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ColAR Uses Augmented Reality To Bring Your Kid’s Drawing To Life | TechCrunch

April 8, 2014

An older article, but still amazing tech:

colAR is the coloring book of the future. By mashing up traditional coloring books with some good ol’ augmented reality voodoo, colAR brings your kid’s drawings to life in full, animated 3d.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmfXgvT9h3s

First, you go to colAR’s web site and print out your coloring page of choice (the free app usually comes with one option included and a few others available for in-app purchase, but their full catalog is free until July 28th). Note that you’ve got to use their coloring page templates — they didn’t make something that can magically convert just any 2D drawing to a rich, animated 3D model, or they’d be too busy sailing around on their mega yachts to be making (super rad) coloring books.

After you’ve printed out the page, bust out that old art box. Color it in with markers, crayons, or any other tool you’d normally use to do some colorin’.

Once you’re done, pop open the app, and hit the “Play” button to bring up a camera view. Hold your drawing up to the camera, and bam! It takes your work of art and wraps it around an animated 3D model. If you picked the bird, it’ll roam around the page and peck for worms. If you picked the plane, it’ll fly around as the clouds whiz by.

more via TechCrunch

Creator Of Artificial Tornado Machine Makes Experimental Art With Physics | The Creators Project

April 7, 2014

Not much to add, really, just archiving this for my own purposes:

It’s not impossible to feel like you’re surveying Natural History when browsing the works of Alistair McClymont. See, for example, a wind-tunnel like machine that’s designed to hold a single drop of water sustained in mid-air:

more via Creator Of Artificial Tornado Machine Makes Experimental Art With Physics | The Creators Project.

The gloves that will “change the way we make music” « adafruit

April 7, 2014

Imogen Heap is working on creating gloves that allow her to direct music adjustments electronically without breaking up the flow of her performance.

…musician Imogen Heap demonstrates the electronic gloves that allow people to interact with their computer remotely via hand gestures.

The interview was filmed at Heap’s home studio outside London, shortly before she launched her Kickstarter campaign to produce a limited production run of the open-source Mi.Mu gloves.

“These beautiful gloves help me gesturally interact with my computer,” says Heap, explaining how the wearable technology allows her to perform without having to interact with keyboards or control panels.

Pushing buttons and twiddling dials “is not very exciting for me or the audience,” she says. “[Now] I can make music on the move, in the flow and more humanly, [and] more naturally engage with my computer software and technology.”

via The gloves that will “change the way we make music” « adafruit industries blog.

I completely agree with Imogen Heap’s sense that it is boring to watch a musician fiddle with dials and knobs during a live show.

Just as a side geek note, I do feel a little bad that when I opened the link (it was sent to me by a coworker) my first thought was “why does she look like Rogue?”

Sound Looks Like This | Co.Design

April 7, 2014

Visualizing the waves that sound makes can be tricky but stunningly hypnotic:

For The Essence of Sound, that meant filming lycopodium powder as it shakes and dances in time to music by Sie’s friend and composer Clemens Haas. The music played out of a subwoofer placed nearby.

Sie uses lycopodium powder–an ultra-fine powder made from clubmoss spores–because its delicate texture creates the best expressions of sound oscillations. The finished product (made for German audio systems company Burkhardtsmaier) looks like a perfect storm of extreme weather: The powder bubbles up like molten lava, breaks apart like an earthquake, and finally gets blown upwards, in a micro-tornado, before settling back down.

You can see more of Sie’s work here.

Source via Sound Looks Like This | Co.Design | business + design.

A NASA Engineer Turned Artist Whose Canvas Is a Huge Fish Tank | Design | WIRED

April 2, 2014

Have you ever been mesmerized by the swirling of the milk in your coffee (or is that just me pre-caffeinated)? Well, that phenomenon at least is interesting to one other person, Kim Keever.

