A handful of Apple patents have popped up at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office involving media creation and graphics.

Patent number 20120278731 (top graphic) is for methods, systems and an apparatus for collaborative media production. In one aspect, a method includes presenting, to an originator, an originator interface including multiple media panes; establishing a connection with a collaborator; receiving from the originator a selection indicating an item of media content associated with at least one of the multiple media panes; transmitting to the collaborator the selected item of media content; and enabling inter-user communication relating to the selected item of media content in the originator interface with the collaborator.

Further, a connection can be established with a second collaborator, the item of media content can be transmitted to the second collaborator, and communication can occur in the originator interface with the second collaborator. The inventors are Mike Marinkovich, Gregory C. Lindley, Alan Cannistraro, Evan Doll and Gary Johnson.

Patent number 20120274650 (bottom graphic) is for differential image enhancement. Techniques for differentially enhancing selected areas within a digital image are disclosed. In certain embodiments, one or more attributes of a selected pixel or a group of pixels is determined. Examples of such attributes include color properties, grayscale properties, and/or multi-pixel properties, such as texture.

In certain embodiments, the attribute may be used in conjunction with the properties of a modification tool, such as a brush, to selectively modify pixels having the attribute value or a similar attribute value. The inventors are Timothy David Cherna and Ralph Thomas Brunner.

Patent number 20120279753 involves object transitions. Per the patent, object transitions can include providing a graphical transition of an object item that retains an aspect ratio associated with the object item while transitioning the object item into an instance of an executing object associated with the object item. The inventors are John O. Louch, Imran A. Chaudhri, Christopher Hynes, Timothy Wayne Bumgarner and Eric Steven Peyton.

Patent number 20120274646 is for a graphics animation and compositing operations framework has a layer tree for interfacing with the application and a render tree for interfacing with a render engine. Layers in the layer tree can be content, windows, views, video, images, text, media, or other types of objects for an application’s user interface. The application commits state changes to the layers of the layer tree.

The application does not need to include explicit code for animating the changes to the layers. Instead, an animation is determined for animating the change in state by the framework which can define a set of predetermined animations based on motion, visibility, and transition. The determined animation is explicitly applied to the affected layers in the render tree.

A render engine renders from the render tree into a frame buffer. Portions of the render tree changing relative to prior versions can be tracked to improve resource management. The inventors are Ralph Brunner, John Harper and Peter N. Graffagnino.