Medium in Movies: Alike, Paperman, Forrest Gump


Story is about father discovers his love for his son. Father’s love for his son is demonstrated in the beginning by his color recovered by hugs with his son after work. The son learning writing is the medium on which the diminishment and recovery of love play. Learning writing comes from a common sense of school. Engagement of audience is enhanced by eye touches of father and son, and father’s poses at the end.

It’s very smart that the movie takes advantage of the power of poses to intuitively connect and engage the audience. If the son is able to draw for learning writing at the end, instead of the father do the poses of playing violin, audience would feel less engaged and fulfilled.


Paper is the medium for starting the story. It comes from the guy holding the paper in the begging.

Forrest Gump

Feather has been throughout the story as the medium for untold purpose – it comes from heaven and it follows common sense.


Just Draw

Stuck at storyboarding of animated film n not know how to fix the issue.

Next: just draw. Draw anything you like. Then you’ll come up with the idea

Keep Moving: Storyboard to Animatic

Hit the first issue developing the film: reconcile critics of the storyboard. Exciting!

Problem: my friend, Henry, a professional animator, pointed out that the storyboard is wrong in a lot ways, which my client and I weren’t aware of. Specifically, the order of which the characters appear is wrong – they should all appear in the first place, and go through the entire storyboard. Whereas in the current storyboard, the characters appear at different times.

Discussion: Henry’s criticism makes sense to me, but I don’t understand why all characters should appear in the first place and go through the entire storyboard. For the story we’re developing, is Henry’s opinion better than what we have now?

Solution: answer the following questions:

  • Why should all characters appear in the first place for all types of story?
  • If yes, figure out what’s wrong in the current storyboard, and adjust the storyboard for all characters to appear in the first place
  • If no, stick with the current storyboard, then keep moving to animatic by researching art direction

Edited Solution: it’s reconciled by adding voice on each scene to convey the key message. In the current storyboard, the main characters indeed go across the entire storyboard, but they don’t look obvious to the audience without knowing the key message. Because key message help the audience understand which are the main characters, and which are characters for assisting the story. Example of multi-characters in one story with narratives: It’s So Brill by Animade [1].

Thought: it feels challenged and frustrated and lost when Henry told me that the story is wrong. Because my client and me worked deliberately on every bit of the development of story and storyboard for a month. However, that’s good challenge. The point is to stay calm to figure out the real issue. Henry essentially got lost of the story in front of all the characters, so we need to convey the story to the audience. That way, the audience understand which are the main characters, and which are for assisting the story. The solution is to use voice-over to narrate the key message of each scene, because we do have concrete key messages to back the story.


[1] London animation studio | Animade. It’s So Brill.


It has always been short time spent with Daddy. But your kindness has been growing in my heart for forever. It makes me be me. The freedom you gave me to be myself, the visit to your friend during his captivity to care about him when I was a kid, all formed the beauty in me. Thank you, Daddy~!

The Beauty of Developing Animated Film with Client Not Knowing Animation Techniques

Everyone has the sense of aesthetics, which is enough to guide animated films. That’s beautiful.

Focusing on the technical side of developing animated films when working with the first client, it could easily forget my belief of founding Dopamine Animatic: animation could be purely guided by aesthetics, which exists in everyone. Dopamine Animatic is here to address technical difficulties, and facilitate the aesthetic in client’s mind. Here comes the question: how to avoid forgetting to ask client about aesthetic opinions, such as art directions of character style, color palette, dimension, and music?

In Dopamine Animatic, we work with client to develop the story, during which both the client and Dopamine Animatic obtain a deeper understanding of the story, as well as facilitate the sense of aesthetics for the film. It was not until a quiet evening that the client’s imagination of the art direction of the film as we discussed in the previous meeting came to my mind, and I found it is exactly the goal of Dopamine Animatic – take client’s sense of aesthetics to guide the art style of the film.

Thank to the quiet evening to pure the inspiration to my mind to answer the question: during each meeting, no matter how technical it is, always ask client’s opinion of anything related to the style, aesthetic of the film. That should be the default habit of Dopamine Animatic.

Rainbowww LGBT

Morning conversation with Venture Cafe founder Andrew Singleton about Boston 2018 Pride Parade, pouring fresh joy of a ton sense of freedom to the day!

Colorful, bold expressiveness of themselves, the pride, LGBT!

Reminds me of SF, LA, NYC, Siggraph! All those breaks the peacefulness and boringness of Cambridge, MA

Thankful to the conversation that brings such a fresh opening of the day! And I can’t wait for the weekend camping with friends. YO! Summer time up up up!


When you have a dream

You think it’s freedom

So you chase

Then, you found yourself in a cage

Because of the wires attached to chasing the dream


Boston Calling, and Holy! I’m Gonna be Really Busy This Summer!

Boston calling set me to ground and helped me connect to myself again. Rock and rap saves. I’m like, half-sleeping, half-sorrow, yet half-awake, and a little bit happy. I stopped faking being greatly happy and gonna stick with reality and keep going.

But so grateful to hear from the dearest friend girls! Summer is up, beautiful weather is back to Boston, bro is visiting from Germany, got client for start-up, need to plan to finish paper, need to register start-up.. need to finish reading Factfulness.. That would be days..

When summer is gone, vertigo and sorrow will be gone, too. Then there’ll be the beautiful, pure, quiet snow.

Storyboarding Comparison: Boords vs Storyboarder

Storyboarding could be challenging for those who can’t draw, someone like me. It’d be critical if a storyboarding tool addresses this problem. In addition, to enhance the logistics of creating animated films, efficiently adding / deleting / editing / rearranging frames of storyboards, and syncing / tuning / editing backing track in the finest granularity level (i.e. per frame) would save a lot time for pre-production. Because these feature would allow for quick iteration cycle for developing animatic, which includes storyboards, music, and actions.

In a nutshell, two features required for storyboarding for those who can’t draw:

  • Aid storyboarding for those who can describe a storyboard but can’t draw
  • Augment logistics for creating animatic

Boords by Animade, and Storyboarder by Wonder Unit, two storyboarding tools I’ve been exploring for, seems promising to meet the above requirements. Here’s a comparison of Boords and Storyboarder in price-wise, feature-wise, and robust-wise:


  • Price: subscription-based
  • Features
    • Aid storyboarding for those who can’t draw? NO
    • Augment logistics of creating animatic? YES
      • Drawing Tool: pen. Insufficient for basic storyboarding styles
  • Robust: augmenting the process of creating animatic is very robust


  • Price: free
  • Features
    • Aid storyboarding for those who can’t draw? YES. This is a killer feature – it automatically generates storyboarding shot from script
    • Augment logistics of creating animatics? YES. An example can be found from Matt’s YouTube tutorial [1]
      • Drawing Tool: light pencil, pencil, pen, brush, note pen. Sufficient for basic storyboarding styles
  • Robust:
    • Aid storyboarding for those who can’t draw: It’s unclear of the efficiency of storyboarding from script. How long does it take to find the proper scene, what’s the efficient way to best describe a scene in order to generate the proper layout? But since it supports tuning details of a storyboard shot to approach accuracy, it really worth a try to at least get ideas of the scene
    • Augment logistics of creating animatics: Not clear either. Because it’s an new tool, and I haven’t spent time to test the feature. However if it turns out to be inefficient, can always resort to Boords


[1] Matt Workman. 2017. “Storyboarder – Best Free Storyboard Program 2017”. Cinematography Database.