A true artist can find inspiration almost anywhere, including in the digital realm. But when we think of art created with computers, the tools that first jump to mind are drawing apps like Adobe Illustrator, 3D modelers like Google SketchUp, or animation tools like Cinema 4D. Not Microsoft Office.
You’ve finished your cinematic masterpiece and now you have to tackle the biggest problem facing filmmakers today: How do you distribute your video to the plethora of available outlets: DVDs, iPods, iPhones, the Internet, and God forbid, Zunes. Considering the number of codecs and video formats out there, getting your brain wrapped around all of them can be an exercise in futility. Don’t fret, future Antonioni, we’re here to weed out all the excess and you give you the information you need to get your film seen now without the need for a degree in video engineering.
Get the highest possible dynamic range out of your image. Ever wonder why even the best photographs can’t compare to the real thing? The human eye has the remarkable ability to adjust light sensitivity on the fly. Cameras, however, can only record a scene using a single exposure. In a scene with high contrast (that is, lots of dark and bright areas), both highlight and shadow details are going to get lost. So suppose you could take several pictures at varying exposures and blend the exposures together? That could make for a very impressive image.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Apple TV, many Mac owners are unaware that an easy device for streaming iTunes media may already be sitting in their entertainment system. All three of the latest game consoles—PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii—are capable of streaming media from your Mac to your television over your existing network.
The grumbling about Leopard started before its arrival. After all, it was, ahem, late. Apple had originally wanted to release it at 2007’s Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, but had to borrow some personnel from the Mac OS X team to help get the iPhone finished for its big coming-out party on June 29. Then when the cat was finally out of the bag on October 26, early reports of install problems, performance hits, bugs, and even the dreaded blue screens of death put a damper on all the great things about Leopard. We dig a lot about Leopard, but plenty of little touches (it’s always the little things, isn’t it?) in the interface have always seemed odd. While minor issues with the aesthetics and functionality of Leopard’s interface hardly represent major problems, they can still be incredibly frustrating. And we here at Mac|Life were annoyed right along with you. But as the Beatles used to sing, it’s getting better all the time. The Mac OS is now up to version 10.5.2, and a lot of the little annoyances have been cured, either by Apple in its software updates, or by third-party apps, Terminal hacks, and other workarounds. One by one, all the pieces to customize Leopard to your exact liking are falling into place.
Analyzing patents is one thing. Coming up with entirely new product ideas is something else entirely. Back in January, as part of our “What Comes Next?” feature, we asked for your three-dimensional “fauxtotype” designs of Apple’s “Next Big Thing,” whatever that may be. Over 50 would-be 3D designers sent us their creations, ranging from the obvious (iPod alarm clocks galore) to the unexpected (Apple-branded prefab buildings) to the curiously oblique (an Apple-created photo ID card). After much debate, voting, and gnashing of teeth, we whittled down the selections to our five favorites, which we present to you here for the first time ever. Wondering what you might soon be wearing on your ring finger…or riding in when you take to the friendly skies?
One day, we wanted to watch one of our favorite DVD movies. We popped in into our DVD player, sat back on the couch, relaxed, and let ourselves get thoroughly into the action. Then it happened, and of course during a totally gripping scene: The movie playback suddenly got choppy, and then froze. Our DVD player was stuck, and we had to turn it off. When we ejected the DVD and flipped it over, there it was: a scratch deep enough to disrupt the movie, as well as put an end to our viewing experience. As versatile as DVDs are, the disc surface area is quite sensitive and prone to scratches that’ll render it unusable. If you have kids at home, chances are you’ve spotted your little ones enamored with the shiny discs and how they make great toys. Or maybe you’re just a little careless (unintentionally or not) with the discs. That’s why it’s a good idea to make backups of your DVDs.
Case modder, Hideo Takano, placed his Mac mini into a custom built case that resembles the Mac Pro tower. The side of the case even opens to reveal the enclosed hard drive. Takano also added a USB port and power button to the front of his mini tower. If you think you have the mad skills to recreate this masterpiece, Takano has posted a how-to to create your own. The original directions are in Japanese, but the power of Google Translate could get a few brave souls on their way. Our favorite translated step: And this is part of the hole in the earth and many offer a table in the front part.
We all know the value of education, but a trickier decision parents have to make is when to start formally educating their kids. It’s becoming more common to send toddlers for a year or two of preschool before they start kindergarten at age 5. And the structure is a lot different than in years past—even kindergartners get homework these days.