If you’re a fan of anime, you’re likely applauding Microsoft for its latest promotional efforts. Microsoft’s Japanese offices have unveiled the company’s mascot for Windows 10, the latest operating system set to debut this summer. The mascot is an anime-stylized image of a blue-haired woman in a miniskirt, according to WindowsCentral.The young woman, who is currently nameless, will have her own campaign in June. You’ll be able to offer your opinion on what her name should be. Thus far, we know that she is 17 years old and comes from 100 years in the future. She works at the gadget-heavy Tokyo neighborhood of Akihabara, and in terms of hobbies, she loves gaming (of course). Her attire gives her a schoolgirl-like appearance located on the corner of chic and cute.Voiceover Actress Ai Nonaka is slated to provide the blue-haired girl with a voice of her own. If you enter the public campaign to name the mascot, which begins on June 19, you’ll be … [Read more...] about Microsoft has revealed its anime mascot for Windows 10
Animation love images
I wrote this last week.I often think in animated GIF.It’s the Internet’s fault, really. Even a year ago I hadn’t been sucked in this deeply, but within something happened and the animated GIF went from image format of the Internet elite to medium of the masses.But there’s a big, big problem that we aren’t really talking about.Why won’t most social sites let you used animated GIFs?While Tumblr is littered with them and Google+ is giving it a shot, the format is anything but universally accepted by the Internet – and I want to know why.Why can’t I respond in an animated GIF to a Facebook comment? Right now, it looks like this when I try and feel all the feelings in GIF form:Horrible. And the same goes for Twitter – a messy link, and a barrier between the recipient and my imaged reaction. While it’s not exactly a social network, Gmail and Gchat (er, Hangouts … are we calling it Hangouts now? Did we unilaterally make a … [Read more...] about Social networks, hear our cries! Why don’t you all support animated GIFs?
Here’s an exercise for you: Log into your favorite social site (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine …we know you use one of all of these, don’t lie) and check out the feed. My gut instinct tells me it won’t take you that long before you hit a photo, status, tweet, video clip, or reblog that contains a cute animal in some way, shape, or form. In fact, you probably “liked” some of them, if not personally posted one (or all) yourself. Let’s face it – the Internet is pet crazy, and hey, it has every right to be. On the Web, animals are superstars … and that’s not really an expression anymore (allow me to reference the Grumpy Cat movie).Is this Internet devotion to the cute fuzzy things among us just a natural extension of how much we love them in real life, or has the Web elevated our love of pets and taken it to a whole other (borderline weird) place?The four-legged popular crowdEdgemere Ltd., an equestrian supplies shop … [Read more...] about From CuteOverload to ‘social petworks,’ adorable animals own the Web
Let's say you have this great idea for a video you're making: morph pictures of a loved one to show them, say, growing older. If your budget is non-existent, you can find several free programs out there to help you accomplish your goals.One of the newer additions out there is Popims Animator which, among other claims to fame, happens to be the next generation of SmartMorph. But is it really better than the program it "evolved" from? As a professional graphic designer and illustrator, I was drawn to find out.It's FREE!Install is quick and only 9MBUses SmartMorph's morphing engineOffers over a dozen different .avi codecsDoes more than morphingForces use of Internet ExplorerDefaults to a screen with no toolbarCompanion pane dominates screen unless minimizedAutomatic alignment tool is far more trouble than it's worthUndo is perpetually grayed-outExtensive list of bugsFeatures from SmartMorph either removed or buriedI began by testing the original SmartMorph, then stepped up to Popims … [Read more...] about Popims Animator: The Right Tool for the Job?