Artist Kim Keever is like a hydroponic Jackson Pollock. Instead of a canvas, though, he drizzles paint into a 200-gallon fishtank.Keever is reticent to share the secrets of his process, but says that after the Sears Easy Living paints are added to the tank, he has anywhere from five to 20 minutes before the liquids diffuse, leaving 200-gallons of murky brown water in their wake. In the moments where the colors whirl and eddy, Keever shoots thousands of photos, choosing one or two before embarking on the five hour processes of emptying, cleaning, and refilling the tank so he can start anew. “They only need to hold up for that ephemeral moment, and then it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Whatever impermanence exists in the materials is irrelevant once the photo is captured.”Keever’s dabblings in acquatic abstract expressionism are a far cry from his rigid college days, where he studied engineering. During summers, he’d intern at NASA, where he worked on missile skin technology and jet nozzles. He had the grades and work ethic to thrive at the space agency and envisioned a career dedicated to improving booster engines, followed by a creative retirement filled with art making. Ultimately, he traded in his slide rule for a low-rent loft in the East Village of New York City.Keever began his art career in the New York City of the 1970s, surrounded by the weirdo glamor of Warhol’s Studio, the emerging art of subway graffiti, and the novel sounds of Grandmaster Flash and disco. He spent nearly two decades as a traditional painter and printmaker until he discovered the style and subject that would become his trademark in 1991.

more via A NASA Engineer Turned Artist Whose Canvas Is a Huge Fish Tank | Design | WIRED.

The Fascinating Neuroscience Of Color | Co.Design

March 20, 2014

Color has a lot of power over how we perceive things, and understanding that can help us understand our evolutionary past, and our future.

Neuroscientist Bevil Conway thinks about color for a living… and in recent years Conway has focused his research almost entirely on the neural machinery behind color.

“I think it’s a very powerful system,” he tells Co.Design, “and it’s completely underexploited.”

Conway’s research into the brain’s color systems has clear value for designers and artists like himself. It stands to reason, after all, that someone who understands how the brain processes color will be able to present it to others in a more effective way. But the neuroscience of color carries larger implications for the rest of us. In fact, Conway thinks his insights into color processing may ultimately shed light on some fundamental questions about human cognition.

Step back for a moment to one of Conway’s biggest findings, which came while examining how monkeys process color. Using a brain scanner, he and some collaborators found “globs” of specialized cells that detect distinct hues–suggesting that some areas of the primate brain are encoded for color. Interestingly, not all colors are given equal glob treatment. The largest neuron cluster was tuned to red, followed by green then blue; a small cell collection also cared about yellow.

Knowing that humans might also be hardwired for certain hues could be a gateway into understanding the neural properties of emotion. Since researchers know that certain colors provoke strong feelings in people–blues and purples are more pleasant than yellows, for instance, while greens tend to be the most arousing–they might then work backwards to uncover the basic mechanisms for these feelings. (Designers, meanwhile, could use these emotional connections to help them match color schemes to the mood of a room or a brand or a website.)

The Fascinating Neuroscience Of Color | Co.Design | business + design

more via The Fascinating Neuroscience Of Color | Co.Design | business + design.

MIT Students Invent A Universal Language Made Of GIFs | Co.Design

March 11, 2014

My grandfather used to write me letters in pictograms, so using a sheep (ewe) when asking “how are you?” This sort of reminds me of that, but way more complicated.

Which GIF better expresses happiness? This one of Ren and Stimpy bouncing up and down, or this one of Lost’s John Locke grinning with an orange slice in his mouth? Does your opinion change if Grumpy Cat is added in? These seemingly trivial questions about how you perceive animated GIFs is the central task of GIFGIF, a project from MIT Media lab that isn’t just a fun web game, but a first step toward building up a universal library of non-verbal communication.

GIFGIF was born out of a series of conversations over the watercooler at MIT between Kevin Hu, a first year master’s student studying data visualization and network analysis, and Travis Rich, a first year PhD student with a background in electric engineering. Although Hu and Rich don’t have the same credentials, they were both fascinated by the power of non-verbal communication.

more via MIT Students Invent A Universal Language Made Of GIFs | Co.Design | business + design.

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