DNC/RNC Speeches through Wordle

picture-5Wired blog Threat Level ran the speeches of both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions through the website Wordle and posted the results. Developed by IBM, Wordle takes whatever text it is fed and creates “word clouds.” The more frequently a word occurs, the larger it appears in the cloud. McCain, for example, spoke frequently of “country” while Obama spoke of “promise.”

3D Morphable Face

3dfacemorphTake a look at this 3D morphable model face demo by Volker Blantz. The automated matching of Tom Hanks’ face is amazing, but I was even more impressed with the Audrey Hepburn and Mona Lisa sequences.

Apparently, it can sample multiple facial models and extract bone structures, facial expressions, gender, and more. It does seem to approach the uncanny valley, and at other times caricature, but overall, this is very impressive. I guess that’s one step closer to S1m0ne.

[via Motionographer]

Using photos to enhance video (and more)

video-enhance2No, we’re not talking about simple Ken Burns effects here. Some CS students at the University of Washington have come up with what can only be called an incredible video enhancement program. To be honest, I have no idea how they’ve accomplished this (I was only in CS for one year at Marquette), and it’s almost a little scary.

Though some of the effects seem a little unnatural, they’ve gone a long way to make everything as seamless as possible. I won’t say I’m out of a job, and I’m pretty sure they had some insane computing setups, but I’m both looking forward to and dreading the day this capability reaches the hands of the masses.

[via Daring Fireball]

The Muppets meet the Internet

Okay, so I have no idea how I missed these. So far, I’ve seen Statler & Waldorf, Sam the Eagle, Gonzo, Beaker, and the Sweedish Chef (featuring Beaker). I have to say, my favorite part is reading the descriptions on the Beaker and Chef videos. (The videos are also embed after the break, if you want them all in one place.)
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Time Waster – Zwok


So I found this little gem of a game called Zwok. Basically, it’s a snowball fight, but online! It’s actually quite a fun little game. Catchy low-key music, great art, and easy to pick up! You can either join up and create an account (and save your scores, stats, etc) or just play anonymously. I’m “halation” on the green team if you ever see me.

The gameplay is also very basic. Use the arrows to move your player, then click the mouse to aim. After everyone’s made their choices, the server updates and you get to see who hit who. Last team standig wins! This game was apparently created by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.