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Christmas Cheer Google Graphics

Holiday Art Executed In Google Documents 72

CyberKnet writes "Some enterprising folks over at Google have collaborated via Google Documents to create holiday art using cells in a spreadsheet as the pixels. A time delay video was taken and is available over at YouTube and the result is pretty spectacular. More info on how they did this is available behind the scenes. They're inviting people to share their own masterpieces or post a video response over on YouTube."
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Holiday Art Executed In Google Documents

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22, 2008 @03:30PM (#25859385)

    3d Graphics engine in Excel previously on slashdot: []

  • by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Saturday November 22, 2008 @03:36PM (#25859427)

    Holiday Art Executed In Google Documents

    Jesus christ, so much for "do no evil"!

  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metlin ( 258108 ) on Saturday November 22, 2008 @03:47PM (#25859487) Journal

    This is the sort of coolness that I like about technology - the fact that you can use to create something not quite mainstream, yet very interesting and very cool.

    And these are the moments when I really enjoy reading Slashdot. Reminds me of how back in the day, Slashdot used to post something small but interesting done by a geek in a garage...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Your comment about "small but interesting done by a geek in a garage" is clearly not true. This was posted by Google PR, an $83bn outfit. That's one heck of a garage.

      • Well, he didn't say it was a small garage.
      • by metlin ( 258108 )

        For one, I said it reminded me of those days, not that it was the same as those days.. For another, this was done by a few people at Google, which doesn't necessarily mean that the entire muscle of Google was behind them.

        Well, he didn't say it was a small garage.


    • I think they may have copied the idea from us. Take a look at this page,com_grid/Itemid,59/ [] It never really took off on our site (most likely because we never got a critical mass of visitors, but that's another story). Still if they did, it's gratifying to see the idea taken and implemented successfully. (Also, if they did then some recognition would be nice)
  • Gee, this is just an obvious PR piece.

    • It all began when Google enabled us to find relevant data in a few seconds.
      They should have known that being confronted to this see of data (especially all those lies) everyday, we would come to see them as what they are : yet another advertising company. __ just passing through
      • Come on. Granted, Google does many, many, good things. But this piece clearly is just a PR piece, and kind of a hokey one at that.

        Google doesn't need to sell itself to me. I'm already buying it. The bit at the end where the person types in 'Create, Callaborate, blah blah' struck me as in the same vein as the Microsoft "I'm a PC" ads.

        • That's funny... I submitted it, and I thought it was an interesting thing to read/see, even if it was a bit PR-ish.

          That's the way these things work. What you see as just a press release could be what I see as an interesting art show.

          All generalizations are a bad thing.

  • He so loved the Holidays. Now, his eternal soul is property of Google. He really should have read the Terms and Conditions.
  • what would be really nice is doing this sort of "drawing in a spreadsheet" thing with a bunch of formulas. Fractals or something.
  • Idle? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pjt33 ( 739471 ) on Saturday November 22, 2008 @04:39PM (#25859807)

    Wow. A grid-based system capable of colouring grids can be used to do pixel art? Clearly the term "enterprising" has changed in meaning, but leaving that aside I have to ask why this is in tech? It quite clearly belongs in idle.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Daengbo ( 523424 )
      The point was to show real-time collaboration as a promo for their service. I would hope that Slashdotters would talk about the collaboration angle in Goole Docs and how it stacks up to other services.

      p.s. I'm using only Google Apps this month as an experiment.
  • How fitting ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lazy Jones ( 8403 ) on Saturday November 22, 2008 @04:39PM (#25859811) Homepage Journal
    Using a spreadsheet as a graphics program is about as efficient as using a browser to run office applications ...
    • by empaler ( 130732 )
      Not only true, but apt, precise and funny. n1 :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LoudMusic ( 199347 )

      Yes, because it's so much more efficient for everyone to be using different versions of the software AND the document, unless you want to also deal with setting up a collaborative document system.

      But opening a browser window and clicking a link - that's just too much effort.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Efficient in terms of cpu cycles, not mouse-miles

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lazy Jones ( 8403 )
          That - and it adds a whole layer of instability on top of your OS (browsers/JS need to be stable too).

          All those lemmings who advocate running applications inside a browser (completely ignoring the fact that networking is available outside browsers too and you don't even need to hand over all your data to a 3rd party for groupware applications) should go apologize to Microsoft, who took a lot of flak for considering the browser part of the OS ...

    • by crf00 ( 1048098 )
      The point is not of using Google Spreadsheet as a graphics program, rather as an ajax collaborative game to have some fun with your friends in this holiday. I'd expect a better Ajax apps come out just for this.
      • graphic guestbooks for the web are about 13 years old ... they actually work better for this type of "fun".
  • Not that I dislike the story - I just think it should be in Idle, not in Tech.
  • OK - from what I saw (watched the video - easier than reading how to do it ;) ), its using the google spreadsheet like a basic version of MS paint.

    On the other hand, what about getting formula derived holiday art - a random snowflake generator? (I'll leave that to the math geeks)

    Or for something OTT, use this to generate cels for animation, probably itchy and scratchy level of animation, but its their server time, not yours :)

  • ASCII porn is *so* 1970's.

  • wonder what a flashmob could do...

  • yawn... I was doing this on my ZX Spectrum over 20 years ago.
    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      Yeah, but this was 5 people collaborating over the internet. I don't think you were doing that on your speccy 20 years ago. They were good, but not that good!
  • Spreadsheets or GTFO!

  • by FRiC ( 416091 ) on Saturday November 22, 2008 @10:28PM (#25861861) Homepage

    A few years ago, a newly hired engineer at work complained that he couldn't find any drawings done by the previous engineer that had just quit. I looked and the guy that quit had several thousand Excel files and his drawings were all done using tiny cells and cell borders. They were complex drawings of mechanical parts and some were even done in 3D perspective.

    The new engineer ended up spending the next few months recreating all the drawings from A3-sized printouts using a real CAD program.

    • I've done some fairly complex embedded system block diagrams in Excel. I would use the cell frame feature for the boxes, arrows for the bus lines, and then snap everything to a square grid. The beautiful thing about Excel is that everything expands naturally with the 'add entire row' and 'add entire column' features. Labelling is a simply matter of filling in a spreadsheet cell and justifying the text. Some would force me to make drawings in Visio because they were too weak willed to edit my excel drawi
  • Back in high school, some of us had some pretty 'adult' pics that had been translated into ASCII characters. What was even cooler was that you couldn't see what they really displayed. If you didn't know the correct font, type size, and justification, the file just displayed a bunch of number/letters/symbols.

    Heh heh heh.....worked pretty well.

  • It appears that anything a Google employee does these days is considered revolutionary even if it's lame, unoriginal and uninspired.
    That being said, here is some real 3D spreadsheet graphics: []

  • I'm just surprised that no one has written a script to convert an image into one of these documents yet, even if it was considered cheating.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!