Section: New Results

Digital story telling

Analysis of Film Style

Participants : Marc Christie, Hui-Yin Wu, Christophe Lino, Quentin Galvane.

We have designed and made available an open database of annotated film clips together with an analysis of elements of film style related to how the shots are composed, how the transitions are performed between shots and how the shots are sequenced to compose a film unit [29]. The purpose is to initiate a shared repository pertaining to elements of film style which can be used by computer scientists and film analysts alike. Though both research communities rely strongly on the availability of such information to foster their findings, current databases are either limited to low-level features (such as shots lengths, color and luminance information), contain noisy data, or are not available to the communities. The data and analysis we provide open exciting perspectives as to how computational approaches can rely more thoroughly on information and knowledge extracted from existing movies, and also provide a better understanding of how elements of style are arranged to construct a consistent message.

Film Editing Patterns: Thinking like a Director

Participants : Marc Christie, Hui-Yin Wu.

We have introduced Film Editing Patterns (FEP), a language to formalize film editing practices and stylistic choices found in movies. FEP constructs are constraints expressed over one or more shots from a movie sequence [34] that characterize changes in cinematographic visual properties such as shot size, region, angle of on-screen actors.

We have designed the elements of the FEP language, then introduced its usage in annotated film data, and described how it can support users in the creative design of film sequences in 3D. More specifically: (i) we proposed the design of a tool to craft edited filmic sequences from 3D animated scenes that uses FEPs to support the user in selecting camera framings and editing choices that follow certain best practices used in cinema; (ii) we conducted an evaluation of the application with professional and non-professional filmmakers. The evaluation suggested that users generally appreciate the idea of FEP, and that it can effectively help novice and medium experienced users in crafting film sequences with little training and satisfying results.

Directing Cinematographic Drones

Participant : Marc Christie.

We have designed a set of high-level tools for filming dynamic targets with quadrotor drones. To this end, we proposed a specific camera parameter space (the Drone Toric space) together with interactive on-screen viewpoint manipulators compatible with the physical constraints of a drone. We then designed a real-time path planning approach in dynamic environments which ensures both cinematographic properties in viewpoints along the path and ensures the feasibility of the path by a quadrotor drone. We finally have demonstrated how the Drone Toric Space can be combined with our path planning technique to coordinate positions and motions of multiple drones around dynamic targets to ensure the coverture of cinematographic distinct viewpoints. The proposed research prototypes have been evaluation by an experienced drone pilot and filmmaker, as well as by non-experts users. Not only does the tool demonstrate it's benefit in rehearsing complex camera moves for the film and documentary industries, but it demonstrates it's usability for everyday recording of aethetic camera motions.