Academic Work
Digital 3D Animation


Role: Designer, Director, Production
Tutors: Quan Ma, Lei Chen

Golden Award of student group, GDC Award
Nomination for Student Short, China Youth Animation Director Support Program
Outstanding Graduation Design of Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts
Collected by the Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts
Exhibition Participation
Graduation Song - Fangyuan Art Museum
2022 Asian Digital Art Exhibition - Beijing Times Art Museum
Young Artists Exhibition - City Light Art Center
GDC Design Award 30 Years: A Retrospective of Awarded Works - Shenzhen Guanshan Yue Art Museum


The Edge of Chaos is my graduation design. It served as my fixation during my undergraduate years and took about ten months to complete. It is the most personal creation I have invested my energy and time into since learning 3D design. The work is based on motion capture technology and fractal algorithm. My goal was to construct a stage in the virtual space by means of 3D technology.

This design was born out of raw passions and pathways. My curiosity for chaos theory and fractal graphics, my love for dance and stage, and my confusion about the individual versus the collective in contemporary society, these factors were mixed to catalyze such a work in which figurative dancers and abstract graphics are intertwined



In the winter of 2020, the pandemic made our cold world even harsher. The chaotic nature of human society—and this "always on the edge of the cliff" mentality—became more and more debilitating. When considering this catastrophe, I recall an old Chinese saying: "Public opinion is like water, and people's movement is like smoke.” These words describe the fickleness of people's hearts and the unpredictability of collective behavior.

Prophets and experts always seem able to tell the future of the collective. However, the pandemic caused each individual in the collective to undergo a loss of control. I was in the midst of chaos: unable to see, unable to predict, unable to control. This is the original idea of The Edge of Chaos: the dancer dances with the fractal figure. Chaotically, they interact with one another and echo each other. However, the dancer does not know what form this unknown object will take in response to her movements; and even I, the creator, do not know what form it will take after inputting this parameter.

This is the origin of the title: everything is on the verge of losing control, but has not yet spun into utter chaos.

StoryBoard and Scene Design

The vertical narrative structure of the film is quite simple. The dancer slowly looks up in a close-up; the camera enters through the dancer's open mouth (suggesting that it has entered a fantastical, fictional, and non-real space). It begins with a close-up of the dancer's upper body and finally transitions to a scene where the dancer dances with a fractal figure.

In addition, I designed a spatially horizontal narrative in which three different films of the same duration—with the same music and the same structure—are shown simultaneously in the same space. This design is based on my knowledge of the Mandelbrot Set: a beautiful graphic known as "God's fingerprint.” It has three figurative qualities: the fluidity of life, the symmetry of balance, and the mystery of the unknown. Hence, I designed three scenes with different color themes to represent these three qualities.PART1. RED&FLOW

Changing the parameters, the complexity of the Mandelbrot Set either increases or decreases. This state of movement is like rushing water or growing nature, with a vitality reflected by the intense red color. The stage also elevates this feeling, with its wavy ground of many colors.

The Mandelbrot Set has the qualities of balance and central symmetry in most states, which it embodies as a product of mathematics and computers. This scene is therefore presented in a cool, clean blue color.

Fractal graphics have a visual charm due to being a model—a creation derived from pure reason and calculation. It is difficult for human sensibility to understand, so it seems mysterious and unpredictable, just like the starkness of black and white. In this scene, I incorporated abstract oriental ink and wash elements to emphasize this feeling. The camera was positioned overhead to reflect its sense of abstraction and distance.

In order to match the overall scene with the theme of “flow,” I superimposed a water-like animation mask on the lighting. As a result, the light and shadow slowly changed with the flow of fractal graphics.

It either interacts with the dancers as a solid or disappears into a large area as a dot-like figure surrounding the dancers to reflect a sense of balance.

In order to reflect the detachment of the fractal graphics, the "center of gravity" of this fractal graphic is designed to run counter to the dancer. When the dancer peeks out, the part of the fractal graphics that is close to the dancer's body will disappear.

Fractal Design

For this work, I chose one of the most magnificent fractal shapes, the Mandelbrot Set, and varied the set’s basic shape by changing the parameters in the code. I divided these variations into three general categories:

1.The normal Mandelbrot Set, which is the most basic and common form;

2. The spiky Mandelbrot Set, which is a series of fractals with sharp, pointed shapes and a partially vanishing state by adjusting the mask (alpha)

3. The indefinite state, which changes the Mandelbrot Set with parameters at 5 or less. This last appearance differs greatly from the common Mandelbrot Set, causing it to swirl with blurry and unclear edges.

This is the fractal graphics code and parameter control panel I used in Vectron. By adjusting these parameters and giving different materials to the fractal shapes in octane , these shapes can be rendered with a diverse variety of visual effects.

Character Design

Although the protagonist of this work is the Mandelbrot Set, the design of the dancer is also a major focus.

A figurative human dancer moves in tandem with the Mandelbrot Set in order to create a “medium” of reference and comparison for the audience. If a work only has fractal figures representing absolute rationality and nature, the viewer will inevitably feel a sense of irrelevance. The inclusion of the dancer not only reflects the theme of this work, but also creates a "relationship" between the viewer and the fractal figure. By making the contrasting dancer and fractal figure interact, the piece constructs a bridge between the audience and the fractal figure.


Once published, the work received a great deal of recognition, won several awards, and has been exhibited in several galleries.

The best way to exhibit the work is to have three screens placed in a U-shape around the audience, playing simultaneously so that the audience can enjoy all three videos at once. This offers an immersive exhibition experience.

The work has also been projected on the exterior façade of the City-Light Art Center. The original three-part design cannot be shown due to the limitations of the backdrop. However, the magnificent form of the Mandelbrot collection is very effective in the form of architectural projection, as the building makes it difficult to see details but emphasizes the magnificence of the massive object. This is the reason why I turned my attention to large-scale immersive exhibitions and architectural projections in my subsequent works.