Confessions of a researchaholic

May 7, 2022

If you can’t draw it simply, you don’t see it well enough.

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:45 am
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The traditional way to render a realistic image is from a physics perspective: provide a complete enough description of the scene and simulate light propagation and image formation with sufficient accuracy.
The end goal of physical realism can facilitate the understanding of the physical universe, at the expense of costly computation.
Thus, computer graphics research has been mainly about how to hack this entire process to achieve maximum realism with minimum effort.
A key ingredient for this hack is the (limit of) human perception, where both sensorial and neural passageways cap the amount of generated information beyond which further enhancements cannot be perceived (and efforts wasted).

This “rendering hack” has long preceded computer graphics (or machine computation) in visual art, which are traditionally based on manual efforts and thus impractical for brute force computation.
The end goal of artistic ideal can facilitate the understanding of perceptual mechanisms which in turn provide opportunities for subjective variations (such as different artistic styles and movements).

This is one main reason why I have been practicing drawing, sketching, painting, animation, design, and other creative forms. It is more of an exercise to see than to draw. (Besides, it is fun and diversifies my daily routines.)

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – A quote attributed to Albert Einstein.

PS
Recent trends in black-box machine learning further moves in the opposite direction, by making the visual computation even more expensive and opaque than traditional forward rendering in computer graphics.
I look forward to see if machine learning can shed light on the artistic and subjective aspects of image formation.

March 20, 2022

Workout

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:55 pm
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Before the industrial revolution humans got enough physical exercises in their daily routines without needing extra workouts or diets, which are signs of unnatural design for the modern environment and activities.

Should our cities be centered around driveways for cars, or walking/biking lanes with public transports?

Why are we sitting in front of stationary devices instead of walking around manipulating objects for work?

November 15, 2021

Persistence

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:13 am
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Persistence (grit, tenacity) is perhaps the quality that I admired the most from a person, who has a strong desire to achieve something without ever giving up.
(Sometimes I wonder if I have too little desire, like a monk.)

November 13, 2021

Moral judgement on the two sides of the same coin

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:14 am
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There are situations where one activity receives lower moral judgement than another, such as spending and saving, resting and working, consumption and production, which are actually two sides of the same coin and can only co-exist together.

November 8, 2021

The implications of the physics of time

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:18 pm
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Time only moves forward.
We cannot change the past or predict the future.
So it is pointless to regret the past or fear the future.

November 7, 2021

With great power comes great hassles

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:35 am
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With great power comes great responsibility, but the real trade-off lies in the hassles.

September 5, 2021

News are like clues

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:15 am
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News are like clues in a detective novel for us to piece together the world.

August 23, 2021

The past future

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
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I found science fictions from the recent past (like Star Trek and Dune) very interesting in that they envisioned alternative futures that are mostly extrapolated from the science technology around their time (e.g., talking computers hosted in giant mainframes and inter-galactic messages sent through physical tubes), serving as a reminder that our future may turn out to be very different from what we can possibly imagine today.



July 19, 2021

The feeling of predestination

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:48 am
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[I thought about this earlier this morning during a dream, which I happened to wake up and managed to memorize.]

Do you ever have the feeling of predestination, of meeting someone, being in some place, or going through some events?
I wonder if that is some kind of mental post-processing that tries to fit a narrative to a past event.

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