Posts from the “Writing” Category

Pros and Cons of PhD for Expressive Graphics Techniques of Animated Short

Via PhD or a startup, the focus is to take Expressive Graphics techniques to create animated short films.

Here is a list of pros and cons of choosing PhD or directly work on it alongside a full-time Software Engineer job:

Pros of PhD:

  • Resource in the industry of Expressive Graphics
  • Credibility of the capability for turning the research idea into product of the startup. Because investors like to see such training

Cons of PhD:

  • Challenging to find good match in research interests in the USA. (except for University of Cambridge, where it is possible to propose a whole new area. As long as there is a match with advisors, the student could get admitted)
  • Give up the startup in Boston due to visa conflict
  • Challenging to get funding

Pros of working on the startup alongside full-time software engineer job:

  • Access to business / investment resources in Cambridge Innovation Center
  • Finish the ongoing projects
  • Get the startup run in the right direction
  • Don’t have to worry about funding

Cons of working on the startup alongside full-time software engineer job:

  • Challenging to get equal credibility as via a PhD program. How to complement: do the same level of intensity in mentality training as PhD programs
  • Challenging to keep up the productivity before getting green card
  • Challenging to get funding
  • Challenging to acquire a creative team

The Meaning of Deep Understanding

The nature of invention is expressing the same thing in a different manner. This requires deep understanding of the subject. Some people invent purely from their own understanding, other expand their knowledge to gain deep understanding to facilitate the invention.

The better the understanding, the more likely the transformative impact of the invention.

The “Something is Missing” Methodology for Solving Complicated Problem

Over the three-month brainstorming on story development with client, with laughs and frustrations, we eventually approached the expected feeling in an important morning in June, 2018 – “yep, that’s what we want J”.

Looking back, I feel two of the important things we did right are:

  1. Acknowledge that “Something is Missing” when we don’t feel right on the ongoing story
  2. Persistent on the above item to progress

For the first item, it accepts the imperfection of the state of the story, which opens the door for inviting any possible ideas to fix the story. The second item, chains the first item as a series of actions to arrive the destination.

Although the methodology was effective for story development, it may be a good methodology for any complicated problem that is similar to story development. Because story development is a process whose result is difficult to foresee. During this process, a lot new ideas come in, which is unlikely to know in the beginning.


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.

Now What?

I spent a month on the paper submission of Expressive 2018, which ended up well I guess – practice the writing helps me get clear about the project and contribution.

Now the question is, should I keep working on the paper to finish it, or spend more time on the startup?

There’re still a lot work to be done of the paper. I think it makes sense to finish the paper right now based on my friend’s notes, then refine it after receiving reviews from Expressive 2018.

Startup also requires a lot work:

  • Publish the website
  • Put up the prototype (glad it’s getting more detailed after talking to a lot people of the startup. Speak loudly is so important!)
  • Market research
    • pros and cons of existing 3D animation tools
    • what do non-professionals want based on the animation prototype
  • Resource: How to start a startup by Sam Altman

Maybe I can get up early in the morning to work on startup, then go for the full-time job, after that work on the paper..