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Section: New Results

Digital Storytelling

A transversal research of MimeTIC is digital storytelling as it enables to analyse, capture, model and simulate scenarios involving several humans (real and/or virtual). In this context, it is important to propose annotation tools and languages being able to capture such scenarios and stylistic informations before being able to simulate new ones. Moreover, when living an immersive experience in VR the user may want to have a summarize of his experience, which goes beyond simply replaying the recorded motions. Narration techniques can be positively used to highlight key events and actions, with nonlinear storytelling and intelligent camera placement to convey the desired emotion. The research in this field in MimeTIC contributes to the creation of complex stories on social and human themes. Such approaches are more and more required to create interactive storylines, which massively enhances the possibilities of interactive entertainment, training, computer games and digital applications.

Trip Synopsis: virtual camera control applied to route visualisation

Participant : Marc Christie.

Computerized route planning tools are widely used today by travelers all around the globe, while 3D terrain and urban models are becoming increasingly elaborate and abundant. This makes it feasible to generate a virtual 3D flyby along a planned route. Such a flyby may be useful, either as a preview of the trip, or as an after-the-fact visual summary. However, a naively generated preview is likely to contain many boring portions, while skipping too quickly over areas worthy of attention. We have therefore proposed a general interest-driven framework that automatically computes a flyby along a planned route [9]. This flyby relies on an interest function to derive how close and how slow the camera should focus on the interesting areas, while skipping interest-less regions by using elevated smoothed camera motions. To address the problem, we devised a specific iterative solving process that incrementally approaches the optimal camera trajectory by adjusting position and speed.

Flashbacks in narratives

Participants : Marc Christie, Hui-Yin Wu.

The flashback is a well-known storytelling device used to invoke surprise, suspense, or fill in missing details in a story. Film literature provides a deeper and more complex grounding of flashbacks by explaining their role to stimulate the viewer’s memory in order to guide and change viewer comprehension. Yet, in adapting flashback mechanisms to AI storytelling systems, existing approaches have not fully modelled the roles of a flashback event on the viewer’s comprehension and memory. To expand the scope of AI generated stories, we propose a formal definition of flashbacks based on the identification of four different impacts on the viewer’s beliefs. We then establish a cognitive model that can predict how viewers would perceive a flashback event. We finally design a user evaluation to demonstrate that our model correctly predicts the effects of different flashbacks. This opens great opportunities for creating compelling and temporally complex interactive narratives grounded on cognitive models [29].

Embedded Cinematography Patterns for film Analysis

Participants : Marc Christie, Hui-Yin Wu.

Cinematography carries messages on the plot, emotion, or more general feeling of the film. Yet cinematographic devices are often overlooked in existing approaches to film analysis. To solve this limitation, we present Embedded Constrained Patterns (ECPs), a dedicated query language to search annotated film clips for sequences that fulfill complex stylistic constraints [28]. ECPs are groups of framing and sequencing constraints defined using vocabulary in film textbooks. Using a set algorithm, all occurrences of the ECPs can be found in annotated film sequences. We use a film clip from the Lord of the Rings to demonstrate a range of ECPs that can be detected, and analyse them in relation to story and emotions in the film.