Technical Reports:   

Why Common Sense for Video Production? IC Technical Report 2002-00-00 00:00:00
Barry B; Davenport G

Video cameras are becoming cheap, small and ubiquitous. With advances in memory, cameras will increasingly be designed to be always ready, always recording. When cameras are always ready, how will videographers -- professional and/or amateur -- decide what to shoot, when to shoot and how to index their video material to best support their communication requirements? In this paper, we describe an approach and early experiments that use a commonsense database and reasoning techniques to support a partnership between the camera and videographer during video capture. We describe a new paradigm for producing commonsense video metadata and describe how it can have a positive impact on video content capture, representation, and presentation.

Video Database Design: Convivial Storytelling Tools IC Technical Report 1994-04-00 00:00:00
Davenport G; Morgenroth L

Traditionally video and film stories have been developed by a single author for a single release movie. Increasingly, video databases will be constructed as content libraries. These libraries will be used to deliver personalized messages to people who know very little about video story construction or editing. The challenge in making these systems usable is to develop story telling tools for those unsophisticated users. Story generation presumes some input by the user, first to create appropriate video description and second to suggest a story to tell. This paper offers an overview of some methods of description which have been associated with particular types of video logging and databases in the past. A general problem with these systems has been how to develop video annotations with efficiency and consistency. A new approach, story based annotation, is proposed. In this method a tool set is used for creating a top down story abstraction. Coupled with automatic database selection, this tool set allows the user to encode story based annotations and expert knowledge about editing into the database while producing stories. As the database grows, it becomes structured and annotated by a process appropriate to the medium, namely storytelling. This structuring process optimizes the database for retrieval of video in a story form.

LogBoy: A Graphical Interface for Narrative Databases IC Technical Report 1993-04-00 00:00:00
Evans R; Davenport G

Filmmakers who create both interactive and linear video experiences are beginning to experiment with a new production technique using annotated video databases and description-based story-structures. This process calls for a new type of video logging tool which will serve the specific needs of the filmmaker, including temporal representation, sketchy description bases, contextual description generation and overhead views of descriptions. LogBoy is a prototype video logging tool which addresses these needs by centering the logging process around descriptive characteristics rather than the video itself. The paper describes the motivation for and design of LogBoy's graphical interface.

Maitre-D: A Site-based Agent for Web-Page Recommendation IC Technical Report 1997-01-00 00:00:00
Lachman R

This project explores website-based agents, designed to provide direction and recommendations to visiting clients. Time, processing power and intimate knowledge of the content being served are leveraged on the server-side, to allow suggestions and linkages to be pushed to users, based on their current interests and browsing history.

Agents that can accurately model their user's preferences, and communicate that information to one another as necessary, seem to be a focus of much recent industry attention. However, live users aren't the only information-producing bodies on the net; in fact, user-to-user interactions may make up just a small portion of useful net or Web traffic today. The bulk of information, from a consumer's point of view, sits on static web-sites, waiting to be explicitly pulled to a client. Site designers can only convey as much organizational information as fits on a navigation bar, and can't emphasize or de-emphasize content based on a user's interests. The information on a site is assembled according to how the site-designer thinks a user will want to browse -- and, while intelligent layout and authoring has a lot to be said for it, all hierarchies cannot be all things to all users.

Maitre-D is a preliminary step in addressing that issue. Using a combination of site-indexing, context-sensitive searches, and a layout/display system, it tries to convey "just-in-time" linkages between individual pieces of content. Rather than relying solely on fixed hyperlinks, it suggesting current contextually relevant locations the user may wish to experience.

Let\'s See That Again: A Multiuse Video Database Project IC Technical Report 1994-00-00 00:00:00
Morgenroth L; Davenport G

In the past, video production has had three distinct phases: content collection, logging, and video editing. Production was a fairly linear process, with little overlap or communication among the three phases. Typically, logging supported editing to produce single use structures. With the advent of digital video technology, we can imagine the production of multiuse video databases. These databases pose the problem of how to describe content for multiple use.

In addition to the problems involved in building video databases, users face major problems in navigating the database. Users may have trouble locating their desired content because, they don't know what is available, they don't know how to effectively use the modes of access, and they, perhaps most importantly, don't know what they want.

