The Un/Real Duet: Intimacy & Agency through Interaction with a Virtual Character MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1998-02-00 00:00:00
Baird, Freedom

The duet is a wonderfully appealing mode of interaction between two individuals. Its playful intimacy fosters an environment of shared agency in which expression through a common language yields a creative product. Our experience of art in a host of media primes us to enjoy duets that transpire, not just between two people, but also between a person and a virtual character. These virtual characters are both real in that they have form -- visual, aural, mechanical -- and make us feel things, and unreal -- they're fleshless, bloodless ink on paper, data in chips, scanlines on a screen, collections of logical constructs.

This thesis presents the un/real duet as a useful form for structuring an interaction between a human participant and a virtual character. Theoretical and practical contexts explored are:

* Use of personal portraiture and immersion to establish intimacy
* Crafting character by modeling consciousness
* Gestural language as communication during the duet
* Recombinant poetics as the creative product of the duet

Presented and critiqued is the installation, "Sashay/Sleep Depraved," in which a participant uses emotionally evocative gestures to interact with a larger-than-life-sized virtual character, the Sleeper, by constructing an animated dream. Media Lab technologies integrated into the installation and discussed here include: automated editors, 'fish' sensors, and the Isis scripting language. An accompanying video tape demonstrates the installation in use.

Finally, two strategies for developing an un/real duet are offered: a method for establishing intimacy and agency, and a model for producing virtual characters. The thesis concludes with a consideration of our motives in creating these characters.

Story Beads: a wearable for distributed and mobile storytelling MS in Media Arts & Sciences, MIT 2000-09-06 00:00:00
Barry, Barbara A.

Stories take hundreds of different forms and serve many functions. They can be as energetic as an entire life story or as simple as a case of directions to a favorite beach. Storytelling processes are challenge and changed by technological developments in the worlds of text and image manipulation. The invention of writing changed the story from an orally recounted form which was mediated by the storyteller, to a recorded exact version, instead of a fleeting experience, a spoken weaving of the storyteller's tale. The story became an immutable object. In cinema stories are told with a sequence of juxtaposed still images moving at a speed fast enough to fool the eye into seeing a continually changing image instead of one image after another. Television eventually coerced storytelling into 30-minute segments linked together, week by week, over a season broadcast to a large audience. The invention of the computer allowed storytelling to become flexible within a smaller granularity of content. Using the computer capabilities for storage and manipulation of information, authors can design stories and present them to different viewing audiences in different ways. Mobile computing, like the technological developments that came before it, will demand its own storytelling processes and story forms.

This thesis defines a specific storytelling process, which I call "Transactional Storytelling." Transactional Storytelling is the construction of story through trade and repurposing of images and image sequences.

"StoryBeads" are wearable computers designed as a tool for constructing image-based stories by allowing users to sequence and trade story pieces of image and text. StoryBeads are modular, wearable computer necklaces made of tiny computer "beads" capable of storing or displaying images. Beads communicate by infrared light, allowing the trade of digital images by beaming from bead to bead or by trade of a physical bead containing images.

My thesis proposes a tool for mobile story creation that will produce a unique storytelling process for constructing image-based stories.

Metalinear Cinematic Narrative: Theory, Process, and Tool Ph. D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1999-06-00 00:00:00
Brooks, Kevin

Media entertainment technology is evolving rapidly. From radio to broadcast television to cable television, from motion picture film to the promise of digital video disks, as the media evolves, so do the stories told over these media. We already share many more stories and more types of stories from many more sources than we did a decade ago. This is due in part to the development of computer technology, the globalization of computer networks, and the emerging new medium which is an amalgam of television and the internet. The storyteller will need to invent new creative processes and work with new tools which support this new medium, this new narrative form.

This thesis proposes the name Metalinear Narrative for the new narrative form. The metalinear narrative is a collection of small related story pieces designed to be arranged in many different ways, to tell many different linear stories from different points of view, with the aid of a story engine.

Agent Stories is the software tool developed as part of this research for designing and presenting metalinear cinematic narratives. Agent Stories is comprised of a set of environments for authoring pieces of stories, authoring the relationships between the many story pieces, and for designing an abstract narrative structure for sequencing those pieces. Agent Stories also provides a set of software agents called story agents, which act as the drivers of the story engine. My thesis is that a writing tool which offers the author knowledgeable feedback about narrative construction and context during the creative process is essential to the task of creating metalinear narratives of significant dimension.

MOOSE Crossing:Construction, Community, and Learning in a Networked Virtual World for Kids Ph. D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1997-08-09 00:00:00
Bruckman, Amy Susan

In research about the Internet, too much attention is paid to its ability to provide access to information. This thesis argues that the Internet can be used not just as a conduit for information, but as a context for learning through community-supported collaborative construction. A "constructionist" approach to use of the Internet makes particularly good use of its educational potential. The Internet provides opportunities to move beyond the creation of constructionist tools and activities to the creation of "constructionist cultures."

These issues are explored through a specific example: MOOSE Crossing, a text-based virtual world (or "MUD") designed to be a constructionist learning environment for children ages 8 to 13. On MOOSE Crossing, children have constructed a virtual world together, making new places, objects, and creatures. Kids have made baby penguins that respond differently to five kinds of food, fortune tellers who predict the future, and the place at the end of the rainbow - answer a riddle, and you get the pot of gold.

This thesis discusses the design principles underlying a new programming language (MOOSE) and client interface (MacMOOSE) designed to make it easier for children to learn to program on MOOSE Crossing. It presents a detailed analysis, using an ethnographic methodology, of children's activities and learning experiences on MOOSE Crossing, with special focus on seven children who participated in a weekly after-school program from October 1995 through February 1997.

In its analysis of children's activities, this thesis explores the relationship between construction and community. It describes how the MOOSE Crossing children motivated and supported one another's learning experiences: community provided support for learning through design and construction. Conversely, construction activities helped to create a particularly special, intellectually engaging sort of community. Finally, it argues that the design of all virtual communities, not just those with an explicitly educational focus, can be enhanced by a constructionist approach.

The Electronic Scrapbook: Towards an Intelligent Home-Video Editing System MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1991-03-17 00:00:00
Bruckman, Amy Susan

How many people's home videos remain unedited and unwatched? Home video is a growing cultural phenomenon; however, few consumers have the time, equipment, and skills needed to edit their work. The Electronic Scrapbook is an environment designed to encourage people to use home video as a creative medium. The systema nd the user collaborate to create home-video stories.

This work addresses issues of knowledge representation and interface design. Semantic knowledge representation is evaluated as a way to represent information about complex, temporal. media. A modified form of case-based reasoning, "knowledge-based templates," is used to explore what a computational model of a home-video story might be.

WATCH * GRAB * ARRANGE * SEE: Thinking with Motion Images via Streams and Collages MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1993-01-15 00:00:00
Elliot, Edward Lee

Filmmakers experience a creative reverie seldom enjoyed by novices. That reverie comes as one pieces together thoughts embodied in motion images. This these borrows the manipulation of motion images from editing for the purposes of viewing. It suggests a collection of tools for grabbing elements from video streams and for manipulating them as a way of critical viewing.

Motion images are usually conveyed sequentially. The tools suffested here allow a viewer to transfer from sequential images streams to collages of parallel images. The "video streamer" presents moviont picture time as a three dimensional block of images flowing away from us in distance and in time. The streamer's rendering reveals a number of temporal aspects of a video stream. The accompanying "shot parser" automatically segments any given video stream into separate shots, as the streamer flows. The collage provides an environment for arranging clips plucked from a sequential stream as associations of parallel elements. This process of arranging motion images is presentaed as an engagin viewing activity. The focus is on viewing utensils, but these tools provide an alternative perspective to video elements that also has bearing on editing.

LogBoy Meets FilterGirl: A Toolkit for Multivariant Movies MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1994-02-00 00:00:00
Evans, Ryan George

This thesis describes two tools, LogBoy and FilterGirl, which are designed for creating multivariant movies. Multivariant movies are movies which playout differently each time they are presented. Variances in playout can be based on viewer interaction, available content or viewing context. By making use of annotated video databases, multivariant movies can be created which sequence video autonomously based on viewer preferences rather than driving playout through periodic viewer queries. Periodic viewer queries, an interface technique used by most current interactive narratives, detract from the storytelling process by interrupting the viewer's immersion in the story.

LogBoy is a video database tool which helps moviemakers create the sketchy video annotations that are needed for description-based multivariant movies. FilterGirl is a tool for creating and editing the playout constraints that guide the sequencing of video clips. This thesis describeds the structure and use of LogBoy and FilterGirl as well as exploring the issues involved in creating tools for multivariant movie production. LogBoy and FilterGirl's use in multivariant movie production is illustrated with an extended example.

Cinema Server = s/t (story over time): An Interface for Interactive Motion Picture Design MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1992-05-00 00:00:00
Fitch, Stephan J.

Over the past hundred years, cinema has evolved with a few giant steps and many small ones. The crux of the giant steps has been the extension of film language. In general these steps have been enabled by a comparable jump in the flexibility of the technology.

Digital movie delivery environments invite interaction and personalization on the part of a participant viewer. This invitation to the viewer to shape his/her experience, requires powerful scenarios which will ultimately be shaped by people whose propensity is to communicate through making. Today's tools for making and paradigms for interactive intervention are paltry and require new thinking. This thesis includes such scripting and previsualization tools which link directly to the front-end browsing interface that is supplied to the viewer. Therefore all scenarios for editing and the delivery of the content will have been demonstrated and tested before a single roll of film has been shot.

The thesis prototype includes an interface for browsing a large database of movie titles and an interactive multithreaded narrative which is controllable using this interface paradigm. The browser uses the metaphor of a video tape box as a presentation device. The multithreaded narrative uses indicators on the box as interactive controls. The browser will be displayed large screen, living-room style and will be controlled by a remote device.

This thesis will offer a foundation for designing tools, creating narratives, evaluating the cinematic quality of future experiments in interactive cinema and the delivery of such digital movies over current and future network paradigms. The model of such environment is appropriately called CINEMA SERVER.

PERCEPTION, AESTHETICS, AND CULTURE IN NEW MEDIA: viewer perception of the Film Look in light of HDTV or, FILM vs. VIDEO Master of Science in Visual Studies, MIT 1988-06-00 00:00:00
Foley, Kimberly Ann

The goal of this research is to determine if viewers (mass audience and media professionals) perceive differences between film-originated and video-originated television programming. A secondary goal is to produce a video clip in what is traditionally considered film style, paying the same attention to detail that is normally reserved for a film production. The "Kraus and..." dance company was selected to provide appropriate material for the research. A parallel film-based and video-based dance performance was produced and then shown on side-by-side screens to 250 subjects. Fifty of those viewers (selected to achieve an "expert" and a "mass audience" sample) were also asked to view a series of film and video clips and participate in a depth interview. "Dance in Parallel", the film and video program, is submitted as part of this thesis.

These studies demonstrate that viewers can see a difference between the film-originated and video-originated materials when viewed side by side, and can usually tell which is which. There are consistent patterns that have more to do with cultural fashions than with direct observation and hence the interaction of content and format is much more subtle than we had imagined. Although there is much that remains to be done in this area of research, the results from these first studies should be taken into account when considering a new television standard, i.e.high definition television.

Narrative Guidance of Interactivity Doctor of Philosophy 1995-05-05 00:00:00
Gaylean, Tinsley Azariah III

Making narrative interactive promises to add a new depth and richness to the act of storytelling. It will allow us to experience story at a new level, more profoundly affecting us than ever before. But to do this we need to understand how a viewer can participate in a drama in interesting and engaging ways without disrupting the plot -- which is the essential structure that transforms a mere sequence of events into a story.

This thesis describes an approach to interactive narrative that divides narrative into levels; the plot level which represents the high level goals, intentions, and events of the story, and the presentation level representing the geometry, motion and camera which produces the images seen by the viewer. Today's immersive interface technology provides a seamless and compelling link between the viewer and the presentation level. But the link between the plot level and the presentation level remains unexplored. This document described techniques as well as a theory for seamless integration of transitions (the plot's influence on the camera) and the manipulation of staging (the plot's influence on the geometry and motion) into interactive, immersive narratives.

By introducing these techniques while allowing the viewer to influence the presentation, a new method and vocabulary for storytelling has been created. This new partnership between the story and the viewer allows the presentation to be manipulated while the plot assures that story will find the viewer regardless of his/her actions.

Interpreting the Female Voice: An Application of Art and Media Technology Doctor of Philosophy, Program in Communication Technology and Culture 1986-02-00 00:00:00
Gerstein, Rosalyn Gale

This thesis is composed of two parts: this document, and an interactive movie, MARITAL FRACTURE: A MORAL TALE. My interest is in the documentation of women's lives, a process I explored with five major goals:

1. Document the experiences of women. The lives of women are not represented to the extent that men's lives are. Equitable social policies must be based on an accurate perception of society; therefore women must be added to the equation.

