Damn. They’re getting pretty good at this.
This is fascinating stuff.
watching DGN samples form. they jostle wildly through a generative space until converging on… a cheeseburger pic.twitter.com/yEKsTgMweu
— Gene Kogan (@genekogan) August 29, 2016
According to Gene Kogan on Twitter: DGN “deep generator network” is a neural net that synthesizes realistic images by learning low-dimensional encoding over an image set and samples from it to activate neurons associated w/ a class, e.g. cheeseburger.
More examples here.
This is some seriously future shit.
For the last few months I’ve been leading games product development at Hearst Digital Media working with some amazing folks building some pretty awesome stuff. We’re bullish on using the latest web technologies to bring app-like game functionality onto the web, and it’s been a blast so far.
We’ve just signed a deal with a big gaming company (can’t say who yet… but you’ve heard of them), and with wind in our sails we’re expanding the team. If you’re a rockstar full-stack developer or know one, check out the job description here.
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.
Boston.com 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!
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: fillhouettes.tumblr.com
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.
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.
Who knew? “AIRPLANE!” is actually a shot-for-shot remake of the 1957 film, Zero Hour.
This video beautifully symbolizes my experience with Drones.