How to Create a Surreal Photo Collage
By Terri Stone – When you composite photos, you usually don’t want the result to look like a composite. Even if the final scene is fantastical, your aim is to transport viewers into another world. Filip Hodas, a 24-year-old freelance artist from Prague, has been creating convincing digital realities for years. Now he’’ agreed to share his process.
To make the otherworldly landscape featured here, Hodas relied heavily on Adobe Photoshop CC layer masks. He placed each source image on its own layer and then used layer masks to hide and reveal parts of each. He also used layer masks to adjust color and add highlights and shadows.
Next came a Color Balance adjustment layer, which he added to the background images so their colors would be a better match. Trees on the right side of the horizon image were distracting, so he removed them with the Clone Stamp tool.
Hodas knows that small details can have a big impact on a composite’s overall look, so his next step was to refine the foreground image’s mask. That softened jagged edges a little and removed a slight yellow outline. more> https://goo.gl/7jat2c
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Tagged Adobe, Broadband, Business improvement, Internet, Productivity, Technology
By Kristin Kloberdanz – Virtual reality became domesticated last year — at least in America — when the VR viewer Google Cardboard arrived for the first time with the Sunday New York Times. Today, you could use it to explore Pluto’s frigid heart or climb to the top of 1 World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan.
As thrilling and immersive as these experiences are, they are just a playful precursor of what’s coming. Companies such as GE have started using VR to optimize the electric grid, service nuclear power plants and plan complex supply chains.
For example, for the past two years, GE engineers in Rugby in the U.K. have been using VR to optimize and even design factories, a task typically done with computers in two dimensions. As good as that approach is — virtually all modern factories have been designed this way — the method can make it difficult to anticipate problems that crop up once the building is in actual use in the three-dimensional world. But by then, it’s too late to fix the design without expensive retrofitting. more> https://goo.gl/C9zIdn
By Paul Blanchard – Up to now, our technological progress has largely been a matter of trial and error. We make something new, evaluate its performance, then alter some part of the fabrication process and see whether it performs better or worse, all without direct knowledge of what is changing at the atomic level.
But if we could see what’s going on at that scale—if we could map out each individual atom and understand the role that it plays—we could create new and better materials not through blind experimentation, but through design.
For all that we’ve been able to accomplish while ignoring them, the fact is that individual atoms matter. The speed of a transistor, the efficiency of a solar cell, and the strength of an I-beam are ultimately determined by the configuration of the atoms inside. Today, new and improved microscopy techniques are getting us closer and closer to the goal of being able to see each and every atom within the materials we make—a very exciting prospect.
Over the past three years, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a team working with one such new and improved microscopy technique, a method called 3-D atom probe tomography, or APT for short. APT is very different from conventional microscopy—at least, the sort of microscopy that I’m accustomed to. In conventional microscopy, we shine a beam of light particles or electrons on our specimen, whatever it is we want to look at, and create a magnified image using lenses or by mapping how our beam bounces off it.
In atom probe tomography, on the other hand, we don’t just look at our specimen—we literally take it apart, atom-by-atom. more> https://goo.gl/c0VdE3
Posted in Economic development, Education, How to, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged 3-D atom probe tomography, APT, Electronics, Physics, Technology, Test & measurement
By Saro Mohammed – In short, DARPA is a very well-funded, highly flexible, research and development agency that was created to minimize the red tape that usually slowed defense R&D, while simultaneously maximizing innovation and results. Beyond its funding, which is approximately 377 times greater than the national educational research budget in 2016, DARPA operates under the following unique design principles, outlined in detail at a 2012 national education R&D meeting:
- Risk: DARPA can take bigger risks than more traditional federally funded R&D projects.
- Flexible projects: DARPA can choose to fund partial proposals, or projects solely focused on brainstorming or “mindstorming” a problem. In addition, it can fund possible solutions to problems across proposals.
- Flexible partnerships: DARPA can work with or fund whichever entities it chooses, including private, for-profit, entities, and it can put partners together for projects (including across multiple sectors) that may or may not have applied for funding as partners to begin with.
- Flexible solutions: DARPA can also fund purchase orders for solutions or products that do not yet exist, and can fund “performance-based” contracts that allow their grantees to retain intellectual property and other proprietary rights to profit after their contractual obligations with DARPA are complete.
- Flexible timelines: Finally, DARPA can defund, increase funding, or extend project funding at almost any time, and for almost any reason. This allows funding to be quickly ramped up when successes are discovered, and ramped down when projects don’t pan out, taking some of the risk out of very risky bets.
One of the ideas is the possibility of an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-Ed).
One of the ideas that was discussed was the possibility of an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-Ed). more> https://goo.gl/H4igik
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Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Government, Innovation, Internet, Leadership, Technology, United States
By Morgan Housel – Finding something others can’t do is nearly impossible. Intelligence is not a sustainable source of competitive advantage because the world is full of smart people, and a lot of what used to count as intelligence is now automated.
That leaves doing something others aren’t willing to do as the top source of sustainable competitive advantage.
Here are five big ones.
Having no appetite for being wrong means you’ll only attempt things with high odds of working. And those things tend to be only slight variations on what you’re already doing, which themselves are things that, in a changing world, may soon be obsolete.
Here’s Jeff Bezos again: “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness.”
The key is creating a culture that allows you to fail often without ruin. more> https://goo.gl/7Fh1uW
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Tagged Business improvement, Competitive advantage, Industrial economy, Jobs, Leadership, Productivity, Super regions