2. Examine divorce as a crisis of communication. Marital mediation is a new solution which attempts to avoid the negative aspects of litigation. Imbalances for women often result, due to the continuing practice of separating issues of relationship and emotion from financial and legal responsibilities. Since mediation is often chosen to establish joint custody, it is antithetical to overlook communication problems in what must be a continuing co-parent relationship.

3. Use visual ethnography to portray the subject. The use of a medium like video allows for the melding of three voices: those of a participant/observer, subject, and audience. This provides a fertile ground for the gathering of cultural data, and a sense of reality absent from academic abstraction.

4. Interpret the female voice. The conflict between the male and female 'morality of relationship' in marriage is typified by contrasting emphases on dialogue and respect. Untangling these moral frameworks creates a reflective context in which the observer becomes artist. A vivid portrait is transformed into a cultural artifact.

5. Use new media technology to disseminate the findings. Media can speed the process of cultural self-perception. The accurate representation of female experience in a period of rapid social change has the potential to effect the quality of women's lives and their family relationships. Video, computer, and videodisc technologies can be used as tools to mix portrayals of events, behavior, and ideas in a common presentation, where they can be scrutinized and evaluated in greater detail than is possible with other media.

Digital Cinema: An Environment for Multi-threaded Stories Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences 1993-09-00 00:00:00
Halliday, Mark David

This thesis explores how simple interactive narratives can be constructed from a large collection of digital video clips described in a database. Constructing such narratives means encoding story structures that can allow the computer to choose appropriate clips from the database as the story progresses over time, referred to as orchestration, and establishing rules controlling how and where images appear on-screen, referred to as positional editing. The aim of this thesis is to use orchestration and positional editing to create an environment within which it is possible to view, interact with and understand multi-threaded narratives.

The Moviemaker's Workspace: Towards a 3D Environment for Pre-Visualization MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1994-08-05 00:00:00
Higgins, Scott Clark

This thesis explores problems related to the use of 3D computer graphics environments for cinematic pre-visualization. Traditional 3D environments are difficult for moviemakers to use both because they are slow and the interface does not provide the moviemaker with an appropriate language for creating camera views. The Moviemaker's Workspace was developed to explore a knowledge based solution to this problem. Central goals of the system were to provide a cinematically acceptable interface, and to the greatest extent possible to speed up the blocking of characters and action on the set. The solutions were tested by simulating a pre-visualization of the motion picture "Casablanca."

The thesis work implemented three aspects of a pre-visualization interface. First, the system transcodes the familiar cinematic language into computer graphics views. Second, the system makes use of 2D video objects to simulate 3D characters. Finally, the system has limited knowledge about styles of cinematic scenes.

Viewpoints on Demand: Tailoring the Presentation of Opinions in Video Master of Science in Media Arts & Sciences 1994-09-00 00:00:00
Houbart, Gilberte

A model of interaction is presented for a home based system generating evolving documentaries that can be tailored according to the viewer's interests in a given viewpoint or story. This model takes advantage of the strong points in the linear experience that television and movies have traditionally offered by letting the story flow while allowing the viewer's intervention to constrain it. The journalist works in this personalized context by shaping the material for the video database using graphical annotation for video content and story structure.

The framework developed is used to revel a special angle on the Gulf War: information technologies tuned this event into a landmark in the history of not only media but also warfare. The amount of information available to the troops and the public reached levels never seen in previous conflicts.

By adjusting "content knobs" and selecting headlines the viewer sets the ways the story will be presented. You might favor the view of a particular journalist or of the view of the former Director of Information for the Pentagon on the selected issue. Maybe you had planned to spend two hours but changed your mind in the middle of the documentary, asking for a shortened version. All these adjustments increase control over content. The scenario I just described could be seen as a component of a "smart VCR."

An Experiment in Form: The Merging of Cinema-Verite Documentary and Narrative Filmmaking MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1988-09-20 00:00:00
Hrechdakian, Karine

The purpose of this thesis was to experiment in form, where borrowing from the cinema-verite approach and the more traditional narrative construction of Hollywood, a film was made which attempts to straddle both genres. This paper discusses the techniques and the methods used to achieve this. The film was shot over two summers, enabling a comparison to be drawn between the initial attempt and the second more defined and experienced shoot.

Documentary and narrative filmmaking are defined in their techniques, historical, and socio-economical framework, in order to support the aim of this experiment.

In light of advances in the development of end-to-end digital transmission, the future of movie distribution is considered. Submitted with the written portion of this thesis is a VHS transfer of the thesis film.

PlusShorts: Using Punctuation as an Iconic System for Describing and Augmenting Video Structure Master of Science, Media Arts and Sciences Program 2001-05-00 00:00:00
Kelliher, Aisling Geraldine Mary

Affordable digital cameras, high bandwidth connectivity and large-scale video hosting websites are combining to offer an alternative mode of production and channel of distribution for independent filmmakers and home moviemakers. There is a growing need to develop systems that meaningfully support the desires of these filmmakers to communicate and collaborate effectively with others and to propel cinematic storytelling into new and dynamic realms.

This document proposes the development of a networked software application, called PlusShorts, that will allow a distributed group of users to contribute to and collaborate upon the creation of shared movie sequences. This system introduces an iconic language, consisting of punctuation symbols, for annotating, sharing and interpreting conceptual ideas about cinematic structure. The PlusShorts application presents individual movie sequences as elements within an evolving cinematic storyspace, where participants can explore, collaborate and share ideas.

MILESTONE: Computer Orchestrated Asynchronous Sound and Picture Editing Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences 1995-05-00 00:00:00
Kung, David Lyn

Previous research in digital video orchestration has demonstrated the computer's ability to edit sequences based upon a cooperation between video databases and encoded story knowledge. These systems, however, manipulate sound and picture as a single unit. The next generation digital video systems will need to combine the encoded story knowledge with the ability to manipulate audio and video separately. This thesis creates the infrastructure to support computer orchestrated editing in which sound and picture are treated as separate, complementary tracks.

MILESTONE is comprised of two modules. A video annotation component which builds upon previous research in video databases provides the means to create a knowledge represenation. A robust set of editing functions provide editing functionality. Potential applications of and arguments for similar applications to MILESTONE are discussed in light of theoretical inquiries into hypertext, cinematic narration, and video orchestration.

Animist Interface: Experiments in Mapping Character Animation to Computer Interface MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1997-09-00 00:00:00
Lachman, Richard W.

This thesis presents a collection of techniques for integrating character and setting with software agent communication. "Animist Interface" supplements and supplants traditional interface elements such as plain-text dialogue boxes, static images and monotone audio to create a richer, more cinematic messaging environment. The techniques animate subtle nuances on the periphery of the user's attention to increase the bandwidth of computer/user communication.

The problem area is defined by two questions: First, how can we use character-based interfaces to make agent communication more efficient, meaningful, and enjoyable? Second, how can cinematographic techniques for directing, supporting and presenting character and setting inform this interface? Several principles of Animist Interface are explored, including the use of lightweight characters for communication, the scaling of prominence with relevance, and the use of virtual lighting and camera-work within an interface. Simple software agents were created, which communicate proactively with the user in the form of characters or through cinematic techniques.

Three "functional sketches" were used to put these ideas into practice:

1. An anthropomorphic interface;
2. A system based on background video imagery;
3. a project that combines virtual camera techniques, lighting and simple 3-D characters.

Further directions and an outline for a future project/user-study conclude the thesis.

SLIPSTREAM: A data rich production environment Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1990-08-10 00:00:00
Lasky, Alan

Film production has always been a complex and costly endeavor. Since the early days of cinema, methodologies for planning and tracking production information have been constantly evolving, yet no single system exists that integrates the many forms of production data. Organization is the key to any successful production; but as filmmaking becomes increasingly complex the organizational task becomes even more intricate. With the current availability of powerful personal computers it is now possible to bring together the different elements of cinematic information in a dynamic multi-media platform. The linking of these elements will create a data rich production pipeline that will pass data between pre-production, shooting, and post production. This thesis will explore the development of this data pipeline for motion pictures, known as SLIPSTREAM.

Three Experiments in Cinema Verite Master of Science 1977-06-00 00:00:00
McElwee, Ross Simonton III

The two short films I have written about, "Filene's" and "68 Albany Street," were shot during the semester I was a special student at the MIT Film Section. The three major films discussed were shot during the three semesters I was a candidate for the degree of Master of Science. At the time of the writing of this thesis, one of the major films, "Charleen," has been edited, the second, "Backyard," has not (due to lack of funds for workprinting), and the third, "Space Coast," is partially edited with completion pending on another shooting installment. It was my intention to have shot three films before leaving MIT. I am assuming that after graduation, it will be easier to find relatively inexpensive editing facilities to finish old projects than it will be to locate comparably inexpensive equipment to shoot new ones.

The three films are "experiments" in a personal rather than a universal sense, in that I have not really originated new techniques or approaches in any of the experiments (save perhaps in "Space Coast"). I was experimenting more for myself in three different shooting approaches available to cinema verite filmmakers.

In the first film, "Charleen," I took exclusive responsibility for all aspects of production from the initial conception of the film through the final editing, but I decided it would be best to have a two-person crew and enlisted the help of another graduate student, Michel Negroponte, as sound recordist. My intention was to shoot intensively for one month in the life of my subject and to edit an entire film from this material, planning no further shooting.

I conceived of the second film, "Backyard," as the first installment of a diary film that could be continued indefinitely. I also wanted to devote a greater length of time to this project than I had done with "Charleen," allowing what I filmed to unfold and develop more slowly. "Backyard" deals largely with my family and therefore created a more intimate filming situation. Consequently, I both shot and recorded my own sound, which was certainly the only realistic approach.

The third film, "Space Coast," is, among other things, an experiment in sharing equally in the production of a film with another filmmaker. I have collaborated with Michel Negroponte, and by the completion of the project we will have shared equally in all aspects of the filming, sound recording, editing and fund-raising. "Space Coast" is also an experiment in finding an alternative to portrait films which concentrate on a single person or family. This film unexpectedly became an experiment in shooting in segments; it will have been shot in three one-month installments over a period of six months.

All the of the major films reflect my desire to return eventually to the South where I will continue to make movies.

The real work I have accomplished at MIT is, of course, the films themselves, and this thesis should only be considered as a footnote to them. I write with the hope that these notes may be of some interest and assistance to future film-makers in the Master of Science Program who might be planning projects similar to mine. I have included many anecdotes and personal reflections on my experience in making the films described herein with the hope that something may be learned from what I have viewed as my mistakes and successes. I write conversationally. Borrowings from Bazin aside, this thesis will be short on attempted pronouncements or profundities about the art of filmmaking.

Movies, Talkies, Thinkies: An Experimental Form of Interactive Cinema Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences 1995-06-00 00:00:00
Morgenroth, Lee Hayes

This thesis introduces a form of interactive cinema called "thinkies." Thinkies use the medium of interaction along with cinema to elicit a thought experience in an audience. Thinkies also use a number of specific techniques to affect an audience including: use of an immersive environment, integration of interaction with story, and constraint of narrative construction.

Two thinkies were created for this thesis. The first, entitled The Files of Dr. Bern, is a single viewer experience. It experiments with the design of an interactive environment and the active construction of story to elicit thinking in an audience. The second thinkie, entitled Lurker, is designed for multiple participants. The idea of an interactive cinematic experience for an audience is the main contribution of this thinkie. It also experiments with the use of dramatic control in a real time experience.

Homer: A Video Story Generator Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering 1992-05-00 00:00:00
Morgenroth, Lee Hayes

This thesis includes the design, implementation, and use of Homer, a video story generator. Homer takes a specific story model from a supplied database of logged video. Along with the story, a report is created of how well the story model matches the video. The purpose of this application is to encode expert editing knowledge in the form of story models. These models can then be reused by non-experts to create meaningful edits from different collections of video.

The Automatist Storytelling System: Putting the Editor's Knowledge in Software Master of Science 1996-09-00 00:00:00
Murtaugh, Michael Luke

This thesis presents the Automatist Storytelling System -- an "editor in software" or "narrative engine" -- a system that produces dynamic and responsive presentations from an extensible collection of keyword-annotated materials. Sequencing decisions are made on the basis of association, and the overall structure and meaning of an experience emerges from the interactions of individual material presentations. In this highly decentralized model, viewers are consistently integrated participants, who exert varying degrees of influence or control over the construction of the experience. The viewers' role is considered primarily extradiegetic; viewers' actions influence the process of the storytelling rather than altering actual events in the story world. By making both the viewing experience and authoring process variable and extensible, the Automatist Storytelling System supports new story forms such as the "Evolving Documentary."

This thesis presents two systems, ConTour and Dexter, as examples of Automatist Storytelling Systems. These systems were developed and are described in terms of, respectively, the stories: "Boston: Renewed Vistas" and "Jerome B. Wiesner: A Random Walk through the Twentieth Century."

