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!

Cage

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:

Boords: https://boords.com

  • 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

Storyboarder: https://wonderunit.com/storyboarder/

  • 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

Reference

[1] Matt Workman. 2017. “Storyboarder – Best Free Storyboard Program 2017”. Cinematography Database. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=LAeCEpG0KX4

Path to Automatic Animation

Since there’re massive factors involved in animation development, automate the process may not be possible via a single animation engine (need to do a thorough review :P). Instead, automatically puzzle existing tools together may be more practical. Because we could get out the most of each tool. For example, if tool x is the best in painterly style, tool y is the best for animating, they are golden combination to produce film z, then it’d be nice to efficiently transfer the result between each other.

Migration Tips of Large-Scale iOS Project from Circle 1.0 to 2.0

Prerequisite

  • The project uses Circle 1.0, i.e. has a circle.yml file on the root directory of the project

Execution Tips

  • How to obtain the ymal file of Circle 2.0, .circleci/config.yml
    • Use the 1.0 to 2.0 config-translation Endpoint to convert circle.yml to .circleci/config.yml. This is the most efficient way to get the correct yaml configuration of the project on Circle 2.0, because it accurately turns all implicit configurations in Circle 1.0 to explicit ones in Circle 2.0. Since Circle 2.0 removes support of implicit configurations, it’s hard to manually write the yml file for Circle 2.0 as it requires being aware of all implicit configurations on Circle 1.0, which could be 10 times slower than the endpoint
  • Code signing
    • “fastlane match”: Circle 2.0 only uses “fastlane match” for code signing, and, certificates and provisioning profiles uploaded to Circle 1.0 are banned on Circle 2.0. For this reason, it’s critical to validate all certificates and provisioning profiles on the git repo associated with “fastlane match” to correctly code signing
    • Keychain: Circle 2.0 uses a temporary keychain, “fastlane_tmp_keychain”, to interact with certificates and provisioning profiles fetched from the git repo associated with “fastlane match”, but it doesn’t have a way to delete the temporary keychain (“fastlane_tmp_keychain” is set by “setup_circle_ci” in the “before_all” lane of Fastfile). Although Circle suggests to call “setup_circle_ci” on the “before_all” lane, it leads to “duplicated keychain” error if two lanes are triggered in one job by “.circleci/config.yml”. For this reason, I suggest to call “setup_circle_ci” in the lane that does code signing to prevent the temporary keychain from being created multiple times when multiple lanes are triggered in one job
  • Minimize debugging time during migration
    • The biggest challenge during migration is debugging failed circle builds. It’s challenging because the long error log looks really scary – what errors are false positives? what errors actually matter? how to minimize the build time of the fix of an error on Circle? Look back to my painful experience of the migration, the following tips are ones I’d suggest to make life happier when doing migration:
      • Focus on the errors printed out, and get more details of logs of error to find the cause. An efficient way of getting detailed log is ssh into the build. For example, if it’s a code signing error, the first thing to check is to validate the certificate and provisioning profiles on the git repo associated with “fastlane match”, as well as code signing configurations of project settings. Trivial errors on the circle log, such as “invalid T” associated with circle machine goes after
      • Test lane locally. If a lane causes error, it’s faster to test locally than pushing to circle to run
      • Comment out unnecessary code. When fixing a particular error, a big time saver is commenting out unnecessary code of the error to save dev time

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..

Tree.. or Cat

If chance were different

Could I be a tree

Stay there

Waiting for the wind

Getting the rain

Wearing the snow

Besides of the quiet lake

 

Or..

A cat

Kept by kind people

Chocolate and coffee everyday

And sunshine

Warm~