Author: Yi Zhang

Vision Paper Yi Zhang

A Day of My Life in 2030

8:00 am

My bed starts to vibrate promptly at 8 in the morning to wake me up. I want to sleep more, and the weight sensor on the bed feels I’m not going to get up. So my intelligent bed tilts up to make me slip down to the floor! Every time it does this to me makes me want to go back to the past when bed was just a bed.

As soon as I get up from the floor, the water in bathroom starts to run and the audio system in my room starts to play morning news. I walk to the bathroom to get a shower.

“Today is the tenth day of the World War 3. Our hackers hacked into Russian military intelligence systems and successfully destroyed it.”

War is no longer about people fighting with bodies in this intelligent times.  It’s all about occupying technology and intelligence. When we need to fight face-to-face in the battle file. We use robots and drones instead of real human beings. However, I don’t want to listen to the boring war news.

“Play some classical music,” I say.

The audio system has sensors in every room of my apartment, so I can give it instructions from any corner of my apartment. It’s able to recognize my instructions accurately and only recognize my voice right now. I can also add other people’s voice to be recognized if I want.

After shower, I put on my smart contact lenses. It not only serves as a pair of near-sighted eyeglasses, but also a pair of VR glasses, screens of my phone, TV, and computer. By the way, we don’t really have something like the smartphone 20 years ago. What we have now that serves similar but more functions than smartphone is called personal smart system. It is consisted of several wearable devices and embedded chips in our bodies. People choose different wearable devices and embedded chips based on their own preferences and need. My smart contact lensis one part of my personal smart system. It projects the operation screen of the system in front of me in the air or on a surface. It recognizes my gestures as instructions. I can also use my voices to instruct my smart system through the smart necklace I wear.


9:30 am

After having breakfast, I walk into my work room to start working. I have a portrait shooting in the morning and an architecture assignment in the afternoon. Neither of them need me to be there. As a photographer and re-toucher in 2030, I have a group of robot assistants. I instruct my three robot assistants in the studio to setup the scene and lights. One of the robot has a camera in his body and I can see the live view of it on my computer. After communicating with my clients through the live video system, I press the shutter button on my computer and the robot starts to move a around to take photos. Every photo it takes record all information on the scene. So, for every photo it takes, it needs to move around the subject for 360 degrees. In the post production phase, it’s for the re-toucher to decide what to include, from which angle to shoot, the distance from camera to subject, how much depth of field to show, etc. Photographer, or say the robot assistant is only a visual information recorder. It’s for re-toucher to make the aesthetic decision.

After the assistant robot taking the photo, I receive the file at once and start retouching. Although my client hasn’t see my final work, he seems to be very satisfied with our service and rates us 5 stars on our social media page. Nowadays, the rating on social media is vital to everyone on the world. It serves like personal credit system and the symbol of your reputation. It affects every aspect of your life, such as your job application, house renting, loan application, etc. It makes sense since people have more social interaction online than face-to-face right now. It has a complicated algorism for calculating a fair rating for every person based on all the ratings they get from others. Apparently, it’s even more important for business to get higher rating. The higher rating I get, the more opportunities I have for new clients and jobs.


12:00 pm

Time for lunch. I quickly look over my favorite Japanese restaurant’s website and order online. 10 minutes later, a delivery drone stops outside my apartment window on the 20th floor. Delivery drones are widely used by restaurants. They are very effective and never get lost.

Suddenly, my smart necklace starts to vibrant. My friend Jessica is calling me to have a video chatting. But I don’t want to talk to her right now. Recently, she called me every day to complain about her husband. I’ve been tired of hearing that. So I choose to use my virtual chat robot. It forms my image on the screen and imitates my behaviors. This chat robot learns my tone and the way I speak from me whenever I talks. Even my friend will not notice that it’s only a virtual image behind the screen. Sometimes when I feel boring, I will chat with the virtual robot to train her and to release my pressure. She is not only a robot, but also my best friend who knows all my secrets. Fortunately, she is smart enough to know what she can say and what she cannot say.


4:00 pm

After lunch, I go back to work. Waiting till 4 in the afternoon, the best time for shooting architecture today, I send out my drone. It flies to the destination under my control, collects data of the building and sends the data back to my computer right away. Based on the data, the software on my computer make a realistic 3D model of the building. Then, I choose the angle of view I want. I even can retouch the photo to make it feel like it’s taken at night with all lights in the building on. But since it looks a little bit unreal, I usually prefer to keep the natural lighting. Almost all the things in a photo can be manipulated now, except for the light on the scene. You can change the brightness and contrast of light. But the direction and texture of the light is what it is on the scene. Maybe one day in the future, you can also change those during post-production easily and make it very vivid. But will our world be too fake at that time?


