Confessions of a researchaholic

October 29, 2023

Spider web 3D drawing

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:20 pm

Spiders are fascinating creatures that can weave intricate webs much bigger than themselves.

October 25, 2023

He either reads fast enough or pees slow enough

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:01 pm
Tags: ,

Seeing some people peeking into their phones while doing other stuff, I always wonder if the small screen is really more interesting than the big world around us?

How to deal with “failed” experiments

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:30 am

If you feel frustrated with experiments that did not turn out as expected, you are not alone.
History is full of innovators going through repetitive failures before major breakthroughs.

The notion of failure is relative; each experiment likely contains some sort of success or lessons that can be learned.
Documenting these (in your paper draft or experiment log) can add a sense of what you have achieved so far, and how to plan future tasks.
If you are really exhausted, switch to do something else (e.g., another project) or just take a break, and see if that could bring a fresh perspective into your work.

October 24, 2023

Sketching with finger instead of stylus

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:09 pm

The ease with finger sketching over a smart phone made me realize maybe I should try to do this on a tablet as well; maybe my hands are inherently not all that stable holding a stylus.

October 22, 2023

There is a piece of mouth inside my desk drawer

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:10 pm

Once, when I was at first grade, there was a homework assignment about filling-in-the-blank for a Chinese language class.
I was short of time and/or patience so I finished it as quickly as possible.
The day after submitting the assignment, the teacher came to me and asked why “there is a piece of [mouth] inside my desk drawer”, which I apparently wrote by looking at only “a piece of [ ]” without the rest of the sentence.

Pumpkins – generative fill experiment

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:43 am

I used the same text prompt “pumpkins” to generatively fill regions within the graphical sign on the left and the yard on the right via Photoshop, and the corresponding results faithfully observe the surrounding contexts (graphical and physical pumpkins).
The motion graphics over the white arrow is added via Fresco.

October 19, 2023

Caption video

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:54 pm

(I need to write this down while I still feel the slight amount of excitement.)

Recently I have been involved in two projects for automatic video captioning, one for a research paper and the other for a product feature.

The research paper will be presented at UIST 2023; see this page for more details.

The product feature can be accessed via this page; if you have any feedback feel free to let me know.

The two projects share some high-level ideas (such as maintaining temporal coherence for the captions while optimizing their spatial parameters with respect to the video content), but the specific methods and implementations are quite different.
Shipping a product involves a lot of testing and tuning to ensure robust experiences for a wide range of users and use cases (often beyond what the creators can initially anticipate), while publishing a research paper often requires a lot of work in writing and presentation that can be a dominating factor in deciding its acceptance and dissemination.

October 17, 2023

Quick finger sketches of public transport passengers

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:31 pm

With fewer strokes it is more important to place them more strategically to depict the essence of the subjects.

October 15, 2023

Face relief on a candelabra

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:35 pm

I noticed this small face relief carved on a candelabra that was meant to be part of Thomas Wolsey’s tomb.

Next Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at