August 30, 2015

Ben Cahn Messes With Randy Mancuso

Randy Mancuso is a talented Vine star and Ben Cahn is great at messing with him. Check out Randy’s original videos, and Ben’s audio-modified versions. The level of precision in Cahn’s mockeries is commendable.

Enjoy more on Randy’s Vine account, and Ben’s Vine account.

August 21, 2015

Interactive Subway Station Maps

I’ve been having way too much fun with these. Last week I made an interactive sharable NYC subway map called “What’s Your Subway Station Number” and it’s been making its way around the web, being covered by Gothamist, Curbed, Brooklyn Magazine, 6sqft, and more.

And yesterday I made one for Boston, which you can see here. just did a nice writeup, and I’m hoping it brings Bostonians as much fun (and lost workplace productivity) as it’s brought New Yorkers.

Based on the stats, people have spent a combined 370,000 hours playing with just the NYC map alone. Crazy!

August 17, 2015

How to Make a Fillhouette

I discovered something pretty cool in Photoshop. If you select the inverse of a person’s silhouette and apply a “Content-Aware Fill”, the results can be funny, interesting, and sometimes quite beautiful. And it literally takes about 15 seconds.

Here’s how to make a “fillhouette”.

1: Find an image that’s not too difficult to silhouette. Anything with well-defined edges of the person is good.

2: Select the person. The easiest way is to use the “Quick Selection Tool”.

3: Shrink the selection so it’s a few pixels inside the person’s silhouette. Go to “Select > Modify > Contract…” and choose a value around 3.

4: Now invert the selection so the background is selected instead of the person. Go to “Select > Inverse”.

5: Now, just go to “Edit > Fill…” and choose “Content-Aware” from the dropdown. Press OK and you’re all set!

Here are some other fillhouettes I just quickly put together.

I’d love to see what the creative community can do using this technique, so I started a Tumblr where I’ll be posting the best examples I come across:

August 10, 2015

The Best Drummer You’ve Ever Heard But Never Heard Of

It’s pretty impressive that 2 people can create such a groove:

But it’s less surprising when you learn the drummer is one of the most sought-after session drummers in history, Matt Chamberlain. Oh, and he was in Perl Jam.

You might not recognize Matt Chamberlain’s face, but you probably recognize his deceptively-simple, rock-solid driving beats. It’s pretty cool to realize that what makes the following songs work so well is their drums, and the drummer is all the same guy:

Fiona Apple, “Criminal”

One YouTube commenter described his performance as such:

This is a tough part to play consistently, because you’ve got to portray strict 8th-note rock on one hand, yet make it swing at the same time. Drummer Matt Chamberlain does this beautifully. The slightly late, monotonous, “stiff-armed” hi-hat 8th-notes suggest all rock, but the little ornamental notes on the snare and the occasional stuttered 16th on the hi-hat give it a certain swing and a most unique sway, too.
Chamberlain is an immensely talented drummer, so it’s not at all surprising that he’s among the most in-demand studio players of our time. He just makes it all sound so simple. Playing at his level of depth, however, is most definitely not!

The Wallflowers, “One Headlight” (Impressive cover video btw…)

Perl Jam, “Even Flow”

John Mayer, “Home Life”

And in recent news, he’s collaborated with a software company to create digital loops for musicians, and this is an interesting overview of his style:

Specifically, these beats are pretty amazing. Seemingly simple, but endlessly complex.

Lastly, listen to this story about Matt Chamberlain setting up and recording a drum track for The Long Winters. What he ended up doing completely changed my understanding of how talented a drummer can be. He basically took his performance, mixed and edited it in his head, then played 1/5 of the part 5 times in a row so the recordings could be overlayed to create the final drum part. I didn’t understand it the first time either. Give it a listen here.

So to anyone who thinks that being a “great” drummer is a matter of being able to play fast or be flashy, think again.

Just like with great hardware or software, sometimes less is more.

July 29, 2015

Catching Sand Fleas

I didn’t even know these things existed. I’m sure they’re harmless, but as far as I’m concerned it’s another reason to avoid the beach.

July 16, 2015

Airplane Vs Zero Hour

Who knew? “AIRPLANE!” is actually a shot-for-shot remake of the 1957 film, Zero Hour.

June 13, 2015

Drone Ownership in a Nutshell

This video beautifully symbolizes my experience with Drones.

May 5, 2015

One Week in One Minute

While most time-lapse videos show things moving, with this one I wanted to capture as little motion as possible. My thinking was that if there’s anything gross living in the water meter pit in my basement I wanted to know about it. So I set up this time-lapse and condensed a week of time into one minute.

It’s interesting to see the things that move; the pipes condensing, the water meter moving during the day, and the water level slowly lowering. But what I think’s more interesting are the areas that don’t move. It’s a little eerie to see the days fly by while literally nothing happens.

It kinda reminds me about this recent story about a French apartment left neglected and untouched for 70 years, or the seal on King Tut’s tomb as it was discovered thousands of years exactly how it was left. There’s a very specific part of my brain that gets tickled by this stuff.

March 17, 2015

Terminator-Inspired 3d Printer

This is a pretty cool 3d printing demo.

It’s fun to extrapolate how fast 3d printing will get in the future. We’re getting closer, quite literally, to objects appearing out of thin air.

March 3, 2015

Hantu Tinggi, or, The Creepiest Video I’ve Ever Seen

Hantu Tinggi is a Malaysian mythic demon with a similar vibe to Slender Man. Fine. Nothing too scary there. Every culture has its share of ghouls and goblins.

But this video is seriously one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen.

Via Reddit.