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My friends Dan Wexler and Gilles Dezeustre have just released a new app for your iPhone/iPad. It’s called Glaze. It’s a painterly rendering filter for your photos, and it’s really cool. It’s based on the traditional brushstroke-based model pioneered by folks like Paul Haeberli, Pete Litwinowicz and Aaron Hertzmann, but it adds some neat new twists: face detection to guarantee that eyes and other important features come out with the right amount of detail; a genetic algorithm for mutating and doing artificial selection on painting styles; and a really slick iOS interface that makes all of the above completely effortless and transparent. It also runs blazingly fast, considering all the work that must be going on under the hood. They’ll be giving a talk about the details at SIGGRAPH next week. (Here’s an abstract of their talk… wish I could go!)

What I find the app does best, so far, is to turn my garbage photos into beautiful art. This, for example, is a picture my thumb took by accident as I was putting away my phone. The original photo was blurry, out of focus, and weirdly composed. But the painting’s handmade feeling makes your eye linger on the details, and the results are just lovely. (Everyone’s Instagram is about to get a lot prettier!)

Eclipse arabesqueSolar eclipse 2012Homemade eclipse gogglesSolar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012
Stella and Dado making eclipse shadowsSolar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012
Solar eclipse 2012Solar eclipse 2012Ready for the solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse May 2012, a set on Flickr.

What a great eclipse! We made makeshift safety goggles out of the Mylar I’d bought, some cardboard, and whatever was kicking around the house. The goggles worked like a charm. For shadow projections, a simple kitchen colander turned out to be the perfect device.

Reminder for next eclipse: must shoot some timelapse of those crazy shadows.

Just got back from the wrap party for “How to Train Your Dragon” in Hollywood. At one point, a bunch of us animators were hanging out on the dance floor, and there was this line of people all taking photos of us at once. These two photos, by Jen Stern and Lilian Ku, must have been shot within a fraction of a second of each other. So I stitched them together into an animated gif. Check us out in 3D!

wrap_party_stereo

The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is famous for its cheese, and infamous for its cheese-loving citizens. A popular snack here is queijo de Minas with a slice of guava jelly. So when I saw this item on the menu, I had to try it. The cheese in question has a very light, subtle, slightly tangy flavor, so the result was somewhat reminiscent of a cold slice of cheesecake. Verdict: surprisingly delicious!

I’m in Brazil for a couple of weeks, Visiting family. My favorite thing about Brazil is the abundant fresh fruit, stuff you never hear about in the States. Shown here: figs, passionfruit juice, and atemóia, which is a hybrid between the cherimoya and the pinha. The flavor is sweet and wonderful and hard to describe, somewhere between a pear and a pineapple, and the texture is slightly chewy and fleshy like a lychee nut. I could eat these all day.




jolly, candy-like!

Originally uploaded by otherthings.

Finally made it to Maker Faire! It really is one of the coolest events ever. It’s one of those things that makes me glad to live in San Francisco: so many creative freaks and geeks in one place! You got your electro-tinkerers, your robotic overlords, your bitchin’ stitchers, the works. We even got to see the Mentos and Diet Coke guys do their thing!

I took a few photos. So did everyone else. Enjoy!




Alien Attack 4

Originally uploaded by otherthings.

On the road the other day I saw something black leap up at my car. When I got out of the car, I saw no sign of it at first. It wasn’t until later that I discovered it was clinging to the underside of the chassis. By the time I pried it loose, it had coated the exhaust system with a foul-smelling symbiotic alien goo.

I didn’t get any on me, and so far I haven’t yet found myself sporting an emo haircut or black outfit, or breaking out into spontaneous dance numbers. But watch out.