Aesthetic Forms of Expression as Information Delivery Units Master of Science 1999-09-00 00:00:00
Nemirovsky, Paul

This thesis presents the hypothesis that aesthetic forms of expression - such as music, painting, video - can be used for direct information delivery. In contrast to text or verbal narrative techniques, which require a conscious act of transcoding, these aesthetic forms stimulate more direct, emotional response. Such a hypothesis could open a new channel for the delivery of various types of information, providing us, in situations of information overload, with a background information channel, leaving our foreground concentrated on the more thought-demanding tasks.

To develop a viable system based on the notion of using aesthetic forms of expression for direct information delivery, we need to develop the elements from which the system would consist. This research defines the "emon", a small discrete unit of aesthetic expression, which generates an expected emotional response that can affect human behavior. The study is currently restricted to the domain of music, with candidate emons being 1-15 seconds long loops of audio that are currently assumed to be the only audio source perceived by the user. The emons are characterized as units of an independently describable value, without the necessity of connection / abstraction to / from other pattern units - i.e. if a specific emon is played we'll be able to relate to its qualities without accessing our knowledge about other emons.

In this thesis I discuss the guidelines for emons' creation, describe the categorizations process, and report the results of emons' testing performed by a group of 14 users. Given the hypothesis that the musical emons (small musical patterns) can be used to provide cues that affect behavior, a need arises in a system that can provide a further validity to the usefulness of that approach. In the "Implementation" chapter I report the ongoing development of the GuideShoes wearable system, that assists user in navigating an open space, such as streets, by sequencing emons (musical patterns) as navigational cues. I also discuss the navigation tools written for this project.

Mobile Cinema Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2004-07-00 00:00:00
Pan, Pengkai

This thesis develops techniques and methods that extend the art and craft of storytelling, and in particular enable the creation of mobile cinema.

Stories are always constrained by the medium in which they are told and the mode by which they are delivered to an audience. This dissertation addresses the design of content, systems, and tools that facilitate the emerging type of computational audio-visual narrative that we call mobile cinema. Storytelling in this medium requires temporally and spatially encoded narrative segments that are delivered over a wireless channel to mobile devices such as PDAs and mobile phones. These devices belong to "the audience," individuals who are navigating physical space and interact with local circumstances in the environment.

This thesis examines the underlying requirements for coherent mobile narrative and explores two particular challenges which must be solved in order to make a reliable and scalable stream of content for mobile cinema: technology uncertainty (the fact that what the mobile cinema system presents may not be what the creator intends) and participation uncertainty (the fact that what the audience does may not be what the creator expects).

The exploration and analysis of these problems involved prototyping two versions of the M-Views system for mobile cinema and three prototype cinematic narratives. Small user studies accompanied each production. The iterative process enabled the author to explore both aspects of uncertainty and to introduce innovations in four key areas to help address these uncertainties: practical location detection, authoring tools designed for mobile channels, responsive story presentation mechanisms, and creative story production strategies.

I-Views, a Storymaking Community of, by, and for the Audience Master of Science in Media Technology, MIT 1999-09-00 00:00:00
Pan, Pengkai

This thesis presents I-Views, a system that permits individuals to use published, communally owned media clips to author narratives by assembling clips, and to build communities of similar interests based on comparing these narratives. To facilitate sharing of on-line motion pictures and initiate conversations among storytellers/re-tellers and audiences, I-Views allows widely distributed groups of people to view, edit, compare, evaluate and discuss video material over the Internet. There are two types of tools: web-based video studio tools and virtual community building tools. The former allows the user to view, select, save, resequence and publish video clips; while the latter allows the user to initiate dialogues by matching common interests and assumptions and build virtual communities around stories. By offering shared authorship, tools and virtual environments, I-Views demonstrates new story forms such as "Sharable Documentary."

Currently, we are evaluating the prototype system using video footage documenting the Junior Summit '98, which is a cross-cultural, cross-geographical and multi-language project involving numerous people, including thousands of children, Junior Summit staff, sponsors, Media Lab faculty and students. Specifically, an international group of filmmakers including four junior filmmakers have contributed more than one hundred hours of footage shot. The current video database includes eighty streaming video clips selected from the footage shot.

Constraint-Based Cinematic Editing MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1989-06-00 00:00:00
Rublin, Benjamin

This work presents a computer-based motion-picture editing system capable of the automatic generation of narrative sequences which conform to simple constraints of character emphasis, length, pacing and chronology. The cinematic content model used to generate the sequences is presented, and practical methods for gathering content data during movie production are proposed. The details of the system's implementation and the practical applications of its underlying principles to motion-picture production and multimedia computer systems are discussed.

The written thesis is accompanied by a video tape which show several edited sequences which were generated by the system and by a video disc containing the source material from which the sequences were formed.

Reconfigurable Video Master of Science in Visual Studies, MIT 1986-02-00 00:00:00
Sasnett, Russell Mayo

The problem of efficient access to motion-picture content is explored, particularly when it is being used as an information resource. Traditional linear-access modes do not provide for a personalized presentation, and most computer-aided video instruction systems do not allow for exploration.

A solution is proposed wherein a database model describing the video materials and their connectivity may be 'published,' allowing for content-specific access, perusal, and viewer modification in the final installation. Methods for obtaining the descriptive data are explored, with consideration given to those which make use of existing data generated during video production.

A project is described which implements many of the proposed methods in a personal-computer environment. The database system and its representational model are explained, and a set of pictorial access conventions are proposed that use computer graphics to simulate editing processes, providing visual access to a visual medium.

Patina: layering a history-of-use on digital objects Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1998-09-00 00:00:00
Schutte, Ansel Arjan

This thesis contains a set of experiments that explore the creation and impact of social traces on digital objects. I hypothesize that layering a "history-of-use" on digital objects will positively enhance their use and build an awareness of distributed audiences. In an attempt to construct a symbolic language of audience participation, this project consists of several initial and one primary experiments which explore the parameters of communicating use-based meta-data in the background and on the object itself.

PatinaMap is an enhanced image-map for the World Wide Web. Through this experiment, I explore several multivariate techniques for representing use-based meta-data. PatinaMap employs active visual filters, audio filters, remote usage-tracking, intra-session paths, synchronous use representation and PatinaText in its attempt to provide users with the feeling of being part of a distributed audience and allow them to benefit from social use.

Intercreative Cinema: Collaborative Expression with Digital Video MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2001-09-00 00:00:00
Seo, James Jung-Hoon

Advances in technologies for digital video editing and streaming have lowered the barrier to entry for aspiring videomakers, and they provide an opportunity to expand the vocabulary for using and sharing video. Custom interfaces for editing and sharing video can suggest and support novel methods of collaborative production, cinematic narration, and casual dialogue with media. This thesis research presents Individeo, an online application for video browsing and editing, and explores how interface design can enable closer collaboration among online videographers. The thesis evaluates Individeo's custom interfaces through Honeymoon, an experimental collaborative video production, in which geographically separated videomakers attempt to build a cinematic narrative together through online collaboration.

The Extended Museum: Production and Design of the Harold Tovish: Sculptor and Eadweard Muybridge: Motion Studies Videodisks Master of Science in Visual Studies, MIT 1989-06-00 00:00:00
Sheldon, James L.

Art museums have always been educating institutions. The meaning of this concept has changed over time and increasingly has come to include use of media both within the museum and beyond the museum walls. Interactive videodisc is a form of publication which can significantly enhance the museum experience by making the art and the artist more accessible both to those who work with museum collections and to those who wish to lean and teach about the art experience.

This thesis consists of a paper and a videotape copy of the two videodiscs I produced, Harold Tovish: Sculptor and Eadweard Muybridge: Motion Studies. The paper will discuss traditional and new media methods for making art accessible both within the museum environment and outside the museum walls as well as the design and production of the two videodisc projects which were incorporated as elements in specific museum exhibitions. Included are explanations of how and why the videodiscs were designed and produced in their present form, how they can act as models, and a descriptions of how they functioned in a specific museum context.

If You Could See What I Mean..: Descriptions of Video in an Anthropologist's Video Notebook Master of Science 1992-09-00 00:00:00
Smith, Thomas G. Aguierre

The Anthropologist's Video Notebook is a video database application that allows researchers to present movies in a format that reflects the contextual complexity of ethnographic data. The Anthropologist's Video Notebook is grounded in both the practice of ethnographic research and motion picture production. The lexical descriptions of video content are represented using the Stratification system. Stratification is a context-based layered annotation method which treats descriptions of videos as objects. Stratification supports the complimentary and at times contradictory descriptions which result when different researchers use video source material which is available on a random access video workstation. The development of the Anthropologist's video notebook is based on real field work experience in the state of Chiapas Mexico. The inegration of ethnographic research methods and video production heralds a new research methodolgy called video ethnography. Video ethnography is the study of how meanings are attributed to video over time. The Stratification system allows for the analysis of the significance of the content of video in terms of the context of where it was recorded and also the context where it appears in an edited sequence.

Some Assembly Required: Cinematic Knowledge-Based Reconstruction of Structured Video Sequences Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1996-06-00 00:00:00
Tames, David Jose

Cinema is a stream of audio and visual elements orchestrated in time providing us with a rich language and tradition of storytelling. New media technologies, particularly structured video, open up possibilities to expand and evolve the language of cinema and establish new modes of content delivery. The work described in this thesis investigates and demonstrates the cinematic potential of structured video techniques. With structured video we are no longer limited to the immutable frames that constrain conventional cinema. We are now able to composite images from a collection of media objects in real time at the moment of presentation.

This thesis describes the design and production of "Two Viewpoints," a short narrative providing the viewer with a choice of subjective viewpoints. "Two Viewpoints" is implemented using structured video techniques. The design and implementation of an authoring toolkit for developing and previsualizing structured video movies is discussed.

ActiveStories: Infusing author's intention with content to tell a computationally expressive story MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1998-08-00 00:00:00
Tiongson, Phillip Rodrigo

Current digital tools for cinema have been cast in the same mold as their analog equivalents. The computational medium promises more: to expand expression beyond the physical edge of the film frame. In traditional film, the camera constrains how light falls onto the film, but not how you tell a story. In the computer, if authors rely on tools built by others, the tool builder determines the vocabulary that authors use to tell their stories. However, if authors build their own tools, they access the entire vocabulary of expression that the computational medium provides.

This thesis presents ActiveStories -- interactive stories that express the author's intention in computational forms. The stories illustrate novel, dynamic representations of narrative and author's intention. ActiveStories puts viewers into the story, giving them dynamic, interactive control over the content, while the author's intention is expressed in the process of watching.

Dynamic Collage: An Interface for Digital Stories MS in Media Technology, MIT 1997-02-00 00:00:00
Tsarkova, Natalia

This thesis describes dynamic collage - a tool for organizing interactive visual experiences and browsing through banks of visual data. I initially developed dynamic collages to guide and preview users choices in an interactive movie. Later, the tool turned out to be useful for a variety of World Wide Web presentations, such as on-line shopping catalogs and interactive newscasts. In the following pages I will

* describe my journey from non-fiction film to interactive cinema;
* present dynamic collage as an organizing principle for an interactive movie;
* describe in detail the dynamic collage mechanism, from its conception to its implementation in Java;
* describe two experiments that use dynamic collage as their interface: The North End Chronicles (an interactive documentary), and J.C. Penney Arcade an on-line catalogue);
* present collage as an efficient solution for dynamic information design on the WWW;
* point out possible ways to improve and extend the dynamic collage tool.

If You Could See What I Hear: Editing assistance through cinematic parsing Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1991-06-00 00:00:00
Pincever, Natalio Carlos

The proliferation of camcorders has made it possible for everyone to be a film director. However, the editing process is still reserved for a few specialists who have access to sophisticated equipment. In order to offer a low-cost tool which encourages novices to participate in the process, we need to better understand how the power of computers and digital signal processing technology can help to detect basic cinematic modules. The described system combines approaches from different disciplines in order to probe the audio track to find said modules. The system assists the user in the editing process by suggesting potential editing points.

Clotho, a collaborative information weaving tool MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2002-05-00 00:00:00
Stouffs, Alexandre

Clotho is a collaborative field-reporting tool that provides an environment for gathering stories about a subject or event in a meaningful structure. The relationships between stories constitute the backbone of the structure. Because the main use of the tool is geared towards capturing immediacy, the focus is on mobile devices such as wireless-enabled PDAs. We present the implementation of the tool based on Java and JXME, an open peer-to-peer architecture for mobile devices. An evaluation of the tool and its results are examined.

The Viscous Display: A Transient Interface for Collective Play in Public Space MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2005-01-00 00:00:00
Shirvanee, Lily

The Viscous Display is a tangible, mobile, flexible display device that explores the exchange of social information through transient public interfaces. Shaped by principles of so-called "underground public art", the Viscous Display is conceived as a novel communication medium, where symbolic graphic messages can be shared in public spaces. Similar to stickers that are left in public spaces and pheromones that are left by ants in colonies, the Viscous Display is designed as a mobile artifact that is meant to enable participants to leave traces of activity by picking them up, interacting with them, and placing them in various locations. As a consequence, digital information/artifacts can also be left around public spaces via the Viscous Display for people to stumble upon. This thesis will describe the approach and process of designing, constructing and testing the Viscous Display project. The Viscous Display aims to create landscapes that are charged with the traces and messages of others that have inhabited that same space. This work contributes to a vision for changing spatial metaphors in public space.

