Review: Cinematics creates movie-inspired images with well-executed lighting filters

Cinematics Lite Edition offers a number of filters to change how your photos look, capturing classic cinematic stylings with the move of a slider. The result is that you can make your images look like old-style movie stills from the 40s all the way up through the 80s and 90s. While there are no tutorials showing you how to do this, the layout makes it easy to see what options are there and play with them in real time.

When you first open Cinematics Lite Edition you must select an image or take a new one with your camera. From … Read more

Scientists release first 'cinematic MRI' of live birth

Let's get one thing straight up front: the term "cinematic" does not in this instance mean it's time to order up some popcorn. There's no color, no dramatic score, no super slow-mo to announce the climax. This is gritty black-and-white footage of a woman giving birth.

But don't let the grit fool you into thinking it's low tech. The world's first birth in an MRI machine was announced by scientists at Charite University Hospital in Berlin back in December 2010, and they're only now releasing the 25-second video, which was made … Read more

Pirate game not worth the doubloons

Backstab is a loosely pirate-themed third-person action-adventure game with promising potential but frustratingly flawed execution given its price.

Backstab advertises an "unprecedented story" and a "blockbuster production with the best graphics." Unfortunately, the story is highly precedented (and told unevenly, with spotty voice acting and wooden animations) and the graphics--while somewhat impressive for a mobile device, especially given the game's limited sandbox environment--are far from the best. Backstab evokes derivative late '90s console games, although with more-frustrating controls: what should be an intuitive camera system (you swipe the screen to rotate the camera) is anything … Read more

Super scripts

Nuvotech's Movie Outline 3 is a screenplay development tool that uses a technique called step-outlining to help the screenwriter create and build a script, including character development, plot elements, scenes and settings, and even technical aspects like character speech count, scene numbering, and timing.

Movie Outline 3 first opens with a helpful guide that explains how the program works and how you can use it to improve your screenwriting. The interface itself resembles a specialized word processor, which is what it is, essentially, with the usual editing functions. Where Movie Outline 3 differs is its toolbar for creating and … Read more

Shooter fun on rails

Galactic Gunner is a fun, challenging, and well-designed arcade shooter with a quirky sense of humor and excellent production values. You don't pilot a spaceship but instead play the role of a gunner--so in this shooter "on rails," the action unfolds in front of you, as you must quickly tap the screen to shoot at fast-moving targets, whether asteroids, test drones, or enemy turrets and fighters. Not having to control your ship doesn't mean Galactic Gunner isn't challenging: because you're scored on both accuracy and the number of targets destroyed, you have to time … Read more

Imagining the tech world in 2050

At a kickoff event for collaboration between IBM and the University of Southern California to explore the intersection of creative arts and science and technology, five IBM scientists offered their best guesses on how life would be different in 2050.

In keeping with the Hollywood theme, the moderator of the panel, Bill Pulleyblank, noted that the Mini Cooper automobile has more computing power than Apollo 13--the space capsule that "almost got Tom Hanks killed," he said, referring to the 1995 movie of that name.

Pulleybank led the development of IBM's Blue Gene systems, which account for 4 … Read more