightform scans complex scenes in under a minute, letting you seamlessly mix real objects with projected light. It’s augmented reality without the headset.
Check out a demo made with it & read more on Wired:
The small box contains a processor and a high-res camera. Hook it up to any projector through an HDMI cable, and the projector will cast a series of grids onto the room, which Lightform’s onboard camera uses to assess, in fine detail, the location and dimensions of objects in the space. (Lightform can also scan the room periodically, allowing it to create a new map if anything moves.) The processor converts that information into a 3-D map of surfaces onto which the projector can cast light. […]
In other words: Lightform helps you quickly transform almost anything in a room into a screen
I’m ready for my close-up… and my close-up, and my close-up, and my 100+ other close-ups.
“Based on the ‘Hoberman Sphere,’ (a geodesic dome which folds down to a much smaller size due to a plethora of joints)” notes PetaPixel (where you can see more images of it), “this dome can pop-up in an instant holding an army of DSLR cameras. Potentially over 100, if you were wondering.”
Google is essentially modeling Adobe to fill some of Adobe’s own gaps. First, it acquired Tiltbrush for VR sketching. Now, it built Blocks for VR-based, 3D object creation…
Google is laying the foundation for a massive play in VR and AR, because Blocks will be the cornerstone of an Adobe-like suite of VR creation apps from Google, which will pave the way for a new wave of user-created 3D movies and interactive experiences to come.