MIT in Motion: An Interactive Multimedia Information Retrieval System BS in Electrical Engineering, MIT 1989-05-00 00:00:00
Wayshak, Corinne

Multimedia environments offer the ability to incorporate visual, textual and aural material in a coherent and contiguous manner. While most systems achieve a true multimedia presentation, many fail to utilize any media other than text for active retrieval methods.

The system designed and implemented is an interactive cinematic guide to life at M.I.T. that incorporates visual and textual information for both program material and active information retrieval. The interface design, developed for an audience with limited computer background, eliminates the keyboard, and navigation throughout the system is entirely mouse-driven. The program material consists of full-motion video segments of student liffe as well as stills of buildings on campus, in Boston, and in Cambridge; the programmed material utilizes HyperTalk and a Pascal-routine library for specialized features. The non-linearity of the system will allow for user-specific voyage through its contents, both visual and textual.

Mindful Documentary Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2005-05-00 00:00:00
Barry, Barbara A.

In the practice of documentary creation, a videographer performs an elaborate balancing act between observing the world, deciding what to record, and understanding the implications of the recorded material, all with respect to her primary goal of story construction. This thesis presents "mindful documentary," a model of a videographer's cyclical process of thinking and constructing during a documentary production. The purpose of this model is to better support documentary creation through systems that assist the documentary videographer in discovering new methods of observation, ways of thinking, and novel stories while recording the world.

Based on the mindful documentary model, a reflective partnership is established between the videographer and a camera with commonsense reasoning abilities during capture and organization of documentary video collections. Knowledge is solicited from the videographer at the point of capture; it is used to generate narrative or contextual shot suggestions, which provide alternative recording path ideas for the videographer. Thus, the system encourages the videographer to reflect on the story possibilities of a documentary collection during real-time capture.

Qualitative results of studies with a group of videographers - including novices and experts - showed a willingness to take suggestions during documentary production and, in some cases, to alter the recording path after reflection on shot possibilities presented by the system. Moreover, suggestions often had increased influence on the recording path if they were not taken as directives but as catalysts, i.e., prompts to expand thinking about the documentary subject rather than explicit shot instructions.

Critical lessons were learned about methodology and system design for documentary production. As a documentary is built, evidence of what the videographer has learned is represented in the documentary. The model, methodology, and system presented in this thesis provide a basis for understanding how videographers think during documentary construction and how machines with commonsense reasoning resources can serve as creative storytelling partners.

Improvisational Interaction :: a Framework for Structural Exploration of Media Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2006-02-00 00:00:00
Nemirovsky, Paul

Whenever we use computers to interact with media, our experience is that of direct control, and the goal of our interactions is either artifact-production (the editor paradigm) or passive exploration (the browser paradigm). This thesis proposes an alternative: a model of media interaction based on the ideas of non-idiomatic improvisation that encourages active exploration of media and its structures. We argue that in order to facilitate this kind of exploration, (1) computational tools must actively participate in the creative process and (2) the interaction framework must allow structural exploration of media. This leads to our main claim: improvisation should be considered a valid and appropriate paradigm for media interaction.

To this extent, we present a Cognitive Model of Improvisational Action (CMIA) that integrates element-centric and process-centric (structural) modes of control into a single framework for media exploration. This model allows participants to switch their attention between compositional elements and structural processes. The model is argued to be particularly powerful in leading us to novel spaces for media creation and consumption.

We follow by presenting the Emonic Environment (Implementation), an interactive system built on the principles of CMIA. We conclude by describing two studies (Scenarios & Experiments) that analyze the ways in which Emonic Environment affects how people interact and think about their interactions with digital media. These studies illustrate the potential of CMIA as a paradigm for interaction between humans and machines.

Digital Technology for Conviviality: Making the Most of Students' Energy and Imagination in Learning Environments Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2001-08-00 00:00:00
Sipitakiat, Arnan

This thesis contributes to the body of research on constructionist philosophy. It expands the conceptual framework to a broader scale by linking constructionism to Ivan Illich's notion of conviviality. An emphasis on developing convivial learning environments has been made. The learning activities were developed with a special highlight on the idea of emergent design. The emphasis on conviviality and emergent design allowed a systematic and theorized framework to identify and discuss the pattern in the developmental process of learning activities, which is an area in the constructionist framework that needs more study. I gave special emphasis on learning activities that involve tool construction. I show how the making of tools could strengthen conviviality. I present a concept of dynamic equilibrium that allows different methods of learning and teaching to intertwine. I present a case study based on a five-week fieldwork conducted at a rural school of northern Thailand.

Demonstration Software for an Experimental Video Workstation BS in Electrical Engineering, MIT 1986-05-00 00:00:00
Blake, Wilbert L.

M.I.T. Film/Video desired a computer controlled, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (S.M.P.T.E.) standard compatible video editing and viewing environment for its movie laboratory. Such an environment would serve as a video workstation, providing means in the lab for computer driven manipulation of video information. Computers in the experimental workstation should readily connect to the computational resources in the M.I.T. community. An "open" system, then, supporting a variety of video and computational devices, would enable system expansion while best utilizing financial resources.

Various user interfaces to video information could receive attention in an experimental system. A hardware grant from the Asaca/Shibosoku Corporation promised an interesting user interface: 32 simultaneously displayed frames of video organized into four columns each holding eight frames; one to four columns gets input from one (of four total) video sources. This "multiview" mode contains a graphic audio signal display alongside the columns of frames. This multiview/audio graphic capability invites comparison to film image manipulation, a comparison that the experimental workstation will explore further.

having outlined research goals and acquired initial hardware for an "experimental video workstation," the focus became demonstration of its capabilities at the National Association of Broadcasters (N.A.B.) Convention in Dallas this past April. At the NAB convention exhibit, the experimental workstation would receive evaluation from the commercial broadcast community in the presence of the latest post production video systems.

Electronic Collage: The Videodisc and Interactive Narrative MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1986-09-00 00:00:00
Strohecker C

Interactive narrative is explored as a new, filmic form. One videodisc-based movie, entitled A Different Train of Thought, is presented as an example of the form. Through techniques including the stylized intercutting of documentary footage with enactments, this movie attempts to provide a structural context into which scenes can be variably 'embedded' as a result of the "viewer's" interaction. The form, content, and experience of "seeing" the movie are intended to suggest that perceptions of events develop as a function of selective exposure and interpretation.

The meaning of "narrative" is probed: historical and current conceptions are regarded as supporting and/or hindering acceptance of the "viewer's" ability to affect a story. The "viewer's" participatory role is examined from filmic and psychoanalytic perspectives, citing the work of writers such as Wittgenstein, Lacan, and Levi-Strauss, as well as that of Makavejev and other filmmakers. An underlying premise is that technology gives rise to new forms of expression that contribute to the shaping of contemporary thought.

In a series of appendices, details are given about the production of A Different Train of Thought and its implementation on "level-III" (computer-controlled) videodisc. A description of modifications made to the VHS signal is included, as are an evaluation of various videodisc "authoring systems", suggestions about developing computer programs based on narrative structure, and illustrations.

The MIT Media Laboratory Videodisc: The Process and Interactive Model MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1986-09-00 00:00:00
Guillet, Guy

In 1985 twelve groups or programs from different schools and departments at MIT came together to form the Media Laboratory, an interdisciplinary research facility exploring new applications of expanding media technologies.

The lab's director decided to produce a videodisc to serve as the laboratory's first 'annual report', reporting to our 'stockholders', the research sponsors, about our 'product', research. Could demonstrations of research from such diverse groups be compiled together on one cohesive and entertaining videodisc? What design structure would best accommodate both a linear and interactive presentation? Unique production methods and design structures would have to be developed and implemented.

An additional goal was to present this videodisc in an interactive kiosk using innovative methods to accommodate the variety of individuals utilizing it. Interactive models were needed for this personalized form of interaction which would permit changes in the amounts and levels of sophistication of the information delivered.

Appendixes supply background information on the videodisc medium and its interactive components.

M-Studio: An Authoring Tool for Context-Aware Mobile Storytelling Master of Engineering, EECS, MIT 2003-02-00 00:00:00
Kastner, Carly M.

The pervasiveness of high-speed wireless networks and handheld computers provide a channel for context-aware video delivery. Mobile Cinema is a new form of motion picture experience in which discrete cinematic events are delivered based on a consumer's navigation through space and time, via the new channel. M-Studio is an authoring tool that helps mobile story creators design and simulate location-based narratives. The tool provides the author with a graphical interface for linking content with a specific geographical space, a framework for developing the story threads for multi-threaded narratives, and a simulator that allows the author to evaluate the story threads that might unfold depending on the path taken by the viewer. The tool also directly generates the XML code that is used by the story server to deliver cinematic sequences to handheld devices. M-Studio has been used in the creation of two mobile narratives.

Tangible Interfaces for Interactive Point-of-View Narratives MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2002-09-00 00:00:00
Mazalek, Alexandra

This thesis presents three storytelling systems for interactive point-of-view narratives using tangible interface technology. The focus is the design and development of computational story models and interfaces that enable users to experience new forms of interaction with stories in the digital medium.

Specifically, I propose that having multiple tightly related character viewpoints can be used as a means of structuring comprehensive and coherent interactive story experiences. Furthermore, I also claim that by using tangible interfaces that are tightly integrated into the narrative model and story content, users can have rich interactive story experiences in which the interaction/interface does not distract from their engagement in the story.

Media Tables: An extensible method for developing multi-user media interaction platforms for shared spaces Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2005-09-00 00:00:00
Mazalek, Alexandra

As digital entertainment applications evolve, there is a need for new kinds of platforms that can support sociable media interactions for everyday consumers. This thesis demonstrates an extensible method and sensing framework for real-time tracking of multiple objects on an interactive table with an embedded display. This tabletop platform can support many different applications, and is designed to overcome the commercial obstacles of previous single purpose systems.

The approach is supported through the design and implementation of an acoustic-based sensing system that provides a means for managing large numbers of objects and applications across multiple platform instances. The design requires precise and dynamic positioning of multiple objects in order to enable real-time multi-user interactions with media applications. Technical analysis shows the approach to be robust, scalable to various sizes, and accurate to a within a few millimeters of tolerance. A qualitative user evaluation of the table within a real-world setting illustrates its usability in the consumer entertainment space for digital media browsing and game play. Our observations revealed different ways of mapping physical interaction objects to the media space, as either generic controls or fixed function devices, and highlighted the issue of directionality on visual displays that are viewable from different sides.

The thesis suggests that by providing a general purpose method for shared tabletop display platforms we give application designers the freedom to invent a broad range of media interactions and applications for everyday social environments, such as homes, classrooms and public spaces. Contributions of the thesis include: formulation of an extensible method for media table platforms; development of a novel sensing approach for dynamic object tracking on glass surfaces; a taxonomy of interface design considerations; and prototype designs for media content browsing, digital storytelling and game play applications.

"Space Coast": Notes Master of Science, MIT 1978-02-00 00:00:00
Negroponte, Michel Christopher

I have written about "Space Coast", a documentary film that my partner, Ross McElwee, and I shot on Cape Canaveral, Florida. The project evolved from a desire to find alternatives to films that concentrate on a single family or on a single event. Consequently, "Space Coast' is about three families that live on the Cape.

"Space Coast" is not a definitive portrait of Cape Canaveral or of the space program. For the most part, the arrival of the spacce program in the 1960's and its sudden phase-out a decade later remains a subordinate issue in the film. Instead, we chose to focus on the everyday lives of these unique families.

I have described in some detail "Charleen" and "Chitlin", two films I worked on before making "Space Coast"; both these films influenced, to varying degrees, what we chose to do in Florida. The remainder of the thesis is devoted to describing the different stages of "Space Coast", including our pre-production work and our four ttrips to the Cape. Since the editing of the film is not yet completed, I chose to comment briefly on that particular phase of the project. Intersperse among the many anecdotes in this thesis are some thoughts on what motivated us to make "Space Coast"; but the decision-making process that accompanies such a film project is intuitive by nature, and even in retrospect, it is a hard thing to decipher.

Sto(ry)chastics; a bayesian network architecture for combined user modeling, sensor fusion, and computational storytelling for interactive spaces Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2002-02-00 00:00:00
Sparacino, Flavia

This thesis presents a mathematical framework for real-time sensor-driven stochastic modeling of story and user-story interaction, which I call sto(ry)chastics. Almost all sensor-driven interactive entertainment, art, and architecture installations today rely on one-to-one mappings between content and participant's actions to tell a story. These mappings chain small subsets of scripted content, and do not attempt to understand the public's intentions or desires during interaction, and therefore are rigid, ad hoc, prone to error, and lack depth in communication of meaning and expressive power. Sto(ry)chastics uses graphical probabilistic modeling of story fragments and participant input, gathered from sensors, to tell a story to the user, as a function of people's estimated intentions and desires during interaction. Using a Baysian network approach for combined modeling of users, sensors, and story, sto(ry)chastics, as opposed to traditional systems based on one-to-one mappings, is flexible, reconfigurable, adaptive, context-sensitive, robust, accessible, and able to explain its choices...