5:00 pm

Finishing all the work, I stick the muscle bandages to my body and go to work out. The muscle bandages are made up of sensors that are designed to detect the tension of muscle. They are connected to a smart fitness system which can provide workout advice to me based on the data collected by the muscle bandages. With the fitness system, people are able to do workout scientifically. The occupation of personal fitness trainer has disappeared for 10 years.


8:00 pm

At night, I want to entertain myself with a VR live film. I lay down in bed and say “play the One Day in Rome in VR live mood”. Then the contact lens creates a VR vision that make me feels like in the scene. I travel to Rome with characters in the films and witness their stories just beside. When watching a VR live film, I’m not only a viewer, but also a support character in the film. At some point in the film, I’m able to influence the development of the story, which makes me really feels like a part of the film. Some films allow more than one person to participate in the story, which is the trendiest way of hanging out with friends right now. But sometimes I’m afraid that one day, when the VR technology is super advanced, I may not be able to tell which is the reality and which is the fake reality.

NMNT Field Test Yi Zhang

360 Video Tour for Prospective Photography Student

I want to experience shooting with 360 camera. So, I choose to create a 360 video tour for prospective photography student. 360 video is very good at demonstrating a space. As prospective students, they must be very eager to know the environment they will be in when they come here. I used 360 video to demonstrate two places that photography students come to very often and  showed the advantage of the photography program here.

I used the Samsung 360 camera and a stand to shoot. I shot each clip for about 1 minute. After stitching the video in Gear 360, I edited it in Premiere, added background music and voice over. I also used the off set effect to adjust the start frame of clips to what I want viewers to see first. It turned out that my last clip of studio was skewed. I might not set the camera straight while shooting. Except for that, I think other things in this video work well.

Through this field test, I got hands-on experience of producing 360 video. Most things for people to care when producing 360 video are the same as producing regular videos. But we need to consider something new too, such as whether to include yourself or not in the 360 degrees space, which angle you want viewers to see first, what scenes are suitable for using 360 to show, special effects for 360 video in Premiere, etc.

I’m also taking a course named Sound for Picture this semester. It makes to think that if people use 360 video to produce movies, sound design will be a challenge. Sound designer need to create the surround effect to match different perspectives of the 360 video. It will be a great chance to get people deeply involved into the movie. I’m very looking forward to watching that kind of movie one day in the future.

NTNM Assignment 5 Sensor: Yi Zhang

The SparkFun Soil Moisture Sensor is a simple breakout for measuring the moisture in soil and similar materials. The soil moisture sensor is pretty straight forward to use. The two large exposed pads function as probes for the sensor, together acting as a variable resistor.

It can be used by journalists to collect data for stories about agriculture or weather. Also, it can be connected to an auto watering system. It helps to determine when and how much to water and may help save water and energy. It can be used at home or for the plants in public area. In addition, I think it may be able to used in food processing as well. Some food need certain level of moisture to be right. The moisture sensor can supervise that.

NMNT Assignment 4: Yi Zhang

Drones have already been used widely in the photography industry. There are already lots of photographers out there using drones shooting documentary or commercial work like architecture and wedding. But most drones are used for videos. For still photography, drones are only used for aerial photography. I think  the camera on drones, drone’s ability to carry camera, and our control on drones will be enhanced in  the near future. So, we can take high quality still photos without ourselves actually being there. For example, if you are going to document an event happening in another city. Yon don’t need to travel to that city. Instead, you can lay on your coach instructing the drones to shoot just as you are at the scene. If you are a commercial photographer and get a corporate job to shoot a factory, you also can stay at your home and send a drone to take the photos.

DataViz Final: Yi Zhang

Seeing Fantasy Movie’s Global Potential from Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale that we all familiar with. The Disney’s 1991 animated film of the same name was part of our childhood memory and Belle was one of our favorite Disney princesses as well. A live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast was released on March 17 this year. The new movie received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences and has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2017. Besides the 1991 animated film and the one coming out this year, the story has been put on screens for many times.

