VW Phaeton, the baby A8

I saw one of these parked as I walked to the bus home. It’d been a long time since I saw one in the wild. So I decided to look it up on Wikipedia and was fascinated.
First off it’s pretty groundbreaking with nearly 100 patents unique to it. It has some pretty amazing tech, including the ability to read road signs. And it’s optional W12 engine is a wonder. My favorite? Like a Rolls it’s hand-assembled… At the Transparent Factory in Dresden. Amazing. All this for S-class money.
In the end it’s still a VW and, ultimately, that marque cannot support an $80k price tag. But when you compare it to the Bentley Continental with whom it shares its chassis or the Audi A8 which is a very close cousin, you start to realize the value in it. A baby A8 indeed.

GM will never learn

After the auto show I was convinced GM hadn’t learned much from the Carpocalypse that was bankruptcy. Today I am reading Road and Track’s Buyer’s Guide 2011 and I see what you see above: of all the competition, how can you compete in 2 of 5 slots with yourself? It just doesn’t make sense to me at all. Ford does do that slightly with the Ford/Lincoln marques but at least they whacked Mercury, certainly not the easiest decision. But given the times, necessary. Wake up to yourself, GM! Give your divisions Caddy-like separation.

2011 Chicago Auto Show

2011 Chicago Auto Show

It’s that time again! It’s been a yearly tradition to go with my big bro and this was no exception. If I remember correctly, last year GM still had an enormous booth, Hyundai was second largest. This year, things are a little different and everyone has been rearranged. The things I noticed right off the bat:

  • Fiat finally incorporated into Chrysler Group but very separated. This was welcoming for the 500 who had its very own space, but there was nothing amazing about the booth. In my opinion, the Fiat brand is going to be very important for Chrysler Group.
  • German much smaller presence. Literally all the major German brands’ booths were cut in half, to the point that the Mercedes-Benz booth was downright cramped.
  • You could tell we’re in a recession (with some exceptions)
  • I didn’t notice a lot of concept cars and I was especailly hoping to see Mazda’s new KODO design concept
  • And finally, no top shelf brands. No Alfa. No Fisker. No Aston Martin. No Lambo or Lotus, all there last year.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more specifics and photos after the jump. Continue reading

Taking still images to video

One of my co-workers asked for our help in coming up with some examples of how to take still images to video. So my coworker Kim and I came up with a quick list. Thought it’d be nice to share with everyone looking to do the same thing.

“Ken Burns Effect Demonstration”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNTiyRDhlRY[/youtube]

“Moving Pictures”

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/2362167[/vimeo]

“Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7E-aoXLZGY[/youtube]

“Dark Knight Kinetic Typography”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL2IIpNkSKs[/youtube]

“Photo Effects for Video 10″

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/13920529[/vimeo]

“Make Any Photo Look 3D”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brgJHkqkdcY&feature=related[/youtube]

“Italian Deli After Effects Photo Animation”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfYQ-Cp7atw[/youtube]