ComicKit: Knowledge Acquisition of Story Scripts Master of Engineering in EECS, MIT 2005-02-00 00:00:00
Williams, Ryan Duane

The field of Artificial Intelligence stands poised to make great leaps in emulating human intelligence. The development of a way to acquire and use common sense is the key to this advancement. This thesis describes the design and construction of ComicKit, a tool for acquiring story scripts for a common sense knowledge base. ComicKit's core mechanism is dragging and dropping icons into the panels of a comic. As the user creates a comic, ComicKit makes common sense suggestions for the story. ComicKit follows on the successful model of Open Mind Common Sense, a web-based activity that thousands of people around the world contributed bits of common sense knowledge to. It is hoped that many people will contribute a few hundred thousand stories through ComicKit, and build a large corpus of common sense story knowledge.

Database Maintenance for a Video Editing System BS in EECS, MIT 1986-05-00 00:00:00
Wong, Andria H.

This thesis works with the data maintenance mode of a video editing system. The editing system we are concerned with consists of three modes: the Maintenance Mode, the Preview Mode, and the Execute Mode. The Maintenance Mode takes care of the video database, namely the Edit Decision List; the Preview Mode allows one to preview the result of edit decisions, and finally the Execute Mode does the actual editing. Data maintenance is done entirely in software. Utility programs are written to retrieve and modify information in the database, display sequences of edit decisions, and interact with other modes.

Metalinear Story Agents - an Exploration in Construction and Delivery Interface MS in EECS, MIT 2001-05-00 00:00:00
Chen, Yu

Our concepts of story and storytelling have popularly been represented through linear mediums such as books and films. Only in traditions such as theater and oral storytelling, where an author has direct, instant feedback from the audience, has story been able to achieve a more malleable form. The present is pivotal because the evolution of interactive media technology has created new forms of digital expression which enable more reactive, computational ways of constructing, arranging, and presenting stories. Into this context, Kevin Brooks' 1999 Ph.D. work created "Agent Stories", a metalinear narrative authoring software tool which employs a software agent-driven engine to produce one or many possible linear accounts, thus creating multi-linear stories which are especially well suited for our new interactive mediums. Java has further extended this system onto the widely distributed environment of the Internet, and the possibilities for collaboration open new dimensions to the art of computational story writing and storytelling.

Skinscape: A Tool for Composition in the Tactile Modality Master of Engineering in EECS, MIT 2001-05-00 00:00:00
Gunther, Eric

The sense of touch has been relatively unexplored as a compositional medium. This raises the question: Is the skin capable of understanding and ultimately appreciating complex aesthetic information? Evidence from a number of psychophysical studies on the sense of touch suggests that it is. The technology for tactile composition is currently available; the possibilities for applying this technology in an artistic context have presumably been overlooked. Hence, this paper represents a shift in focus toward more abstract applications of haptic and tactile stimulation technology. Tactile composition is approached as a multi-modal activity involving the senses of hearing and touch - essentially "cutaneous choreography" to music. The use of several psychophysical dimensions of tactile stimuli as basic vocabulary elements in a compositional language for the sense of touch is investigated. A number of theoretical issues surrounding tactile composition are explored, including cross-modal interactions between audition and touch, the affective response to tactile composition, and the feasibility of exclusively tactile composition. The design and functionality of a system that facilitates composition in the tactile modality is described. The system consists of a vibrotactile stimulator capable of delivering a wide range of spatio-temporal patterns to the surface of the body, as well as a software / hardware control system and a software composition environment which allows a user to compose for the device along with a previously recorded audio track. Initial tests of the system demonstrate its ability to generate aesthetically pleasing, perceptually engaging tactile compositions. The potential applications for this technology are myriad. Tactile composition has especially far reaching implications for the hearing impaired community and for immersive cinema.

The Execution of a Video Editing Controller BS in EECS, MIT 1986-06-00 00:00:00
Barbour, Jonathan D.

The Experimental Video Workstation is a design project in computer-aided editing. This paper focuses on the execution software that controls the laser disc players, a record deck, and a video switcher for frame accurate edits. It also discusses the challenges encountered by controlling live machinery with computer software.

MUD: A Networked, Multi-User Database Service BS in EECS, MIT 1990-02-00 00:00:00
Birkeland, Halvard K.

MUD is a multi-user, configurable, distributed, network-based database service designed for a workstation-based computing environment. The service is composed of secure primary control and data servers interfacing with various authenticated clients via TCP/IP. The service is secured by using a remote authentication protocol for both servers and clients.

This document presents a detailed specification and design for a MUD implementation. The discussed implementation uses CTREE for a local database and Kerberos for the remote authentication protocol. in addition, this document utilizes a multi-user, integrated editing system for a detailed example.

A Java Movie Clip Annotation Tool AUP 1996-05-24 00:00:00
Chien, Timothy

Interactive cinema is a form of multimedia which employs real-time audience input and feedback to alter the playout of a story. In non-linear cinema, the basic cinematic elements of shot, sound, setting, sequence, character, and action are presented in some sequence dictated by a machine algorithm with little or no influence from the author. With the advent of the World Wide Web, virtually all forms of multimedia have become accessible from any machine with an appropriate network connection and Web browser. This paper is concerned with the design and implementation of a Java applet used to annotate a collection of movie clips in constructing a non-linear movie on the Web.

The Emonator: A Novel Musical Interface MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2000-09-00 00:00:00
Overholt, Daniel James

This thesis will discuss the technical and artistic design of the Emonator1, a novel interactive musical interface which responds to gestural input with realtime aural and visual feedback. A user interacts with the Emonator by manipulating the surface formed by a bed of rods at the top of the Emonator. The user's movements are analyzed and used to control several music and sound generation engines as well as video streams in real-time. The Emonator is an interesting musical experience for both amateur and professional musicians. It is also versatile, working well as a stand-alone interface or as part of a larger interactive experience.

Just Making Faces? Animatronics, Children and Computation MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2003-08-00 00:00:00
Sempere, Andrew

Computation is a powerful way of knowing and exploring the world that finds its application in a broad range of human activities, from art making to mathematical modeling. Historically, this way of knowing has been taught in a canonical, top-down abstract fashion. This thesis presents a critical historical analysis of computers and computation in order to arrive at a framework for design of spaces for introducing computational concepts. Existing work is revisited before presenting a new system called CTRL_SPACE, specifically built to as an alternate method of conveying computational concepts to young children ages four to seven.

Creating a Media Application to Provoke Process-based Thinking AUP in EECS, MIT 2005-05-16 00:00:00
Luger-Guillaume, Becca

Open-mindedness and creativity are two key attributes needed to succeed in the world. Without these, we tend to force our opinions on others and fail to understand or negotiate with different views. Some of the most creative inventions and best ideas come from making mistakes, discussing and combining ideas, and straying from a designated goal. The Emonic Process (EP) aims to provide an application in which participants can actively focus on the process of creation rather than on the product of the actions in a casual media environment. The users participate in a collaborative exchange similar to improvisation, but with a computer, to change and explore audio sequences. Focus is driven towards the actual performance and exchange rather than the finished product.

This paper addresses the following topics:
* How does one design an application to induce process-based thinking?
* How are people best motivated to think about the process of the media system rather than a finished product?
* How can working in such an environment influence creativity or openmindedness in other situations?

I discuss the current state of my program as well as the user study I ran and subsequent results gathered to test how well the EP induces process-based thinking rather than product-based thinking. The user study involved 23 MIT students and showed that the EP increases open-mindedness, agreeableness, and creativity. While the EP may still need supplemental instruction to train its users to be open-minded, current observations are encouraging.

Potential uses for the EP could be as a training device for teams to induce more creativity and open-mindedness in meetings or as a learning tool in classrooms to teach children creativity early on. Teaching creativity and open-mindedness to both groups and children can have similar benefits for the world at large: more unique discoveries can be made, decisions can be reached more quickly, and productivity of discussions and disagreements can be increased. The EP serves as a first step in reaching out to this need.

Studies of the Business Opportunities in Context aware Stories for Mobile Users MBA at University College, Dublin 2005-01-00 00:00:00
Braun, Thomas

Companies involved in the mobile technology, infrastructure and devices businesses are increasingly looking for the applications that will drive demand for their products and services within the short to medium future. These companies and the mobile services providers are putting efforts into stimulating the creation of new mobile applications and content for mobile users. Clusters of innovative technology and media companies are encouraged to form in various ways to find the sought after revenue generating experiences, applications and media...

Intelligent Camera Control for Graphical Environments PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1994-06-00 00:00:00
Drucker, Steven Mark

Too often in the field of computer graphics, practitioners have been more concerned with the question of how to move a camera rather than why to move it. This thesis addresses the core question of why the camera is being placed and moved and uses answers to that question to provide a more convenient, more intelligent method for controlling virtual cameras in computer graphics. After discussing the general sorts of activities to be performed in graphical environments, this thesis then contains a derivation of some camera primitives that are required, and examines how they can be incorporated into different interfaces. A single, consistent, underlying framework for camera control across many different domains has been posited and formulated in terms of constrained optimization. Examples from different application domains demonstrate a variety of interface styles that have all been implemented on top of the underlying framework. Evaluations for each application are also given.

Community Memory: Building multimedia archives on the Internet MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2000-02-00 00:00:00
Endter, Ingeborg Loni

Can we use technology to build and strengthen bonds within communities? Can we build technology that will help to elaborate and preserve the shared history of a community? Can we make the technology easy to use, even for beginning computer users?

Community Memory is an attempt to answer those questions. It is a Web-based environment where a community can collaborate to build an electronic scrapbook. Narrative expression, both as stories and as photographs, is the tool with which the communities elaborate their shared history and identity. Two communities, an extended family and a high school reunion class, have begun using the tools, and data was collected on their interactions during a period of several months. The communities were given an email list to use as well as the Web-based tools of the scrapbook.

The data show that communities approach the project quite differently and that strong preferences emerged both between the two groups and within one of the groups for different modes of communicating their stories.

TechStyle System: The Management and Memory of Electronic Fabric Input and Output BS in EECS, MIT 2004-05-10 00:00:00
Hsu, Abraham

"The two main objectives are management and memory. At any time, the e-fabric unit has two states: pixel input and pixel output. The input state of a unit describes whether or not each pixel has been pressed down. The output sate of a unit describes whether or not each pixel has had a color change (on/off). Management is the ability to change and control both input and output states over time. Memory is the ability to record the history of both input and output states over time. The management and memory of a single e-fabric unit can be combined with other Units to create a powerful collective system of pixel input and pixel output states over time."

OUR STORY TREE: Armenian Diaspora Digital Storytelling Project BS in EECS, MIT 2005-06-06 00:00:00
Mirza, Sarah

The Our Story Tree project seeks to create an on-line media sharing community by allowing the creation, viewing, and sharing of personal, historically motivated richmedia narratives. Within its overarching environment, the project introduces a montage approach, "the media confection," which invites users to incorporate the spoken word, music, video, text, pictures and maps to form engaging stories and explorable documentary artifacts.

This paper presents the overall system architecture, the different modules that comprise the application and their specifics, focusing largely on the data models and the database architecture behind the application's interface. The database architecture mainly consists of a relational database, indexed to provide efficient query times.

Women in Architecture: Path and Practice MS in Architecture Studies, MIT 1995-05-12 00:00:00
Silberberg, Katrin Mary

This project presents an exploration of the lives of three women in the field of architecture today. Through interview, discussion, and the use of electronic, digital media a history of each individual's history unfolds. The heirarchy of information and design were linked from the early stages of the project and it is in the final form of the project that one can discover a format that is consistent in its presentation and navigational structure. The goal was to enable the user to "walk through" the information and compare stories and experiences. Thus, the viewer is encouraged to draw his or her own conclusions from the information presented in the document rather than be influenced by suppositions of the author.

This thesis project was also a study in the creation of an electronic document that would report information of interest to the discussion of gender in the professional world of architecture. The aim was to make this information available to a large number of people through the use of an electronic information distribution service such as the Internet. The architects' stories are available to the public for viewing and learning on the Netscape browser. The second aim was to design a project that would be visually appealing while working within the constraints of the Netscape browser application on the WorldWideWeb. The latter was interresting in its design challenge; I believe this challenge was met. Functional browser programs do not prohibit an attractive, interesting display of information.

Distributed Systems and Multi-Point Video Recording AUP Project Report, MIT 2002-12-16 00:00:00
Ma, Sha

This paper describes the application of distributed system techniques to an MIT Media Lab sponsored project on multi-point video recording. The two main improvements to the system are: (1) An algorithm to calculate optimum camera angle based on the locations of other cameras in the system and (2) A method of forwarding information between out-of-range cameras via intermediaries, so that all cameras in the system are aware of each other.