The video database project discussed in this paper is rethinking the role and use of description in video databases. A toolset of three applications has been created to give the user more powerful control over video. These applications also aim to make the process of attaching and using descriptions for video more efficient. These tools minimize the task of conventional annotation, and redirect that energy to the process of making stories. By using the toolset for creating stories, the user encodes story based annotations and expert knowledge about editing into the database. Thereby, the database grows and becomes structured by the process of building stories. This structuring process optimizes the database for retrieval of video in a story form.

M-Views Evaluation IC Technical Report 2003-10-00 00:00:00
Pan P; Crow D; Kam L; Stolzman W; Mao M; Davenport G

Our goal is to investigate how the audience will participate in mobile cinema and how the M-Views system will support both presentation and creation of mobile cinema content. We are going to conduct four evaluation studies: "MIT in Pocket", "15 Minutes", Media Lab tour production, and Media Lab tour presentation. Each study focuses on several technical, aesthetic, and methodological issues in mobile cinema...

Lurker: A Thinkie for the Society of Audience IC Technical Report 1995-00-00 00:00:00
Morgenroth L; Davenport G

This paper introduces the newest example of a form of interactive cinema called "thinkies." Thinkies use the medium of interaction along with cinema, to elicit a thought experience in an audience.

Lurker is a thinkie designed for multiple participants. The collection of individuals that experience Lurker make up a society of audience. Lurker uses an immersive environment to engage this audience in a community built around a story.

The Internet serves as both the medium for distribution and as the basis for interaction in Lurker. As a thinkie, Lurker is designed to engage its participants in the "hacker ethic." Through the use of story and interaction, participants in Lurker experience the content from the perspective of a hacker; the participants are also encouraged to do some hacking themselves.

Multiscale Coding of Images: Approaching the Problem from a Filmmaker\'s Perspective IC Technical Report 1988-00-00 00:00:00
Lasky A

The use of the video coding system proposed by William J. Butera in the thesis "Multiscale Coding of Images" is explored in terms of its relevance to current and proposed work in the Film/Video Group. Also, utilizing knowledge of motion picture techniques, a strategy for the possible optimization of the encoding process is explored.

LogBoy and FilterGirl: Tools for Personalizable Movies IC Technical Report 1993-08-00 00:00:00
Evans R

LogBoy and FilterGirl constitute a toolkit designed specifically for building personalizable movies which use a fluid interaction mode. Fluid interaction is an important interaction metaphor which relies on narrative playout which is uninterrupted by the interface. By avoiding periodic viewer queries, fluid interaction encourages reverie and continuity in storytelling. Fluid interaction requires not only an interactive story structure, but also a machine-readable representation of content. LogBoy and FilterGirl provide tools for these ends. LogBoy is a video database tool which allows the moviemaker to attached descriptions to video clips. LogBoy's interface provides a graphical "overhead" view of descriptions which aids in the creative process. FilterGirl provides a way for creators to quickly and easily create personalizable story structures. FilterGirl implements a filter-based story description language as well as a story structure previewing facility. Functionality of the tool set is discussed as well as interface design and implementation details.

The Galatea Network Video Device Control System, Version 2.5 Project Athena Technical Report 1991-00-00 00:00:00
Applebaum D

"Galatea" is a network transparent video device control system, providing reliable access to various video devices in a distributed network environment. This paper describes many features of "Galatea", in addition to a description of the goals and strategies used in creating the system, and contains a manual for the C language programming interface.

The Combinatorics of Storytelling: \"Mystery Train\" Interactive IC Technical Report 1990-04-00 00:00:00
Bruckman A

What is an interactive story? The traditional idea of a "story" is linear - it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. There is an apparent contradiction in the phrase "interactive story," because non-linearity [1] is essential to interactivity.

It is difficult to imagine what a non-linear story might look like. Some modernist fiction can be viewed as non-linear. In a class on James Joyce's Ulysses, one professor advised his students to approach the work non-linearly saying, "when you get tired of Stephen's arrogance, read a little of Molly or Leopold." [2] He was telling his students to guide their reading not by the order of the page numbers but by their desires. In a non-linear work, the viewer must be guided by his/her model of what he/she would like to know. This explains why many viewers find multimedia interesting only if they were already interested in the basic subject matter...

