Confessions of a researchaholic

December 30, 2018

A smiling face is a happy face

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:07 pm
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When I started a drawing, I often have no idea if I will be able to finish it, and the intermediate process can look hopeless.
Just keep going and trust the eyes and the hands, and magic will happen.

There are nuances in the original (awesome) photo which I could not yet capture, so I plan to come back to this one later.

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A smiling face is a happy face

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Base layer

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December 29, 2018

Practice drawing a pink piggy bank

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:06 pm
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Which I started after removing a tooth and needed some activity to divert the discomfort.

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Practice drawing a pink piggy bank

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Digital drawings by a kid

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:41 pm
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My 6-year old niece got very interested in digital drawing after seeing me doing that.
The user interface seems intuitive enough for her to learn very quickly. She just found it weird to use the digital pen instead of her finger as an eraser.
I am observing her for informal user study (e.g. comparing physical and digital drawings for kids).

A general thought: if we want to nudge kids to do something, better to set up examples by ourselves instead of just verbal commanding.
For example, if you do not want your kids to watch TV, stop watching it yourself. And if you want them to study, sit down and read something yourself.

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Family is good – by Cindy

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Mug and laptop – by Cindy

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Desk – by Cindy

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Grandma – by Cindy

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Water cycle – by Cindy

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Dark cloud – by Cindy

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Rains – by Cindy

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A duck in the corner

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:29 pm
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An experimental drawing with Adobe Sketch; I have primarily used Autodesk Sketchbook since before joining Adobe.

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A duck in the corner

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December 27, 2018

Quick sketches of speakers in grandpa’s centennial memorial

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:44 pm
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This is a good practice session for speed sketching. Each speaker has only a few minutes, and some finished before I could carefully observe them.

I drew the subjects into layers of the same tiff file. All hidden layers were destroyed after I accidentally rotated the file under the Windows (file) explorer, but fortunately not before I shared the layers to Instagram.



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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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Quick sketch

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December 25, 2018

Practice drawing from a sculpture

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:35 pm
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Drawing is a very peaceful solo process, between me, the subject, and the canvas. I do not have to be concerned with anything else. Even single-authored SIGGRAPH papers need to go through peer reviews.

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Practice drawing from a sculpture

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Contours

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Base layer

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December 20, 2018

Time perception

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:59 pm
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I found drawing to be an excellent in-flight entertainment, especially long-haul flights that provide ample time. Aside from occasional turbulence that can shake my strokes (especially on glass tablet surfaces), drawing is pretty much immune to other distractions like engine noises and passenger commotions.
I had so much fun and focus that the plane landed before I realized.

These two drawings are from the same photo which I like a lot.

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A smiling face is a beautiful face

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Grimace

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December 18, 2018

Sharing publications

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:21 am
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Every time I see people listing publications on their websites without linking to the papers or videos, I hear they say: I am here to show off my publications and I do not really care whether you can access the papers. (Or, in a slightly more excusable scenario: I am too weak to not bow to the publisher request of withholding preprints online for 1 year. BTW this is why I do not submit to CGF.)

Best practice: create a public GitHub repo/page to share all paper information (abstract, pdf, video, code, etc.), so that all co-authors can edit and the search engines can index. (I am doing this for all my recent papers.)

December 16, 2018

Computer science publication model

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:57 pm
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If you need to try out a method, which you do first: (1) read and implement papers, (2) compile and run open source codes.

The peer review model for scientific publications has not changed much for centuries. It is about to, at least for computer science and especially for machine learning (e.g. distill.pub), where sharing and reproduction is much easier than other science and engineering disciplines.

Quick sketch from memory

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:51 pm
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On the link light rail from SeaTac airport to downtown Seattle I saw this intriguing profile, whose delicate structure and hair coverage appeared to be a young girl but emerged to be a lady of at least middle age when she turned her head to disembark the train.

I did not try to draw her on spot because I did not know when she was going to move. I should sketch as much as I could on spot in the future to help recover my photographic memory.