Village Voice: Expressing narrative through community-designed ontologies MS in Media Technology, MIT 2002-06-00 00:00:00
Srinivasan, Ramesh

The Village Voice project is a study of the efficacy of a localized ontology in the dissemination of narrative. It seeks to understand how community members can articulate their lives in ways that allow each other to reflect on the makeup of their overall community, and how they represent their community's needs to those outside of the group. I utilize a knowledge model, or ontology, created by community members as a foundation for representing and retrieving story fragments (video clips). The focus of this thesis will be to study the methodology by which such a knowledge model can be elicited, and the relative benefits of representing stories by this mechanism versus the standard database technique of keyword indexing. I evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this ontology-driven narrative system within the real-world context of a local community of Somali refugees (Jamaica Plain, MA).

Isis, Cabbage, and Viper: New tools and strategies for designing responsive media PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2001-06-00 00:00:00
Agamanolis, Stephan

Responsive media are media that can sense and react intelligently to factors like presentation conditions or equipment, audience identity or profile, direct interaction, history or anticipation of involvement, and so on. The emergence of modern computational devices and communication networks, with their power to manipulate media signals and objects, has spurred the development of new forms of responsive media. But a lack of a broad framework for understanding the characteristics of and motivations for these media has resulted in computerbased design tools that do not mirror the character of our projects and working practices and, in turn, compromise our ability to communicate effectively with these media.

This research strives to build such a framework and use it as a foundation for a suite of three new tools that better reflect the multi-layered, multi-sensory, and multi-person nature of responsive media. Aiming to rethink the principles underlying one of the most primary building blocks in the design process, the centerpiece of this suite, Isis, is a new programming language tailored to serve as a basis for responsive media. The second tool, Cabbage, is an experiment in employing a purist form of case-based reasoning in a system for creating responsive graphical layouts. Lastly, Viper is a new tool for making responsive video programs that can re-edit themselves to adapt to different viewing situations. These tools seek to enable the development of complex and meaningful input-output relationships through simple, elegant interfaces that emphasize visibility, accessibility, and extensibility.

Interactivity and Emotion through Cinematography MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1999-06-00 00:00:00
Tomlinson, William Michael

I have created an automatic cinematography system for an interactive virtual environment. This system controls a virtual camera and several virtual lights in a three-dimensional "world" inhabited by a group of autonomous and user-controlled characters. The virtual camera chooses the perspective from which the world is displayed on a flat screen. The lights control how the three-dimensional digital objects in the world are illuminated. By dynamically changing the camera and the lights, my system facilitates the interaction of humans with this world and displays the emotional content of the digital scene.

Building on the tradition of cinema, modern video games, and autonomous behavior systems, I have constructed this cinematography system with the same approach that the Synthetic Characters Group uses when developing our virtual characters - an ethologically-inspired structure of sensors, emotions, motivations, and action-selection mechanisms. Using the same approach for all the different elements of our virtual worlds eases the cross-over of information between them, and ultimately leads to a richer and more unified installation.

By helping people interact with our characters, and by showing the emotions of virtual characters, the cinematography system described in this thesis attempts to enhance participants' enjoyment and understanding of our screen-based virtual environments. As digital visualizations grow more complex, cinematography must pace with the new breeds of characters and scenarios. This thesis takes first steps toward a future of interactive, emotional cinematography.

MediaConnector: A Gestalt Media Sharing System MS in Media Arts and Sciences. MIT 2002-09-00 00:00:00
Patel, Surjit Savji

Our desire to have common experiences with other people leads us to share media such as photographs and music. With computer networks as the media delivery system we create new opportunities for recording media utilization and ownership. Using traditional and responsive media we explore systems that enable enhanced shared experiences through modeling groups of users. A series of prototypes built with an experimental framework, MediaConnector, help us document observations and behaviors of participants.

MediaConnector is a peer-to-peer media-sharing framework that allows people to develop new peer-to-peer media sharing application. Through engendering each node with its own historical audit trail we can take a crawler approach and dynamically build group profiles and perform trend analysis.

Theoretical and practical work that leads to the final framework design is discussed. In particular experiments with GPS enabled cameras that explore metadata interrelationships, networked tables to share photos and two construction tests of the MediaConnector framework in dynamic group level personalization of television and audio content.

It is intended that a constructionist approach together with new behavioral analysis will foster new and novel sharing applications to emerge. MediaConnector is evaluated by its ability to support the above approach in a community of users.

A Web-Based System for Media Sharing and Collaborative Tools MS in EECS, MIT 2000-05-00 00:00:00
Tanphaichit, Saksiri M.

The design and implementation of MediaExchange examines the design and implementation of server-side software to support media sharing and collaborative tools. Enterprise Java Beans are used as a transactional, distributed, and object-relational framework for creating these tools and services. Adaptation of the server-side Model-View-Controller object-oriented paradigm for EJB is used as a basis for development. EJB architectures that maximize performance and extensibility are investigated. A complete suite of browser-based workflows is implemented, along with client libraries for accessing the system at the application logic level. Examples of application integration with the system are also given.

Learning Constellations: A Multimedia Ethnographic Research Using Video Technology PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1990-09-00 00:00:00
Goldman-Segall R

This dissertation is an examination of five years of research which includes: an ethnography of children's epistemologies -- in-depth case studies of three children from the Logo constructionist culture called Project Headlight, at the Hennigan School in Boston; a theoretical discussion of the epistemological and ethnographic perspectives underlying the work; and, a description of the multimedia video and design process.

Three preferred thinking styles emerge from this study -- the empirical, the narrative and the social/interpersonal. The success or failure of each child's appropriation relates to her/his preferred style of thinking. Preferred styles are shown to be pervasive throughout many diverse domains. The video data from which I drew my conclusions about their thinking were generated by engaging in personal relationships with these children over a two-and-a-half year period. I investigated, by recording these conversations on video, what we learn about children's thinking when we listen carefully to how they link their experiences together in coherent ways.

In the discussion of the video ethnographic perspective, I propose that Clifford Ceert'z notion of "thick descriptors" can provide a conceptual framework for reflecting upon how the researcher can trust his/her conclusions from video-based research data. A detailed description of the multimedia video ethnography research methodology is also given. I elucidate how the extensive video and text data were organized by designing and using "Learning Constellations" -- first, to break down and analyze the data, and, then, to reconstruct case studies. More specifically, I explain how my observations about the growing Logo culture were communicated to other researchers and users, on a regular basis, to enable them to become part of the discovery process. By using tools for annotating and clustering video and text data, a layering or "thickening" of the description about these children's epistemologies occurred...

Full-Contact Poetry MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2002-09-00 00:00:00
Basu, Anindita

Full-Contact Poetry is a digital play space for children's poetic expression. It is a software environment in which children can express their poetic thoughts, create their interpretations of writing by others and also share these expressions. The environment combines ideas from literary theory and analysis with constructionism to extend tools for poetic expression. Children can experience poetry by playing with words as objects, experimenting with typographic effects, moving words through space and navigating into and through the text, while also being able to incorporate and reconfigure sound and image.

In this thesis, I first describe the Full-Contact Poetry environment then continue with a discussion of a workshop I led for six weeks with a small group of teenagers from Boston. The workshop raised many important issues that fall under the interconnected themes of: finding a voice, creating a language and negotiating context. The experience required negotiations at many levels from our small group. Each member needed to find an individual voice both as part of the group and as a poet. As a group, we needed to develop a language with which we could discuss the work that we were creating since the traditional language regarding poetry, or even workshops, did not quite apply. Finally, we were faced with new contexts. The workshop setting encouraged a classroom feeling, yet it was not a classroom. We were working with technology, but not in the way the children were accustomed - likewise with poetry. The thesis explores the challenges of facilitating an environment to support children's expression and the role that personal models play in shaping that environment.

HyperCASE: A Framework for Interactive Multimedia Case Study MS in Management, MIT 1990-06-04 00:00:00
Harber, Jonathan David

Education serves to provide understanding of the universe around us. Since the beginning of time, man has drawn abstractions from the world to communicate ideas and teach concepts to others. Generally, learned concepts or theories can later be applied to real situations.

Learning through case study inverts the educational experience. As opposed to using some medium to represent concepts, case study presents a series of situations and leaves the task of abstraction for the reader.

This thesis will describe limitations of current case study methodology and define requirements for a more effective learning paradigm. While research in education has opened doors for new genres of teaching, advances in technology have also provided exciting new forms of media.

HyperCASE, a new framework for case study based upon interactive multimedia computing technology, will be proposed. A HyperCASE study of "The Emerging Multimedia PC Industry" will be offered as "proof-of-concept."

Metafilters for the Digital Micromovie Orchestrator BS in EECS, MIT 1993-05-17 00:00:00
Shiple, John F.

Metafilters bring the Digital Micromovie Orchestrator (DMO) into the next stage of its development. The DMO defines a method by which a director can bring together targeted material based on some story mode! which can be computationally defined and orchestrated using sketchy descriptions and filters. The DMO uses two modules, a logging module and a shot selection module, to create a personalized movie from a database of digital video clips. The logging module describes the content of the video clips using sketchy descriptions. The shot selection module determines on the fly which clip will be played next in the personalized movie. Templates provide the basic structure of a movie while filters determine which clips can be played next. The Metafilters concept offers a high level abstraction which defines a standard method to the creation and operation of filters in the DMO. In addition, Metafilters were conceived as the controlling structure of the DMO responsible for managing filters and templates and are the result of making the filter methods and processes more robust and functional. Extending the DMO through Metafilters makes it more powerful and independent by allowing the director more freedom and flexibility in creating stories at various levels of granularity. In implementing Metafilters, the director is given a powerful tool to script his own movies. This paper defines the current abstraction and describes and evaluates the issues surrounding the Metafilters abstraction.

Direct Cinema: Filmmaking Style and its Relationship to "Truth" MS in Visual Studies, MIT 1989-09-15 00:00:00
Schneider, Bernice K.

This thesis consists of two sections: Direct Cinema and its relationship to "truth", and the making of the movie Harlem.

The first section of this thesis focuses primarily on observational cinema as a style and as a method of communicating "truth". I begin with a brief discussion of writings by Andre Bazan about the ambiguous relationship between photography and "truth". According to Bazan, photography and the cinema "actually contributes something to the natural order of creation instead of providing a substitute for it". I then move on to a background discussion of the cinematic method of Robert Flaherty in order to lay the foundation for an understanding of the principles of observational cinema. My discussion of Flaherty's methods is followed by an analysis of the works of Richard Leacock and of his style which emphasizes observational and noninterventional filmmaking as a method of communicating "truth". Leacock's approach was modified by Ed Pincus and Frederich Wiseman. In contrasting Leacock's approach with Pincus' interventionalist style, I am particularly concerned with Pincus' need to express his and his subject's emotional states of mind. Finally, I turn to Frederich Wiseman whose filmmaking focus is an exploration of the relationship between individuals and the institutions they inhabit.

In the second section I discuss the making of a personal documentary about my father who lived and worked in Harlem for most of his life. This section is a description of my own exploration of "truth" guided in part by the methods of the filmmakers mentioned above, with particular influence given to Richard Leacock's observational style.

A Database Representation of Motion Picture Material BS in EECS, MIT 1987-05-00 00:00:00
Beauchamp, Donovan

An alternative representation of motion picture material is described within the context of an experimental video workstation. A database structure has been implemented which seeks to provide a more intuitive level of association between visual information and thematic content. As electronic archives become a common resource, the tools to provide a variety of viewing experiences with the same video materials must also evolve. The proposed workstation environment seeks to address this growing need.

A Video Editing Tool for Graphical Representation of Story Structures BS in CSE, MIT 1993-05-17 00:00:00
Lee, Gideon I.

For my thesis project, I implemented a video editing tool called the story sketch-book. It allows the user to edit the story structure and movie graphically. The primary goal of this project is to show that a graphical representation of movie structures is indeed useful. The secondary goal of this project is to investigate and resolve some of the user interface issues of an interactive tool thathelps the user create story structures graphically.

Dynamic Timelines: Visualizing Historical Information in Three Dimensions MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1995-08-00 00:00:00
Kullberg, Robin L.

This thesis considers the form and function of the visual communication of historical information in computer-based media. By applying new techniques derived from traditional graphic design and cinema, such as infinite zoom, translucency, and animation, the traditional timeline is transformed into a dynamic, three-dimensional framework for the interactive presentation of historical information.

I argue that current static and non-interactive presentation limit the ability of the designer to visualize complex historical information. Dynamic, interactive design solutions address the communicative goals of allowing seamless micro and macro readings of information at several levels of detail and from multiple points of view.

Experimental software for visualizing the history of photography was created to examine and compare various visualization techniques. Selected examples from the system illustrate advantages and disadvantages of various methods of dynamic visualization and interaction.

