(Source: TUAW) The very talented Ben Gotow has just released a brand new iPhone app called Layers, his third now after Mathomatic and NetSketch (iTunes links). Layers, not to be confused with the innovative screen capture application on the Mac desktop, is a natural media painting app for the iPhone. Stating the obvious, it incorporates Photoshop-like layers, as well as a variety of brush and color selection options, panning, zooming and the ability to export your masterpieces as JPG or Photoshop PSD files (layers included).

I gave it a run-through and am extremely impressed with the implementation. I am no painter, a fact hinted at by my not posting any screenshots of my own work. However, I’m adept enough with digital art to recognize that this is a very intuitive interface. Manipulating layers is done in a side view with layer previews, allowing a tap-and-drag re-ordering and one-tap addition and subtraction of layers. I especially appreciate the 30 levels of undo history, making it simple to backtrack errant swipes. The application allows for sophisticated artistic expression beyond mere “finger painting,” and, with a little practice, you can create some complex imagery. The layering functionality even allows for photo compositing, using multiple layers with photos and the eraser tool to remove portions of the top layers. This is more in line with my personal skill set, so I had some fun with this. Tight erasing can be a little tricky when you have big fingers which are hard to see around, but the undo functionality and some dedication make it perfectly feasible.

A new patent application from Apple suggests the company could be working on proprietary global positioning system software that would calculate road trip times and recommend routes, based on real-time data collected from numerous users, and uploaded to a centralized server.

In the recently revealed U.S. patent filing, Apple describes a system for obtaining drivers’ personal travel data and using it to estimate driving times. Such a system could take into account speed, time of day, location, driving patterns, season, route type and features, traffic information, road conditions and location data.

(Source: Wired.com) Maybe videogames are hazardous to our health — just not in the way people usually think. Since the success of the Wii and its motion controllers, companies looking to cash in on the videogame fitness craze have concocted loads of accessories and controllers designed to get players jumping and flailing around the room.It’s all fun and games until somebody gets a Wiimote in the eye. Here are the game accessories we think have the greatest potential for damage.

Wi-Bowl10. Wi-Bowl

(CTA Digital)
As if enough televisions haven’t already been destroyed by overzealous Wii bowlers, here comes Wi-Bowl. According to the manufacturer, the accessory lets you “mimic all the critical motions a ’striking’ performance requires” and is modeled after a real bowling ball. Though the company advises that you securely fasten the wrist strap, we have a nagging feeling the real feel of the bowling ball will cause some players to forget they’re not at AMF Lanes and let go. (Watch out for Grandma’s two-handed toss, too.)

Everlast Wii Boxing Gloves9. Wii Boxing Gloves

These officially licensed gloves are meant to intensify your Punch-Out!! experience. But we worry that the padding on these gloves, which attach to the Wii remote and Nunchuk, will give people the idea that it’s OK to punch their real-life opponents. The gloves come in black or red, the perfect colors to match your kid brother’s shiny black eye.



(Source: vizworld.com) While not our usual content here at VizWorld, I wanted to give a little publicity to the plight of the VFX experts who worked for Meteor Studios on “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

The curtain closes this weekend on an offer to more than 100 mainly Canadian movie special-effects artists attempting to recuperate nearly $1.2 million they claim is owed them for work done on one of last summer’s biggest blockbusters.

Monday is the deadline for them to accept or reject about 63 per cent of that amount from the owners of Meteor, the Montreal facility that closed in November 2007 after wrapping up Journey to the Centre of the Earth, then filed for bankruptcy.

    
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