Credit: Jeremy LipsAmong Apple's smartphones, the iPhone 6 Plus is undoubtedly the alpha animal, sporting a supersized, full-HD, 5.5-inch display. It also boasts superfast phase-detection autofocus, excellent low-light sensitivity and optical image stabilization, which promises steadier photos. But how well does this phablet perform when shooting the trickiest of subjects — animals — under real-world conditions that you might actually encounter? We took the iPhone 6 Plus on a trip to the Bronx Zoo to find out. The first thing to keep in mind is that phone cameras see very differently from you. It starts with their wide-angle lenses: When you preview a photo on your screen, everything looks smaller and farther away. The iPhone 6 and other phones have digital zoom, which essentially crops into the photo. But zoom in too far, and the details turn to mush. Getting good photos is a matter of working with your camera's limitations. MORE: Best Smartphone Camera We didn't … [Read more...] about iPhone 6 Photos of 12 Amazing Animals
This week I played Day of the Tentacle legally. Those of you who played it back in 1993 understand why this is such a big deal. And the rest of you? If you’re wondering “Why would he start off a review with such a banal statement?” then blame LucasArts.See, Day of the Tentacle is the latest Double Fine re-release, following in the wake of last year’s Grim Fandango Remastered. Despite being a classic point-and-click—and many people’s favorite point-and-click of all time—it’s been pretty much impossible to buy Day of the Tentacle for the last fifteen or so years.And now you can. With spiffy new music and graphics, to boot. It’s enough to make you throw up your tiny purple tentacle arms and cheer.The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And a purple tentacle creature named...Purple Tentacle...is drinking toxic sludge out of a river. The Lorax’s worst nightmare is Purple Tentacle’s coup de grace, a bit of … [Read more...] about Day of the Tentacle Remastered review: Sludge-o-Matic sucker for love
The real hero of "Big Hero 6" isn't Baymax, the on-screen huggable robot that has charmed audiences worldwide, but the team of artists and engineers that developed the cutting-edge technology that went into the creation of this Disney Animation megahit.The animated film is the first ever produced with Hyperion, which is light-rendering software created by the Disney team. The software took two years and 200 million computing hours to create, and no one even knew if it would work when production began on "Big Hero 6," said Andy Hendrickson, CTO of Walt Disney Animation Studios."These films take about four years to make and we wrote Hyperion in about two years and used it for a good year. The first year of writing Hyperion was experiments to see if these new methods of rendering would actually work for us and how it would be idealized and optimized," Hendrickson said. "We were writing it and using it at the same time. That's not how ideally you'd want to do it. It's just like building a … [Read more...] about Disney Animation team pushes technical boundaries with Big Hero 6
Here’s the thing that bummed me out the most about last year’s Galaxy Note7 debacle: Not only was the smartphone effectively banished forever, but so was its accompanying S Pen. Granted, a larger version of the S Pen was launched with the Galaxy Tab S3, but having a pen fit into your device is a different experience altogether.The S Pen is a unique accessory. It’s not just a stylus—it’s a pressure-sensitive productivity tool that unlocks a wide array of software features you won’t see on other mobile devices. It’s one of the reasons people pick the Galaxy Note series over all other smartphones available. Though the Galaxy Note8 mostly adopts the same S Pen enhancements of its predecessor, it’s worth revisiting what makes the pen so involving in the first place.The pen that’s always on youGranted, it isn’t a physical pen and paper duo, but the Galaxy Note8’s built-in S Pen guarantees you’ll always have a pen on … [Read more...] about Why the Galaxy Note8 will make you fall back in love with the S Pen
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a photographer? For the art-inclined, a creative job like this could be the ideal career, but that doesn't mean working as a photographer is all fun and glamour. Photography is a fascinating and important field full of niche markets like wedding and portrait photography, commercial and fashion photography, animal photography and more. And, of course, there are perks to the job — like traveling, schedule flexibility and the ability to pursue your own unique artistic vision — but there are also just as many challenges and pitfalls in photography as there are in any other business. Wondering what it's really like to work in photography? Business News Daily asked professional photographers what they love and hate about their jobs. Here's what they had to say. Business News Daily: What do you do? Emily Malan: I'm a freelance lifestyle and fashion photographer based in New York City. I shoot street style and freelance for … [Read more...] about 7 Photographers Share What They Love (and Hate) About Their Jobs
Animated GIFs, like the ones you see here, here and here, are easy to produce and can be used for short software demos, help videos and everything else that doesn’t require audio narration. Here are some reasons why an animated GIF may be a better alternative to screencast videos: People love sharing animated GIFs on social sites, especially Tumblr and Google Plus. Facebook doesn’t support animated GIFs yet but that could change. Animated GIFs render inside any browser without requiring plugins and, best of all, you may embed the GIF images in your email newsletters as well. Now that Google Image Search supports GIFs, your image-only screencasts have a better chance of getting discovered. Remember to use proper Alt and Title tags with the images.Bret Victor’s excellent writeup on Learnable Programming includes several micro-videos that explain the concepts of programming. Bret has used HTML5 (MP4) videos but such short video demos are also a perfect candidate for … [Read more...] about How I Make Software Demos using Animated GIFs