Been released for 7 weeks, the movie Beauty and the Beast has reached a total domestic gross of  $473,700,233 and foreign gross of $629,975,123 till April 27, 2017. Compared to other similar movies, it has achieved a great outcome. Similar movies refers those ones that have similarities in terms of audience appeal, genre, tone, timeframe and release pattern. The comparison indicates how this movie is doing in its own playing field, which is fantasy movie in this case.

Based on the chart, the total gross of fantasy movie generally tends to grow since 2011 and the foreign gross usually shares more than half of the total gross. It indicates that fantasy movie has a large global market potential. Here is a map showing how well the movie Beauty and the Beast performs at other countries’ box offices.

Beauty and the Beast Total Gross by Country
Create your own infographics

Fairy tales and their fantasy movie adaptions are easily to be accepted by people from different culture backgrounds. Film companies know that well. There will be 4 fantasy movies coming out in 2018, including the live action adaption of another famous Disney animation Mulan which story originally comes from China. It seems that Disney has grasped the great opportunity to expand Asian market more.

I also post this final project to my portfolio website. Here is the link to the page in my portfolio.

Assignment 3 Chat Bot: Yi Zhang

I created a Facebook page as my photography business page. The chat bot for that page was made to provide my business information to clients. Clients can know the type of photo I shoot, my day rate, location base, contact information, education background, portfolio through this chat bot.

Here is a link to Bot Yi.

NTNM Assignment 2: Yi Zhang

A lot of things in science fiction has or is about to come true. My of my favorite one is smart watch. I remembered when I was young, I always wanted a watch that could make phone calls. Maybe that kind of watch has been invented at that time, but it was not very common to see. But now, a lot of people are using Apple watch or other brands of smart watches. Video calling was only in imagination in the past. It’s also a very common thing in our life. Scanning face or eyes to recognize people’s identity often appeared in science fiction as well. Now, it has come true. Some laptops use face scanning instead of password to start up the computer. VideoVR stuff also appears a lot in science fictions and it is coming true.

Up till now, the 360 video most interests me. My first plan is to use 360 video to do a visual tour to some places that our photography students visit most on campus, such as photo studio, Steele Center (a place for printing and having a rest), lab, and so on. This project can be used for an online campus tour for some incoming students of photography major. My second plan is to experiment creating 360 videos for runners on treadmill. In class, we found out if we move the 360 camera too much, it would make viewers sick because their body are still. I’m curious that if I create a 360 video moving at running speed, can that be watched by runners comfortably? If that works, the 360 video will provide people running in gyms a feeling like running on the streets or anywhere they want.


Assignment 1: 3D Model —Yi Zhang

It was really fun to see a 3D model of myself being printed out. During this project, I learnt some basic operations of modifying 3D models through Tinkercad.

I think the way of capturing and sharing 3D information online may change people’s life tremendously. The first possible application that comes to my mind is education. In the future, students will be able to learn things through 3D models, which will be easier for them to understand. Also, 3D model can  be used for online shopping. Sometimes, we buy some clothes that look really good on the models. But when we try them on, it looks not that fit for us. In the future, people may be able to upload their 3D model to shopping websites and try on clothes  to see the actual look on their body.

The Makerspace is a great place for students to work on some hand-made projects. We were introduced a fantastic machine. With 3D glasses, we could see vivid and detailed 3D models.


Dataviz Final Project Proposal-Yi Zhang

I want to research some data of the movie Beauty and the Beast and to review this movie from the data aspect.

I need to acquire the total daily gross, daily change, foreign gross, online rating, etc. I will get the data from Box Office Mojo and IMDb.

There were a few versions of movies and TV shows of this classic fantasy story before. So, I will use a timeline to introduce the history of this story. Then I will use or high charts to show the daily box office data and people’s rating situation on IMDb. In the end, I will probably include a sortable data table to show the box office data of this movie in other countries.

One of the unknowns is that the movie is still showing, so the box office data is continually changing. Therefore, what I’m going to do is not making a final judgement, but presenting the trend.

Things will go wrong if I can’t find the data I need. My plan B is to find another movie which has ended showing in theatres. Usually, it’s easier to get complete data for movie that has ended showing.

Assignment 6: Yi Zhang

I’m interested in education issue. I found some data about the U.S. education situation from UNESCO website. It was unexpected to find out that the net enrollment ratio of primary school decreased from 2008 to 2011 and the number of out-of-school-children increased in the same period.

I have some problems in creating this chart. I changed the dates based on the formate you told us and the dates in the chart were successfully changed. When you move your mouse to the line and bars, you can see the right dates. But the dates on the x-axis were not changed accordingly.