Confessions of a researchaholic

April 18, 2024

Francis Bacon art

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:27 pm

After noticing Homage To Francis Bacon (Three Studies of Lucian Freud) by Takashi Murakami during his recent exhibition I spent most of the last weekend and weekday evenings fascinated by the artworks by Francis Bacon and his inspirations from and influences on other artists.

April 14, 2024

Total solar eclipse – before, during, after

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 4:55 pm

Attempt with simplest possible vector graphics to depict the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 that was not visible in my geographical location.

April 13, 2024


Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 1:42 pm

I recorded a woodpecker pecking on a utility pole and would like to create an animated sketch in sync with the sound.
I started with a rough manual drawing by Adobe Fresco and used it as the structure reference for Adobe Firefly.
I then selected the bird as the foreground object into another layer and generatively filled the background via Photoshop.
I imported the psd file into After Effects and control the rotation of the bird via the sound of the captured video (following this example).

April 7, 2024

Full self-driving

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:44 pm

I tested an electric car’s full self-driving today and found it impressive.

After entering the destination, the car planned the route and drove itself, including turning, signaling, changing and merging lanes, observing traffic lights and signs (stop, speed limit), and avoiding pedestrians and cyclists.
I can manually change the default behaviors by signaling and setting a different speed target, and the car will automatically change lanes and pass slower cars.

I haven’t tried auto-parking yet, given that I doubt if the car can figure out where I want to park and the orientation of the car.

The self driving capability could augment human sensors, motors, and cognition and thus make driving safer and more efficient barring moral hazards (e.g., encouraging drunk or distracted driving).

April 5, 2024


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:38 pm
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This “creative entity” has an impressive Behance portfolio and messaged me to connect.
We had an half-hour Zoom call on Friday afternoon, during which he remains anonymous and faceless.
From his voice I can figure out that he is a young European male whose is on an early stage of architecture design day job.

April 1, 2024

Street pianist

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 7:47 pm

This is an attempt to depict the visuals appearing in my mind while listening to this podcast about a guy who played the particular piano piece “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” by Ryuichi Sakamoto outdoors to express his personal and shared public sorrows.

Roughly speaking, the visuals are inspired by the scenes in the 2002 film “the pianist” but with the guy playing the piano on the street within a ruined city.
(It seems less dramatic in reality.)

I could draw the scenes out of my head but it might take too much time (which I don’t have right now), so I decided to give generative AI (in particular, Adobe Firefly) a try.

March 27, 2024

Hands on – quick short abstract

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:44 pm
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An intern collaborator thanked me for a quick editing of the abstract of an upcoming paper submission, which reminded me of the the following story reflecting how our PhD advisers (or senior collaborators) could influence our work styles:

A few days before the SIGGRAPH 2002 paper deadline, while trying to submit the abstract from a paper draft, I received an error message saying that it was over the length limit (maximum 600 words, if I remember correctly). I could do a quick trim of the abstract but worried that I might not be able to preserve the content in such a short form, and thus sent a message to the paper advisory board asking whether I can have a longer abstract in the paper file.

Several minutes later, my PhD adviser emailed me a shortened version of the abstract, with perfect content and length.
I thanked him for his (astonishing) quality and speed, and wondered if he could read my mind (or, more likely, network traffic). He said that he happened to be on the advisory board and thus saw my message.

A few hours later, I received a reply from the paper chair clarifying that the abstract for the submission form was mainly for the paper sorting process and can differ from the abstract in the submitted paper file.

March 17, 2024

Loving Vincent

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:32 pm
Tags: ,

I absolutely love the hand-painted oil effects of this film which I watched on hoopladigital.
The backgrounds are mostly flat and static and thus can be painted more sparsely while the foreground characters and objects are rotoscoped over (green-screen) captured live actions.
The actors were chosen to resemble the subjects in the original paintings which were used as style references for the painting process.

March 11, 2024

Buddha’s hand citron

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:14 pm

I received one buddha’s hand citron in this week’s food delivery, and did a quick sketch of it before zesting its unique aroma into tea, salad, and yogurt.

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