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Quick sketch from memory

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December 14, 2018

Shading practice

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:05 pm
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from an airline magazine movie still

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Christopher Robin

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Base layer

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December 12, 2018

UA618 37E

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:12 am
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The middle of a flight is a good chance to find people who voluntarily remain stationary.

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UA618 37E

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December 11, 2018

Brightburn

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 1:40 pm
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If there were a superman/superwoman I would expect him/her as benign to us as we to other life forms on earth or even towards one another historically.

Regarding good versus bad aliens, one of my most favorite movies is The Thing (1982), which I found to be much more convincing than E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial released in the same year.

Carlos Ghosn

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:41 pm
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Mediocre people, when they have the right chance, can still hurt better people in unexpected ways. I am glad that I learned this lesson early enough so the damage I received is quite limited.
I am less sure about him though.



Lytro

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:35 pm
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The light field camera is a beautiful technology, but consumers find it no more useful than 360 imaging.



December 9, 2018

Fence

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:03 pm
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I was searching my email box about the “fence” of the house and surprised to find out how many paper reviews contain the phrase “on the fence”.

Time perception

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 4:54 pm
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During my dream earlier this morning, someone (God?) was telling me what time really is. It is neither a one-dimensional curve nor a two dimensional-ribbon. But the dream did not continue to reveal the rest of the answer.

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Time perception from a dream

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December 8, 2018

Drawing a sculpture-like human portrait

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:11 pm
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Like sculptures, this classically beautiful face has all the features spelled out for drawing. Following suggestions from Daichi and tutorials I saw online, I started drawing coarse shapes very loosely (in a base layer) to help proportions. The more detailed contours are then much easier to pin down. I drew coarse shading in a third layer.

I am not sure yet how and if I should shade the face.



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The base layer

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December 6, 2018

Picasso continues to roll in his grave

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:35 pm
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From the same source I experimented with artist pencils in a digital drawing to compare with graphite sticks.
Interestingly, I made similar proportional mistakes to my previous physical drawing, notably the over-long nose.

The 4+B digital pencils were too dark, so I switched to 2B which would be too light for physical pencils.

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After Picasso

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December 3, 2018

Picasso is rolling in his grave

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:49 pm
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I drew this one loose and quick to feel the graphite sticks, so I did not realize the incorrect proportions until the end, such as overlong nose, shifted gaze, and over-large left ear.

I plan to experiment with digital drawing to see if it can achieve similar rough senses and effects.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq9LFY9gG6Y/

Integrity, intelligence, and energy

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:48 am
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Warren Buffett once said to look for three qualities for people to work with: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And without the first one, the other two will kill you.

However, history is full of people who committed grave atrocities due to lack of intelligence, even with good intention and integrity. And I have witnessed people causing less damages who are not as dangerous but still annoying.

Thus, lacking intelligence is no less dangerous than lacking integrity. Avoid such people as much as possible.

December 2, 2018

Portrait practice from a movie still

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:35 pm
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I decided it is about time to go back to the instruction book to follow planned exercises. (As a student, I seldom followed guidance before sufficient self-exploration.)
The next practice is proportioning a frontal face, so I picked a movie still of an actress whose quarter profile I had difficulty with earlier. (I will come back to that exercise later.)

I hope to capture the feeling better with subtler shading (e.g. smiling with the cheeks), but I ran out of patience and had to go out for dinner.

PS: it is better to practice portraits starting from subjects outside personal social circles.

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Portrait practice from a movie still

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December 1, 2018

Practice drawing a half-shadowed face

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:16 pm
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This is a face with fascinating contrasts: light and shadow, young and mature, beauty and menace.

My original goal is to practice depicting the shadowed side with minimal amount of details.
Then, during the drawing, I encountered great difficulty capturing the unique identify of the face after 3 nights and 1 morning. It has a fascinating combination of a juvenile face laced with mature features such as plump lips, wearing a delicate and yet sorrowful, vengeful expression.

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Practice drawing a half-shadowed face

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