Confessions of a researchaholic

September 28, 2019

Custom puppet exercise

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:33 pm
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I created the vector graphics in Ai Draw, export to Pr for layer editing (Ai should also do but looks like my Draw app sends the .ai file to the Ai program on my company computer while I was at home), and import to Ch for facial tracking and performance.
The mouth tracking and animation need some investigation.

September 26, 2019

I only propose SIGGRAPH-level ideas for collaboration

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:01 am

This is a corollary of be the best; replace SIGGRAPH with CHI/UIST for HCI projects, ICCV/CVPR for vision projects, etc.

I usually propose safer/clearer ideas for collaboration, especially with more junior folks, and reserve riskier ideas for myself.
Sometimes it is faster for me to directly code than to indirectly describe what to do, especially for vague thoughts. (Some of my single-authored SIGGRAPH papers are results of not finding any collaborators.)

Given these, if a project cannot be published in a top venue, it is usually due to (lack of) execution, e.g., a first-author student needed to graduate and thus ran out of time, or chose to follow his/her own opinion instead of my advice.
I am completely OK with all these; I do the best I can without worrying about factors beyond my control.

September 22, 2019

Fur shading + texturing exercise

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:15 pm
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A little mouse got trapped a few days ago in the garage.
This is relative easy to draw, as I can easily double the strokes for (fur) texturing and shading.

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Fur shading exercise

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Random lessons learned from making films

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:11 pm

The most important lesson appears to have more to do with life than films: we never know what is going to happen.

September 21, 2019

Bright side down

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:33 pm

I sketched the same sculpture I visited a week ago from a different angle.
It started well, but went downhill as I drew more.
When darkness fell, I realized that I probably made a fundamental mistake; I will verify my hypothesis in my next visit.

September 20, 2019

Provisional patent application

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:09 pm
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A provisional patent is worth considering, if your institution does not want to file a real (non-provisional) patent for your project.
It has much lower cost and much faster process than a formal patent filing, while offers similar protection in terms of public disclosure date.
There is a one-year period for a provisional patent, during which you can evaluate whether it is worthwhile to file a real patent.

For example, I filed a provisional patent (out of my own pocket) for the autocomplete hand-drawn animation project, which has gathered a lot of interests and yet it is tricky to file a patent due to the institutions involved (University of Hong Kong, University of Tokyo, Microsoft Research).
However, after one year, Jun, the first author and builder of the system, did not manage to produce a sharable prototype, so I just let the provisional patent expire. If he had a prototype with enough product interests, I would proceed filing an official patent.

September 14, 2019

Head of Pierre de Wissant, burgher of Calais

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:34 pm

After the summer heat and before the winter rain, autumn is a good season to spend weekend evenings at the Stanford Rodin garden.
His dark bronze sculptures are hard to draw though; I had a great deal of difficulty with the eye sockets for this one.

Needle through brick

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:30 pm

A master of a traditional art form recently told me that nowadays it is becoming harder to find apprentices with required patience and will power to really learn the craft, probably due to the modern lifestyle accelerated by modern technology, such as social media and mobile devices.
He was considering modifying the curriculum to fit this modern world.

I have the opposite opinion. I will keep the bar as high as possible so that only the most motivated and talented will come to me.

September 8, 2019

Digital oil painting experiment

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:11 pm
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This is a caricature/stylization of a real object.

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Oil painting a flower vase

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September 6, 2019

Mistake of the day

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:01 pm

I mistakenly did a sudo “chown -R $USER $HOME” under Ubuntu, which trapped me into a login loop.
When I Ctrl-Alt-F3 into the machine, I found out that I cannot edit any files, even though the permissions look the same (“sudo echo $USER” will still return my original user name).
So I have to redo the above chown command with my plain user name and home path (no variable substitution).

September 3, 2019

Finger sketches over different devices

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:45 pm

September 2, 2019

OKR 2019

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:47 am

For OKR 2018, I rated myself 40 percent:

  • Published 4 top papers (with 3 student first authors).
  • Have helped shipping Fresco, a flagship Adobe digital painting product.
  • Have continued regular sketching exercise.
  • I read the book of change as part of my drawing exercises, but have yet to resume the Baroque cycles.

The default period is from July 2019 to June 2020 unless stated otherwise.

Publish top papers

Publish at least 4 papers in top graphics/HCI/vision/ML venues: ToG (including SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia), CHI/UIST, NIPS/ICML, CVPR/ICCV.

Build top products

Ship at least one product as a manager/developer and file at least two patents.

Develop top talents

Help at least 4 students publish in top graphics/HCI/vision/ML venues individually.

Be a better manager by helping the team not only ship at least one product (above) but also publish at least 4 papers in top venues with at least 4 student first authors (without double counting with my own above).

Have fun, be awesome

Practice sketching to a professional level, and expand into animation.

Continue learning a Middle Eastern language to elementary school level, complementing the one Asian and one European language I already know.

Practice meditation to the level that I can enter the God mode immediately, anywhere and anytime.

Finish the book of change, to renew my (now rusty) Chinese and crack the only Chinese classics that my grandfather did not during his life time.

Finish the baroque cycle, which I lost focus in the middle of the first volume (quicksilver).

Restore a common biometric, which suddenly deteriorated, to the previous excellent level, and continue improving the art I have started learning for about 3 years to the stage of practical applications.

September 1, 2019

Finger + pencil sketching

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:57 pm

In this series of quick exercises, I finger-sketched on my moto x4 of what I saw on the BART trains/stations, and penciled over on my iPad the next day.
For some reason, the files are separated for Android and iOS, even though they all have the same sizes (large portrait photo) and present on my creative cloud.

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Quick finger + pencil sketch of a hairstyle

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Quick finger + pencil sketch of a head

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Quick finger + pencil sketch of a profile

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Quick finger + pencil sketch of a round belly

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