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Posts Tagged ‘hot topics’

PhotoSketch: Photoshop + Image Filtering = Brilliant

  • Blog
  • December 15th

Although this is not a new product, every time I find myself sitting around with nothing to do, I end up creating something outrageous with this tool. PhotoSketch is an application that just may be the coolest thing I’ve seen since … the last cool thing I wrote about.

The PhotoSketch concept is simple. Unique finished composite images from a simple sketch. I know that sounds a little basic, but it really is that simple. PhotoSketch is an “Internet Image Montage” project; the brainchild of five Chinese Computer Science and Technology students at Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore. Quite simply, their computer project presented in the form of  a research paper works like this:

  • Step 1. Draw the outlines of the any figures you want in your picture – anything from ships to shoreline – from Pinewood Derby Racers  to a Mercedes, anything;
  • Step 2. Label each of the items, as well as the background.
  • Step 3. Watch PhotoSketch find real-life images to match your simple sketch and put them together in a Photoshopped image that will make you wish YOU had come up with this.

The technology is so incredible that yes ladies, it can determine which couple kissing best fits into your fantasy vacation getaway idea. Their demo video illustrates the true power of PhotoSketch:

Gizmodo, Mashable, and CNET all agree … this is AWESOME! If you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait to try this out for yourself. Unfortunately, the site has been down for months as a result of incredibly high bandwidth use. If anyone locates a mirror, please let me know.

Editor’s Note: Reprinted from a DR post circa 2009

Audubon’s Birds of America

  • Blog
  • December 11th

On Tuesday this week, Sotheby’s needed just four minutes to sell an original edition of John Audubon’s Birds of America, setting what the company called a record for the sale of printed books at auction.

The winner … 69 year old London fine art dealer and bird aficionado Michael Tollemache, who bought the four volume illustrated set of books for $11.5 million. For comparison, it is estimated that of the ten most expensive books, five would be copies of Birds of America. Of the 119 copies known to survive, only eleven are held in private collections. In March 2000 the Fox-Bute copy sold at Christie’s (New York) for $8,802,500. In December 2005 an unbound copy, the Providence Athenaeum Set, sold, again at Christie’s (New York), for $5.6 million.

Since many of us will never own a book like this, at least we can view the illustrations online and imagine the watercolor illustrations in person.