Children\'s Comprehension of Video Effects: Understanding Meaning, Mood & Message MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2002-06-00 00:00:00
Breyer, Nell

Children's comprehension of special effects was examined in a series of digital video workshops designed for 9-14 year olds. Children assessed illusions in film, TV and video. They made observations about a mood or message conveyed through these magical 'tricks' and effects, and generated hypotheses about techniques underlying their production. Children then tested their preconceptions, building action-based stories with effects in the workshop. Children's explanations and videos were compared. Film elements conveying narrative meaning and mood are described. Mechanisms driving change in understanding are discussed.

Initially, children described features or instances of effects, but not their context or purpose. Responses after the workshop reflected a shift in understanding. Kids did not describe how effects appear within a story (e.g. what they look like to us). Instead, they described how effects operate on the audience (e.g. what they evoke in us). The mean use of special effects between story conception and production increased significantly. Across and within group analysis of effect type, revealed interactions between emotional intent, camera-motion effects, and sound effects. The findings reveal preconceptions these young novices had about cinematic techniques.

The workshop interventions aimed to introduce children to an increasingly sophisticated knowledge of cinematic techniques, and to a range of tools and formats for storytelling. The research has implications for children's learning, and activities that support critical comprehension of motion picture stories - such as those seen on TV, film, and video. The research is directed towards development of activities that support imagination, comprehension and expression in storytelling.

High-level scripting environments for interactive multimedia systems MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1996-02-00 00:00:00
Agamanolis, Stephan

Interave multimedia systems typically consist of many kinds of media objects and input and output components, all of which must be controlled in real time to form a presentation. Although nothing can replace human to human interaction, in many cases it is desirable to automate these management tasks. As the complexity of such systems grow, some method of scripting these presentations in a high-level manner becomes a necessity.

Current solutions are inadequate. Ultra-high-level visual (non-scripted) authoring systems restrict the creativity of the artist, whereas programming in a low-level general-purpose language forces the artist to become a computer scientist. Many systems that lie between these two extremes handle interactivity in a very primitive manner. This thesis details work on the design and implementation of an intuitive and elegant scripting environment that does not sacrifice expressivity or extensibility. in addition, a real-time interactive object-based audio and video system has been created to operate under this new environment.

Customized Data Visualization Using Structured Video MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1996-02-00 00:00:00
Evanco, Kathleen Lee

Structured video describes a video sequence in terms of its component structural parts and a set of instructions describing how to recombine them. Structured video research has primarily focused on entertainment applications such as creating and displaying movies. in contrast, the htesis presented in this paper emphasizes the advantages of structured video as a tool for visual communication of information. This thesis expands the current field of structured video research by using structured video as a data visualization technique in a weather information system. Using a structured video approach to data visualization allows users to customize the format of the visual presentation of information. Issues addressed include collection and parsing of information, automatic composition of video sequences, and forms of customization and interaction with the resulting video sequence.

Real-Time Special Effects for Digitized Movies BS Thesis in EECS, MIT 1992-05-00 00:00:00
Yim, Derrick

Personal computers have become powerful enough to record and playback digital video "on the desktop". As PC's become faster, it is becoming possible to not only playback digitized movies, but to manipulate them in various ways as they are playing. Such effects, and how they can reshape our perception of cinematic storytelling, will be explored in this thesis.

Video Postcard: A Tool for Exploring the New Method in Postcard Communication BS Thesis in EECS, MIT 1994-05-18 00:00:00
Yuan, Erhhung

Since its existence, the postcard has remained a two dimensional entity that embodies the pictorial and textual descriptions of a given moment. Its visual expressions belong solely to the eyes of the photographer or artist who framed that instant in time. The sender can at best describe in words his associations with the picture, but they are never integrated in a way the sender really prefers. If he is given the opportunity to start from scratch and be the photographer, his final product would, for sure, be much more personal. Just as film introduced a definite sense of time and life into still photography and allowed time to be molded as a material, the advent of digital video and high speed, high bandwidth computer networks in a world of rapidly growing connectivity has stretched the expressive potential of a paper postcard into the temporal dimension. This technology not only allows the sender to participate in the creative process of designing personalized descriptions, hence improving personal communication, but also gives him the power of non-linear presentation in an interactive environment of integrated audio, video, and text. It is thus the goal of Video Postcard to provide the necessary tools for transforming the traditional method of communication by postcard into an interactive movie experience available to all.

Arena : Simulating E-Commerce Agent Strategies MEng EECS 2000-05-22 00:00:00
Ree, Peter

Arena is a software package intended to help e-commerce strategy researchers and designers test buying and selling strategies under different scenarios. It implements and adheres to a set of design criteria intended to ensure its simulation ability as well as prolonging its usable lifetime. The process of implementing Arena involved conducting background research into current strategies and the requirements they impose on a simulator as well as implementing a simple prototype simulator. Arena was used to evaluate aspects of Sardine, a system which models an airline selling tickets to potential buyers. Sardine showed Arena proficiency in implementing systems that provide meaningful results. However, Sardine also revealed some minor weaknesses in Arena’s design that would benefit from additional research.

Using interactive Multimedia for Foreign Language Acquisition BS in CSE, MIT 1992-05-08 00:00:00
Liu, Mitchell C.H.; Virk, Rizwan Q.

This thesis presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of a language learning system using interactive video. The goals are to bridge the gap between the most efficient methods of learning a foreign language and in-classroom teaching by bringing "Cultural Immersion to the Desktop."

The system consists of a drill-based supplement to Japanese Language education at MIT, and a less structured adventure game set in the streets of Tokyo. In creating this system, we have developed a set of methodologies for integrating multiple media of interaction including video, graphics, text and voice-input, to produce effective language learning applications.

A Digital-Video Storyboarding and Sequence-Visualization Computer Program BS in EECS, MIT 1993-05-00 00:00:00
Rhough, Eugene J.

A computer program has been implemented that allows a user to prototype and experiment with different digital-video movie sequences. The computer program, written on an Apple Macintosh computer, explores new interface mechanics that better exploit the non-linear, low-latency characteristics of digital movie files. The program allows a user to organize, annotate, and sequence movie clips. Final sequences can be saved as pointer-based files, allowing further fine-detail editing with other programs.

Storytelling with Salient Stills MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1996-08-08 00:00:00
Massey, Michael J

This thesis explores the application of machine vision technology to creating digital pho- tographs from video sequences. This class of photographs, called salient stills can have various aesthetic looks depending on the particular video sequence from which they are derived, or from user specified estimation or rendering controls. As a narrative medium, photography is different from cinema. Cinema or video storytelling relies on the evolution over time to convey the story. The context of the story can be presented before, during, or after the content of the story is revealed. In conventional photography, the single image does not usually provide contextual information. The inherent ambiguity of conventional still photography is perhaps what makes photography so interesting to look at: It is an unnatural process to view time standing still. The salient still incorporates elements from many video frames, compositing them in a controlled statistical fashion. Thus, the salient still can preserve the context of video while presenting the content of a visual story.

Synchronized Structured Sound: Real-Time 3-Dimensional Audio Rendering MS in Media Arts and Sciences. MIT 1995-08-11 00:00:00
Inguilizian, Araz Vartan

Structured Sound describes a synthetic audio environment where sounds are represented by independent audio sources localized in time and three-dimensional space within an acoustic environment. A visual analog, structured video, represents image sequences as a composition of visual components, whose dynamics are controlled by a scripting language and which is rendered/decoded in real-time according to an interactively modifiable viewer location. This research takes the audio components of a script and interactively renders them with respect to the position of the listener/viewer. The audio components are discrete sounds and effects synchronized with the actions of script objects, while the acoustic modeling and processing performed accounts for the listener location within the script "world". Coupled with an interactive scripting language and a structured video system already developed, this work produces a real-time three-dimensional structured audio/video system.

Not How They Win or Lose, But How You Watch The Game: Personalized Sports Viewing MS in Media Arts and Sciences. MIT 1994-05-06 00:00:00
Dolan, M. Cristina Jr.

Technological advancements in the television industry have changed sports coverage dramatically since sports programs were first introduced on television in the 1940's and will continue to change sports television as digital interactive television evolves. The ability to construct arbitrary and continuous viewing angles of an action event from a limited number of camera view points will dramatically change sports entertainment. The ideas that will be presented in this thesis will describe sports television programming when the capabilities of the new digital age are available for sports television. With digital television, viewers will be able to choose the viewing experience, participate in experience or select the type of filler material between action events. The scope of this thesis will be constrained to investigating the creation of the Synthetic Transition Shot for continuous viewing angles for track sports, e.g. bobsled, and transitions for video games. There are four degrees of complexity to creating the Synthetic Transition Shot determining the parameters which define the shape of the (rack, creating the model of the track from the parameters, merging the model of the bobsled onto the model of the track to synthetically create the action which takes place during the transitions between cameras and merging the synthetic and real footage seamlessly. Bobsled video footage is used in this research because of the geometry and texture of the bobsled and the track, but this research is applicable to other track sports, as well as, video games which transcend from real footage to a synthetic game environment.

Everyday Storytelling: supporting the mediated expression of online personal testimony PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-02-00 00:00:00
Kelliher, Aisling Geraldine Mary

Personal stories make our experiences memorable over time. Transforming our fragmentary memories into shareable narratives helps us to understand and communicate who we are as individual and social beings. This thesis presents Everyday Mediated Storytelling, a model of the casual storyteller's process of capturing, creating and sharing personal mediated narratives. The purpose of this model is to better support rich-media storytelling through systems that enable storytellers to engage with personal media in a reflective, meaningful and shareable process.

Based on the Everyday Mediated Storytelling model, an online authoring and publishing application for creating everyday rich-media narratives named Confectionary was developed. Confectionary provides the storyteller with a spatial rich-media authoring environment that encourages creativity, supports a wide variety of story-making styles and protects the disclosure of personal stories through adaptable privacy settings. Confectionary also provides the audience with a story-viewing environment that offers opportunities for transparent learning, supports novel pathmaking strategies for story discovery and enables the audience to actively and broadly interpret personal rich-media stories.

Results from a comparative evaluation with other current best practice within the context of online media and story sharing applications indicate that a spatial authoring and publishing application is more enjoyable to use, better facilitates the process of beginning to tell stories and is easier to navigate and explore. Quantitative and qualitative results from a lengthy study with a group of committed users signify the success of the system as an engaging everyday tool for personal storytelling that stimulated self-reflection and broadened the scope of media capture techniques and storytelling strategies demonstrated by its users.

The model, methodology, and system presented in this thesis provide a basis for understanding how we move fluidly between our direct experiences, our cognitive and emotional reflections and our storied representations and interpretations. This thesis also demonstrates how a spatial everyday authoring and publishing application advances the digital storytelling process from one of media collection to one of storied reflection.

Storied Objects: Design Thinking With Time PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-02-00 00:00:00
Lee, Hyun-Yeul Teresa

The traditional approach to the design of everyday objects is articulated by form and function. This thesis aims to model an approach to design thinking that extends the praxis of form and function to include the expression of time. Designing objects to explicitly express the passage of time extends their useful-useable-desirable quality to include a storied expression of their everyday existence. We introduce a design synthesis framework with a set of principles for object-story-construction. These are used to refigure a recorded history to project an objectcentric perspective. Our principles and method suggest a new class of objects that could be present in future spaces.

Situating point of view, experiential compression of time, and the privileging of extraordinary over ordinary events within a collection of records are critical to the art of history-making. In our approach, the object is instrumented with sensors to continuously capture the passage of time in an audio stream. This stream is parsed in order to highlight extraordinary events from the perspective of the object. These events are then arranged such that the object can express its everyday history to humans and/or other objects in a timely and aesthetically engaging way; we call this "audio time-lapse". The audio time-lapse provides a temporal compression of the historical stream. This thesis considers how the capability for recording and expressing history can add aesthetic and cultural value - a "storiedness" - to the object.

For Whom the World Stops: The Himalayan Sadhu in a World of Constant Motion MSVS 1988-06-00 00:00:00
Ajania, Karim

The sadhu is a man who, according to the tradition of Hindi philosophy, renounces his worldly possessions and becomes a recluse in India, for the purpose of attaining a more comprehensive knowledge of human existence. Anthropological research on the sadhu and related subjects was conducted in the U.S.A. over a period of two years prior to location research and filming for five weeks in northern India. An extensive analysis of the sadhu, within the context of Indian civilization and society, Western philosophy, psychology and literature was also undertaken. Subsequently, a method toward depicting the subject on film and video was formulated, recommended and executed. A copy of the video "For Whom the World Stops" is available for reference at the Film/Video Section of the Media Arts and Sciences Section.

The Director\'s Composite Eyeglass AUP for BSEECS 1994-05-06 00:00:00
Barker, Phil

The Director's Composite Eyeglass performs a digital compositing function of two video images, using a blue screen key to matte the foreground image over the background. It is a chroma-key device implemented in digital hardware. There is a live video feed from which a frame can be captured into memory for use as a background image. This image is then composited with a foreground image, which is shot against a blue screen background. The device filters out the blue screen area from the live foreground image and replaces it with the underlying background image from the frame buffer. The Director's Composite Eyeglass uses modern, special and general purpose hardware to successfully implement this compositing function.

