A quick link — but more excellent advice:
A quick link — but more excellent advice:
(This is a cross-post from Google Plus. I find I’m doing a lot of posting there rather than here these days. You should circle me!.
As Thomas Kang describes in his post, we launched the Google PhotoSpace project at last night’s opening of the new Los Angeles Google Office. (Tom took some terrific photos of the event as well, you should go check ‘em out)
Because I did a lot of lighting in film school (way before I became a software developer), I was largely responsible for the physical setup and lighting of the stage area. This turned out to be an interesting problem. We wanted the “white limbo” look for the photos, and we wanted to photograph as many guests as possible the night of the party (hundreds in just a few hours). Rather than cycling a strobe system all night, and because I’m most familiar with them, we decided to use “hot” movie lights.
We did a number of tests of both green and white screen solutions and ultimately settled on a white screen plus a luma key extraction that Ken Arthur tweaked to perfection minutes before the guests arrived.
To make the luma key work as well as it did, we needed a fairly broad exposure differential between the background and the subject. I broke out the light meter I bought in high school and decided that 2 stops would be a good split, with the subject on the underexposed end of things so that the luma keying wouldn’t eat into the subject highlights too badly. Ken and Tom did a lot of work on this; Tom behind the camera and Ken turning the many dials on his image processing code.
We needed very even light on the background. I used two open-faced 1K tungsten units with half double scrims (scrimmed edge closest to the backing) and a tough frost diffusion tented. These were the main background lights and were up high. Since they fell off towards the bottom of the screen I added two 650w fresnels lower down at about one meter off the ground, no scrim, also diffused.
While there was a lot of lovely white spill curling around the sides of the subjects, I also added a high 350w diffused kicker behind the subject.
A 1K open face with a Chimera softbox and the full silk added a nice fill for the subject’s face.
The last piece I added to the stage was a pair of 18×24″ flags on C-stands, hanging down near the sides of the units illuminating the backing. These cut down on side spill enough that we could correctly underexpose our visitors and pull them away from the backing.
Keith Kiyohara instigated the entire mad project and wrote the kiosk software driving the camera and feeding the image processing pipeline. He also wrote a native application to display the panorama on a triptych of 70″ monitors mounted vertically. (stunning!).
Reuben Sterling wrote the webapp version of the panorama, so you can see it too.
Thanks, everyone, for a fantastic and Googley 20% project! I even got to shake the mayor’s hand!
P.S. If anybody reading this knows interesting things about LED lighting please say so in the comments. We’d like to make this installation permanent and the movie lights pull close to 50 amps. That’s just not the energy-efficient way we roll at Google.
As opposed to “groundup coffee beans”.
Work your way all the way through:
The Elements of Computing Systems
The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
And you’ll be ahead of 99% of all the guys out there selling themselves as “Enterprise Software Architectects” when it comes to surfing the next wave of computer innovation.
Plus, it’ll be fun.
Have a happy new year!
This is a pattern I see repeatedly in software: the best work in high level environments can be done only with understanding of the levels below. When I was working in Smalltalk, the company I worked for hired away the developers responsible for the garbage collector and compiler of the virtual machine we were using. I was productive as a junior developer, sure, but sometimes the Killer Bugs ended up with this guy and gal staring at a screenful of hex and walking through the VM stack frames manually.
Joel really nailed this one eight years ago: Leaky Abstractions.
I spoke on a panel at UCLA week before last and got an email today from John Anzelc asking:
My somewhat expanded response follows — books and websites are linked where appropriate.
Every career is a collection of skills. The deeper and broader your base of skills, the more you can accomplish and the higher level you can work at. At this particular moment of history, I’d say that a designer who wants to work on web and software products today should know at least:
I’m sure there’s more. If anybody reading this has something to add in the comments, I’ll fold it into the main post. Good luck, and keep learning!
Disclaimer: I’m not promising you a job, don’t claim I did, but it would really improve your chances to do so.
I’m posting this because I enjoy meeting new people and because many of the great technical people I meet are curious about working at Google. If we’ve spoken at a conference and you think I have forsaken you, please don’t fret. Email me your resume, remind me who you are, and I’ll add you to the voracious technical employer that is Google. I want you to work here and do well. Really, I do. To help, a few handy links to things people much smarter than I have written.
Here’s the official corporate video:
Stevey’s Hilarious Post about what to expect and how to prepare.
And finally, if you’re really serious about being a computer scientist, work through this book:
Which you can also find free on the web. (As my my vanpool buddy says “Just Bing it.”)
You might also want to work through this:
If I interview you, you’ll be a leg up on most candidates if you read: Design Patterns. Seriously, do people think about this stuff anymore?
And for massive extra cred:
Work hard, and read Outliers: The Story of Success, which explains why I’m not actually kidding with my link to Knuth.
I was on This Week in Cloud Computing yesterday. If you want to know way more about my opinions than I’m truly comfortable with, you can watch this:
This is adapted from: http://dashes.com/anil/2009/10/how-to-run-windows-7-under-mac-os-x-106-for-free.html
First, install bootcamp and windows as instructed by apple.
Then, open a terminal window and enter:
sudo chmod 777 /dev/disk0s3 sudo VBoxManage internalcommands \ createrawvmdk -rawdisk /dev/disk0 \ -filename win7raw.vmdk -partitions 3
Start VirtualBox (download it from http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads).
Navigate to your home directory and open win7raw.vmdk.
In your Settings tab in VirtualBox, go to the Storage tab and set the IDE Controller to “ICH6″.
Launch the virtual machine, install the VirtualBox guest additions, and you should be good to go.