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Section: New Results

Interactive Virtual Cinematography

Participants : Marc Christie [contact] , Christophe Lino, Cunka Sanokho.

The domain of Virtual Cinematography explores the operationalization of rules and conventions pertaining to camera placement, light placement and staging in virtual environments. Within the context of the ANR CHROME project, we have tackled the problem of portraying events in complex crowd simulations using steering behaviors. The system we proposed relies on Reynolds’ model of steering behaviors to control and locally coordinate a collection of camera agents similar to a group of reporters. In our approach, cameras are either in a scouting mode, searching for relevant events to convey, or in a tracking mode following one or more unfolding events. The key benefit, in addition to the simplicity of the steering rules, holds in the capacity of the system to adapt to the evolving complexity of crowd simulations by self-organizing the cameras to track most of the events. The results have been presented as the Motion in Games conference [21] .

We have also created a table-top interactive application to offer collaborative and high-level control on multi-dimensional and temporal data. This has been applied to the collaborative control of cinematographic parameters in a virtual movie, using our cinematographic engine [26] .

In the ANR project Cinecitta, we have proposed means to evaluate the sens of balance in synthetic shots. Balance represents the equilibrium of visual weights in the screen, i.e. equilibrium of the visual interests one perceives. Balance is a key criteria in the aesthetics of a shot, and only a few approaches have seriously tackled this issue. In our approach, we rely on a dataset of well-balanced shot extracted from real movies to construct a balance feature space. The balance feature space is then used to estimate the sense of balance in new synthetic shot. We have furthermore extended the approach by automatically recomputing viewpoints to improve balance. A journal paper is under submission in Computer Graphics Forum.