April 04, 2013

Map Illustrator artwork to 3D via LiveSurface Context

You might already know LiveSurface, a stock-image library that featured preset grids optimized to work with Photoshop’s Vanishing Point feature. Now the crew behind it has announced the beta of LiveSurface Context, a unique 2.5D app with a built-in artwork store.

Founder Joshua Distler writes,

The app makes design exploration & visualization (for both designer and client) much faster and more fluid by acting as a kind of next-generation WYSIWYG tool. Designers can work naturally inside Illustrator and visualize their concepts rendered photographically with a click. With it you can:

  • Work inside Illustrator and preview ideas rendered in photographic realism with just a click.
  • Simulate a variety of inks and materials (such as foil, emboss, fluorescent) by simply choosing swatches in Illustrator.
  • Download surfaces by drag and drop; surfaces are automatically re-rendered at hi-res when the download completes.
  • Resize and/or rotate Plus Surfaces with a few clicks.
  • Output very hi-res renderings in the background, without interruption to workflow.

The app drew a nice write-up in Fast Company. Here’s a quick demo of browsing for photographic templates, then applying artwork:

More info is in 9to5Mac’s write-up.

9:12 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Principles of simplicity

Once you skip past the hand-wringing & platitudes, Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn have some interesting things to say:

Complexity is the coward’s way out. But there is nothing simple about simplicity, and achieving it requires following three major principles: empathizing (by perceiving others’ needs and expectations), distilling (by reducing to its essence the substance of one’s offer) and clarifying (by making the offering easier to understand or use).

It’s interesting to hear that Trader Joe’s curates their selection, offering 1/10th the product diversity of other supermarkets (though that still means 4,000 different items for sale) and produces twice the revenue per square foot as Whole Paycheck. Such an approach has worked wonders for Paper in beating back the paradox of choice. [Via Dave Howe]

8:07 AM | Permalink | No Comments
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