We've long been fans of the Livescribe pens, a tool that lets you hand-write notes that are then digitized and available immediately on your computer; it's a handy tool for journalists or students. Wacom on Tuesday announced a similar product, this time geared toward artists and visual thinkers: the Wacom Inkling.
The Inkling is a "digital sketch pen" that allows you to draw or sketch on any standard piece of paper (a big advantage over Livescribe, which requires special notebooks) and automatically have a digital version created. The pen looks like a regular ballpoint pen, but is much more powerful than that. As you draw, sketches, mind-maps, or brainstorms all get captured, pen stroke by pen stroke. You can even create layers as you sketch, and edit drawings even easier when you get back to the computer. Files can be accessed in applications like Photoshop and Illustrator, or just viewed on the computer.
Avatar Kinect, the Xbox 360 app that captures your facial expressions and maps them right onto your avatar, is now available as the newest gadget in Kinect Fun Labs. You can invite friends into a session, and communicate using your avatars in one of 24 different virtual stages. Things like a performance stage, talk show, and even a tailgate party. The sessions are recorded so that you can upload them to KinectShare.com, where you can download them and send them to the Twitters, Facebooks, and YouTubes of the world. You need an Xbox LIVE Gold membership to use Avatar Kinect, but Microsoft is opening it up to all members from now through September 8th.
On July 28th, Kinect Sparkler will appear in Kinect Fun Labs as well, showcasing the Kinect's new ability to do finger tracking. You use your body as a stencil and paintbrush, creating works of art in 3D, and uploading them to KinectShare.com. This one will cost 240 Microsoft Points.
Griffin Technology and Crayola have teamed up on the ColorStudio HD app and iMarker, and the set is now available nationwide. The cool thing about this is that the app can tell the difference between the swiping and tapping fingers of a child and the iMarker input. There are over 30 animated coloring pages with sound effects and music, and users can also create their own works of art from scratch, and can also use the built in library of assets. Art can even be uploaded directly to Facebook, or printed using AirPrint.
The Crayola ColorStudio HD app is free on the app store, and the iMarker pack is available now for $29.99.
Read More | Crayola ColorStudio HD
When looking at this patch of lawn head on, it looks like a sphere just sitting in the middle of the plaza at Paris City Hall. But it isn't. Look at it from the side and you realize that it is just heavily designed grass at an angle. This was designed by Francois Abelanet. It covers 1500 square meters and took 90 gardeners five days to put together.
Read More | Paris Website
Google's Thursday homepage doodle is celebrating what would have been the 96th birthday of musician Les Paul with a playable guitar logo.
For the next 24 hours, the logo on Google.com will be replaced with the strings of a guitar that will play a tune as you strum them with your mouse. In the U.S., users can click the black "compose" button and record a 30-second track. Clicking the button again will display a link to share the song you've just created.
Google said it was inspired to include the record button because Paul, in addition to his guitar work, also "experimented in his garage with innovative recording techniques like multitracking and tape delay," Alexander Chen, a designer (and musician) with Google's Creative Lab, wrote in a blog post.
Ordinarily, I’d just put this down in my Weekend Reading section on Friday, but it’s so beautiful and wonderful to look at, that you need to see it now.
If you love old comics, want to see how one of the masters used to use his newspaper space or wonder why so many cartoonists complain about how the shrinkage of the reproduction size of their art harms the art form, go check this out.
Animator Michael Sporn has posted a nice selection of Lyonel Feininger’s classic strip: The Kin-der-Kids. Michael says the strip stands “with the best of Winsor McCay’s comic strips and, in some ways, is even more graphically daring than McCay.”
Feininger had a fascinating career that started in cartooning and ended in fine art.
After you're done looking at his comics, be sure to check out his wild, later stuff.
I am known to dabble in the arts - I paint, draw, and like to make a mess with glue. However, don't ever confuse this with being in the least crafty. I cannot make anything myself, which is a great loss when Halloween comes around. Unlike me, Josh Jay probably got all the candy on the block.
Josh is the creator of this amazing Fallout 3 helmet. Why he crafted this stunningly detailed piece is unknown, but those reasons don't matter. It is awesome.
To see pictures of the step-by-step process, you can view his Facebook galleries:
Those interested in showing their eccentric side off like clockwork will find Carbon Design's Domino Clock an item worth purchasing. The three ceramic dominoes display numeric values by the dots - one for the hour, and two for the minutes - changing from black to white in realtime. Check out the videos showing the clock in action and the mechanism development after the jump.
Read More | The Awesomer
Putting the awful recent Street Fighter movie out of your mind, or even the so-terrible-it's-funny Street Fighter film with Van Damme, can you imagine what the cast of SFIV would look like if they were real? These images by Cazetta portraying some notable SF characters are so realistic looking that it's actually a little creepy.
Read More | Live Door
Let's Create! Pottery from Infinite Dreams is not a new app, but it has remained rather unknown until recently when the company released the Let's Create! Pottery HD for iPad. This app is quite unique, and provides a very unusual experience. The basic premise is that you're looking at a spinning pot, which you shape with your fingers to create all sort of pots, vases and receptacles. The gestures are very intuitive, and reminiscent of working with real clay. You can make the object taller, shorter, smaller or bigger, and create all kind of rounded shapes for your works. Once you're done, you click on the firing icon and then the app will create the finished vase in beautiful 3D. The technology used to change that initial figure into a 3D vase is quite amazing.