Issues and Strategies for Computerized Delivery of Videodisk-Based Materials IC Technical Report 1987-05-00 00:00:00
Bradley B

A rapidly-growing "library" of movies and slide collections is available on CAV optical videodisks. This important resource is expanding even before delivery systems which take full advantage of its power are available. In the future, videodisk material will be delivered by sophisticated computers using a standard set of commands, data structures, and user-interface functions; in the meantime, chaos reigns.

Computers need several hardware devices, software routines, and data resources to control the delivery of videodisk-based materials. They need an interface to extract instructions from the User, a component to translate User requests into an ordered sequence of specific actions, and device drivers to control display by videodisk players. These components can be very simple or highly complex, providing different levels of functionality and "friendliness" to the user.

An ideal delivery system will provide extensive User resources, accessible through a transparent, easy-to-use interface. Disk contents must be described by database structures which capture meaningful, accurate information: computer searches and manipulation of these data representations must yield reasonable, repeatable results. The system should include intelligent routines which minimize demands on the user and automatically optimize the personal environment. Several existing systems make progress towards these goals, and many good paradigms have been refined, but no single design has been overwhelmingly successful.

Videodisk authoring and delivery systems pose critical, unanswered design questions which will bestow immortality on the foresighted and doom the machine-dependent. Proper construction of these resources, and useful routines for their exploitation, also raise difficult issues of perception and cognition. These issues are discussed in the context of an experimental videodisk-based workstation for students, currently being constructed with the assistance of M.I.T.'s Film/Video Section.

Tired of Giving In: An Experiment in Narrative Unfolding Technical Report 1999-00-00 00:00:00
Strohecker C; Brooks K; Friedlander L

We present a model for structuring computer-based narratives so that viewers can interact without changing the story. Instead, interactions reveal the story through varying perspectives and at varying levels of detail. The story maintains its integrity while taking on progressively deeper meanings. Viewers are like members of a Greek chorus who query characters and comment on events. We describe lessons learned from a prototype that retells the story of the 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks and events leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Lessons include observations about narrative structure, writing to support narrative unfolding through user interaction, designing the multimedia interface to communicate conditions for interactivity, and implementing the program so that information about viewer interactions helps to control the presentation. We include projections for using the chorus model to support multiuser interactions.

Moving Pictures: Looking out / looking in Tech Note, MLE, Dublin 2004-06-00 00:00:00
Vaucelles C; Davenport G

Moving Pictures, a concept we are currently developing, is an accessible, robust multiuser unit and a set of physical tools that enables young users to explore, manipulate and share video content with others.
This project involves a collaborative approach that supports social interaction in group work. It proposes exploration, methods and and a tangible tool set for creation of copresent video play.

Digital Liberties Tech Note, MLE, Dublin 2004-07-00 00:00:00
Nisi V; Davenport G; Haahr M

We hypothesize s that the relating, capturing, re-enacting and re-distribution of historical and personal narratives as told by community members can play an important role in fostering a sense of place.

Many community based storytelling projects are happening nowadays. Some develop methods to assist people in producing their own stories with the use of digital media and broadcast their results in different forms such as online journals (Silver stringers, storytelling websites (bbc capture Wales: ) or radio or tv programmes (Voices: .

Our work differs from the above mentioned in the production and delivery methods. Positioning and mobile wireless Technology is employed in the delivery of the stories in the location where they happened. We believe that this technique of delivery serves as a catalyst that will enable us to collect memories and location based anecdotes from the community members themselves.

Emonic Environment Users Guide Tech Report 2006-01-00 00:00:00
Nemirovsky P

The Emonic Environment (EE for short) allows you to create, browse, compose, and exchange audio, video and text in an improvisational manner. It is designed to provide you a new kind of interaction with a computer, one in which the computer takes an active role in determining the content of what is being is created. It makes your media look, sound, and behave differently than how it would have if you were the only “decision maker” in its design, who used the computer for no more than executing ideas. In the EE, the computer contributes to the creation process in various ways which will be described later on.

To input media into the EE you can use cell phones, stills cameras, video cameras, and microphones. Controlling the EE can be done using a mouse, keyboard, MIDI controllers, sensors, and cell phones. The operation of the EE, once you get the meaning of different elements, is pretty straightforward: you add, connect, and modify three types of elements: nodes, actions, and emons.

