Archive: February, 2015

The evolution of Xbox One as told by the SDK leak

Give it up to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundary for being an unimpeachable source for hard-core tech/processing/graphics news within the gaming community. This scoop on the Xbox One – it’s past performance and how it’s likely to evolve with the SDK changes – is a great read.

The birdcage

Grantland contributor Mark Harris wrote an influential, well circulated essay on Hollywood’s increasing investment in superhero movies. I finally caught up with it this week; it’s incredibly pessimistic, but Harris makes a compelling argument.

The Design Details Podcast

I’m a huge podcast fan, usually listening to several during my work day, especially when I’m cranking out code or debugging. Yet I’m also very picky – I have my favorites I listen to religiously, but rarely venture into new territory.

Yet even with that backstory, about twenty minutes into my first Design Details episode, I was hooked. It’s got solid guests that get asked a diverse set of questions. And unlike most podcasts, the show notes are time stamped and very detailed.

I was a sound editor on “The Wire”

One of my favorite Reddit AMA’s that somehow bubbled up to the movies subreddit front page a few weeks ago. As a huge The Wire fan, it’s awesome hearing so many behind the scene bits presented from such an unorthodox angle. An extended example of the British actor Dominic West (McNulty) having to head in the studio for ADR sessions is a highlight.

2014’s top cinematographers on film vs. digital

Another year, another Indiewire roundup discussion with top cinematographers on their preferred shooting formats. If you think it’s a one-sided argument of digital always trumping film, think again. While it’s true nearly every DP interviewed shoots with mostly digital today, there’s an interesting nuance to their position, one that speaks highly of the natural warmth and grain inherant to real film.

Stop telling women what they aren’t capable of

Engineer Kelly Ellis reveals the real fallacy in relying on the “pipeline” argument (that there’s just not enough qualified women available) when it comes to the gender problems the larger tech industry has. As Ellis argues, there’s a larger problem of women leaving the industry early. They can often face a hostile, male-centric culture or dated stereotypes that programming inherently (and falsely) doesn’t match their gender’s “natural qualities.”

Designers, start communicating

Wunderlist designer Timothy Achumba:

As designers it’s our responsibility to create an environment that encourages open communication with developers, as early as possible in the design process as to avoid problems like this. We need to let them into our world, help them understand what we’re trying to achieve and allow them help us to achieve it in the most efficient way. This constant stream of communication should continue right up to the launch of what you’re building. It keeps everyone involved aligned with the vision, it helps to form a strategy best for achieving the goal and creates a friendly, open and honest culture in the workplace.

Words to live by.

Interview: Roger Deakins

One positive byproduct of the fairly unremarkable (in the eyes of most film critics) Unbroken from late last year: a few solid interviews with legendary DP Roger Deakins.

The ten most popular web fonts of 2014

Avenir and Proxima Nova still rank incredibly well.

Designing with Framer

As part of Stripe’s “Speaker Series”, the founders behind the popular prototyping tool Framer talk about their product. There is a standard introduction here you can find elsewhere online, but I especially appreciated Bok’s and van Dijk’s breakdown of how Framer fits into the increasingly crowded prototyping market.

I find many designers tend to place a tool like Framer as an either or proposition for prototyping (e.g. “I use Framer instead of Invision”). Yet it depends heavily on both the product and what kind of interaction you’re looking to test. And in the case of Framer, there’s also the importance of basic JavaScript code familiarity. That learning curve can scare some away, while attracting others like me with a more formalized development background.