Multiple Views of Digital Video Interactivve Cinema Tech Report 1992-03-00 00:00:00
Elliot E

Recordings of moving pictures can be displayed in a variety of different ways to show what they hold. The historical and most absorbing way is to display the images through a rapid succession of full screen frames. However different forms of presentation can be used to emphasize different attributes. The video streamer positions frames of digital video sequentially in front of each other with a slight offset from frame to frame; visually this appears as a three dimensional extrusion of the video stream in time which emphasizes differences along the side and top edges of adjacent frames. In this way the video streamer helps us see characteristics between frames and across shots such as transition types and cutting rhythms. While viewing the video stream one can select bounds of interest in time; this area can be adjusted using a rubbing motion along the stream. The micro-viewer shows us more precise frame to frame relationships, based on the portion of the video stream we have currently selected. The shot parser uses a frame differencing algorithm to offer a helpful element of machine assisted abstract analysis.

These three components, the video streamer, the micro- viewer, and the shot parser, are described in terms of functionality and their relationships to one another. An architecture for a more extensive parsing algorithm is suggested. And some possible applications for these tools are also discussed.

Comic Creation Game for StoryNet Tech Report 2004-06-21 00:00:00
Williams R

The StoryNet pro ject aims to collect information about stories to further machine under- standing of the common sense aspect of human experience. A story by this definition is a causal series of events or states. The existing OpenMind website has been effective at gathering information about the relationships between everyday ob jects, such as “shampoo is found in the bathroom”. The Common Sense group also wishes to collect information about how events normally are sequenced, such as, “Eric was thirsty. Eric took milk out of the fridge. Eric drank the milk, and was satisfied.” Ministories such as these can teach a great deal about motivation and a combination of actions leading to a result.

Story knowledge will prove to be useful in a number of areas. Computer games could use the knowledge collected to auto-generate storylines and more realistic characters. Economists, statisticians, actuaries, and advertisers could use the story knowledge to model populations. The Cyc pro ject uses a similar database of knowledge to check consistency across databases. StoryNet will get some of its input the same way ConceptNet and LifeNet do: through mining the inputs of people on the Web. There is currently no official interface for this purpose. One interface exists that allows people to simply create stories in textual form, either by typing or by dragging and dropping prefabricated sentences, but it is not the ideal interface. I would like to make an interface that is so engaging that people keep on coming back and entering more and more sophisticated stories. This interface would be a game.

Hopstory II Tech Report 2004-07-04 00:00:00
Nisi V; Flanagan S; Davenport G; Haahr M

Hopstory II is novel in the way it distributes narrative content in the same building where the story took place, applying narrative theory and new technologies to the practice of mobile distributed cinema.

Multiple Point Of View story structure is used to represent the same events lived from different characters perspectives; the story time is mapped to real time and different locations of the building yield different media segments to the wandering audience. Bluetooth technology is used to retrieve multimedia content; a mobile device guides the audience through their exploration of the space, time and characters P.O.V. by providing them with clues to help orient them selves in the experience. An interactive map of the building on the portable device highlight where the story fragments are located and when the audience members are in range with them; a Meow sound signals when the device can see a story node in the form of a cat sculpture, and text cues appear on the device screen, of where the encountered characters are going next to allow the audience to chose if and who to follow

The Slipstream Project Tech Report 1989-09-00 00:00:00
Lasky A; Davenport G

Since the beginning of cinema, motion picture production has evolved a methodology for communicating necessary data about the film to a wide range of production personnel whose actions will affect the final product. From initial conception and visualization to direction, editing and final printing, much of the information which shapes the common vision for the story is visually represented and/or identified by location within the story. Traditionally, the data generated over the course of a film's realization has been isolated within specific stages of production: pre-production and planning, Production and Shooting, and post- production. Pre-production, for example, with its volumes of storyboards, notes, location photographs, conceptual art and design passes surprisingly little information on to the shooting crew and editorial. This isolation of data has been shaped in part by the nature of the technology used to record the information: paper, the usual recording and storage medium, is bulky, can be damaged easily, and cannot be updated easily...