Recording Documentary Movies: An Approach to a Theory MS in Visual Studies 1979-05-00 00:00:00
Bergery, Benjamin

Cinema theory has often been written from the spectator's viewpoint. The film, videotape or TV program is seen as a finished work. I will attempt to frame a theory from a documentary maker's viewpoint, and include the process that leads to the spectator's viewing.

Another trend in cinema theory has been to focus on the particularities of one medium, usually film. Recent technological developments are blurring the traditional boundaries between film, video and television; for example, most films are now seen on TV. In an era of hybrid media, I find it more fruitful to discuss motion pictures in general ("movies" for short), including film, video, television and possible future media (instant film, holography).

My subject is the recording of events with a camera and microphone. The method is that of an indirect commentary on Heidegger's essay The Question of Technology, accompanied by references to footage in the documentary tradition.

Women and Film: Basic Considerations MSVS 1980-06-00 00:00:00
Barco, Julia

Context-Sensitive Multimedia MSVS 1992-09-24 00:00:00
Abramson, Nathan Shalom

The current growth of multimedia applications illustrates the need for standardized object libraries. This thesis suggests that an object-oriented context-sensitive approach may provide the needed flexibility. This thesis describes the construction of an environment for developing and experimenting with context-sensitive multimedia objects. These objects are designed for use across a wide variety of applications: they are active processes which can adapt themselves to the context in which they are used.

The research testbed for objec-oriented multimedia developed in this thesis is called O. The design and implementation of O is described. The initial use of O to support context-sensitive multimedia is examined in two applications: an interactive movie map and a personalized news presentation.

A Video Processor BS in EECS, MIT 1978-05-00 00:00:00
Campbell, Jack

The purpose of theis thesis (project0 was to design and construct a video processor capable of producing a number of useful effects. The design is such that the processor can be used between any two edit video tape recorders as well as in live systems. the circuit can be easily interfaced with external devices to produce additional effects that a user might want to create. The big advantage of this processor over most others is that it works with video tape recorders directly without a time base corrector or any other external equipment. A waveform monitor is useful in setting up the device, but is not necessary.

Focal Lengths and Gravity Waves MSVS 1985-09-01 00:00:00
Doherty, Mary Jane

Film is composed of tiny photographs which, when projected, sometimes look very much like people and things in the real world. Film, too, cannot be separated from its tools. Aesthetic criticism was, and still is, weighted towards consideration of the life-like tiny photographs. This thesis traces the evolution of film technology in order to establish the point where non-fiction ideology (aesthetics) lost pace with technical innovation - a derailment, so to speak, with nefarious implications for the present-day filmmaker. The emphasis is on lenses - the provocative "camera eye" - and sound recording equipment - which proved to be the rate-limiter of technical advance.

This thesis considers two filmmaking solutions to the present malaise: the Standard TV Documentary, and the single-person shooting methodology of former MIT filmmakers, Jeff Kreines and Joel DeMott -- in the form of a movie, Gravity, which is about the members of an MIT experimental astrophysics laboratory trying to discover gravity waves.

Evolution of a Filmmaker MSVS 1980-06-01 00:00:00
Chittick, John

Personal filmmaking now has the potential of recording a significant part of the artist's life in greater intimacy than ever before through the use of light-weight, portable, single system super-8 cameras, transferred and edited on 3/4" videocassette. The future viability of film on videodisc will lead to low cost productions and larger distribution of the artist's work.

Videodisc-Based Simulations for Language Learning MSVS 1987-06-00 00:00:00
Farman-Farmaian, Ayshe

This thesis illustrates a particular approach to the design of an "interactive fiction movie". The movie is designed for use, as a companion exercise, by MIT French language students. The piece, entitled En Quete d'Un Appartement, was shot on location in France, using native speakers of French. The viewer is invited to become an active participant in the fictional world of the characters and can make decisions that change the outcome of the plot.

Such interaction is enabled by the use of a computer, connected to a videodisc player. Viewer decisions translate into appropriate branching of the movie. Therefore, there are a number of possible paths through this material.

The goal of the project and final design solutions are discussed in detail. Furthermore, the addition of the computer to the movie viewing experience is examined within the context of other technological developments which have affected the language of narrative film.

DirectIVE: Choreographing Media for Interactive Virtual Environments MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1997-02-00 00:00:00
Sparacino, Flavia

This work describes methods for constant choreography for performance and entertainment spaces, using remote sensing technology for interaction, so that the user/performer is not encumbered with wires or sensors. Artificial Life programming methods are used to avoid rigid scripting of user and content interaction. This results in the design of active content endowed with intentionality and autonomous behavior (media creatures). By following this approach I created an Improvisational Theater Space where autonomous media creatures react to the user's movements, speech, etc., to create an improvisational dialog between the user/performer and the performance/entertainment space's content (images, video, sound, speech, text). This space is the last of a series of experiments in the construction of Interactive Virtual Environments (IVEs) that include also DanceSpace and NetSpace. Each of these experiments aims at exploring a specific aspect among those that are essential to create an immersive experience. This research contributes to the field of digital graphic design and content orchestration for virtual reality applications by offering new tools for designing interactive immersive spaces.

Translations Upon Cinema as a Psychotheraputic Rite MSVS 1981-02-00 00:00:00
Gianvito, John Henry

The following retraces the path of a director tracing the path of a muse from early Spring 1979 through January 1981. What resulted was a form of psychodrama enveloping the cast, crew and director in the making of an autobiographical feature film, "The Flower of Pain."

As the lessons of life are learned through one's mistakes, the enlarging of these mistakes and personal failings onto a cinema screen affords both the illumination of motivation and the expiation of the past. The cinema can no longer be a place one goes to in order to escape but rather, a place one goes to in order to find oneself; one enters the cinema for repairs. Similarly, there is inherent therapy in the creative process, and this must be imposed onto the viewer. To the extent that this kind of filmmaking is a communal act, it requires the development of techniques and refinement of skills that encourage the actor to live concentrated in front of a camera, confident that his own personal experiences, his traumatism and philosophy, coincide with the film's design.

Journey with Ganapati: A Media Exploration and Analysis of Hindu Religious Ritual Components MSVS 1983-06-00 00:00:00
Jhala, Jayasinhji

Applying modern and recent audio-visual technology to the traditional practice and performance of ancient Hindu religious ritual. To illustrate elements of the Indian Rasa theory of esthetics, the canons of Hindu iconography, the symbolism of mantra, yantra, and tantra with the tools of computer graphics, animation, high speed photography, and o entice the imagery in a cocoon of sound spirals with the mechanics of structural and layered sound. To attempt a marriage of the observed ethnographic ritual with the contrived experiential state that modern technological tools permit. The nature of the tape will be circular in time and confined in space. It is to be used repeatedly like an audio record so that the sound-image stimulus becomes more familiar with playing and a familiarity and recognition factor replaces the "only once to be seen and heard" phenomenon.

The written thesis will primarily serve as a background of ideas and theories employed and to help understand the technical, artistic or cultural traditions and the motivation for that use, with supportive sketches and drawings.
1. Use of the screen as stage/temple/space with the concept of yantra needs.
2. Use of traditional chant to create a captive sound environment.
3. Use of religious symbols and the inherent relationship between drawn pictures, dance, ritual performance and natural phenomena.
4. The appropriateness of computer graphics and other audio-visual technologies to serve and be extensions of traditional ritual components.
5. The insider-outsider dialogue concerning ethnographic film.

Truth and Lies in Cinema Verite MSVS 1985-09-00 00:00:00
Majoros, Michael A.

This thesis consists of two sections: Truth and Lies, and the making of Everything Must Change. Truth and Lies traces several developments made in the evolution of the documentary cinema (both technological and ideological) and explores their effect upon the manner in which the world before the camera has been transformed onto film over the course of the past ninety years. During this period, the documentarian has labored under the constraint of having to present a more or less objective view of his subject, and historically this objectivity has been considered synonymous with "truthfulness"; the filmmaker has not been allowed to present subjective truth. In the eyes of critics, subjectivity and bias were lies. The premise throughout this discussion is that documentaries indeed are subjective statements, and that as the tools available to the documentarian become more and more transparent, this inherent subjectivity becomes increasingly masked. This paper contends that a possible solution to this dilemma might be for filmmakers to include contextual clues to subjectivity within the scope of their work.

The second section, the making of Everything Must Change, outlines the process of shooting and editing my thesis movie, and examines how a certain degree of contextualized subjectivity has been included specifically within this work.

Event and Idea: A Writer's Approach to the Videotape Documentary MSVS 1982-02-00 00:00:00
Massiah, Louis Joseph

The documentation of ideas has been the basis of my interest in videotape recording. Thoughts, notions and other things from the head often have a dynamic visual and aural nature, which suggests the technology of videotape might be used as a means for presenting ideas. I have attempted to borrow techniques from writing in order to find an approach to producing movies.

The image script of an idea-oriented movie, Washington Reactor, is included.

Audio Controlled Processor BS 1982-05-00 00:00:00
Michon, Brian Victor

The purpose of this thesis was to design, construct and apply a device capable of modifying a video image's color by keying on the frequency of an audio source. An Audio Controlled Processor (ACP) is an analog and digital circuit designed to be placed in series between an RGB monitor and a RGB driver. The ACP provides for eight variable frequency keying regions, that if a frequency is detected in that range the intensity of the red, green or blue color vector can be increased or decreased by a programable amount. A prototype ACP was constructed and tested. The device met all functional specifications but produced an undesirable flashing effect inherent to its initial design.

Riverdog Journal MSVS 1979-05-00 00:00:00
Moss, Robb

In the fall of 1978 I spent thirty-five days filming a river trip through the Grand Canyon. What follows is the background leading up to the making of the film, the conceptual formulations and reformulations, and the issues and consequences which arose during the making of "Riverdogs".

iTheater Interface Design: integrating an educational user interface with a non-linear story engine Master of Engineering, EECS, MIT 2000-05-00 00:00:00
Mozes, Alon

User interface design is an important part of any software application, especially educational programs. iTheater is a powerful application development tool created by Echo Bridge Productions. It is used to implement non-linear interactive stories. This thesis involves enhancing iTheater to allow for video components for the stories, which should greatly improve the user interface for the resulting projects. Taking advantage of the new features, iTheater is then used to create an educational program for health care professionals. The result is effective, although the program does not take full advantage of iTheater's non-linearity.

Personal Cinema in Family Crisis Situations MSVS 1979-05-00 00:00:00
Parry, David Allen

Some Current Problems in the Verite Approach to Film/Video Documentaries Master of Science 1978-06-00 00:00:00
Pena, Richard

An essay which is comprised of a historical overview of the problems and concerns of documentarists working within the tradition of cinema-verite, and an examination of the effects of these problems and concern on the most current work being done in the field at MIT. As part of the thesis, three short cinema-verite pieces are included in the form of 3/4 inch video cassette, which illustrate the author's own attempts at dealing with these issues at a practical level.

The Edge of the Stage MSVS 1984-06-00 00:00:00
Purdie, Catherine

The edge of the stage is not only the point where the mask is removed but also the line where performance enters daily life. The film, The Edge of the Stage, revolves around this point through the lives of five performers. Many levels of illusion are presented and removed as they portray different characters in the film, including themselves. Their roles are both unique and universal as they become metaphors for performance. The vehicle, the film, is not only a transparent medium in which to express the art of performance but rather a structure to reference the performers' art and their lives to the nature of performance in all our lives.

This paper examines the role of illusion in both film and performance and the structures that control and break that illusion. Moving theough the history of these intertwined art forms, the paper traces some of the ideas and observations that provided a framework for The Edge of the Stage.

Home Movies Master of Science 1977-06-00 00:00:00
Rance, Mark S.

In general, documentary films are made by filmmakers working in crews. Films made in this way tend to relate to their subjects in terms of what is newsworthy about them. Filming what is personal or autobiographical is, for the most part, excluded by this method.

The scenes from the films submitted with this essay were made in an alternative style, shooting single-person. The films were an attempt on the part of the filmmaker to film more closely and more intimately his relationships to those people he filmed.

Propaganda and Documentary Filmmaking MSVS 1984-09-00 00:00:00
Roper, Michael

This thesis consists of a text and a videotape, entitled "A Call For Survival: Personal Responses to the Nuclear Threat."

The written thesis is an analysis of documentary filmmaking as a form of discourse. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, a French historian and philosopher, the two basic approaches to documentary filmmaking are explored: the observational documentary and the propagandistic documentary. The techniques of each approach are evaluated in terms of their effects as mechanisms of power and knowledge. The two approaches are then examined in terms of how each has been incorporated into mass media.

Communication and Development: Between the Hammer and the Mirror: The Use of Cinema Verite in the Third World MSVS 1984-06-00 00:00:00
Shankardass, Sharad

This thesis is essentially about the role and use of cinema verite in development communications. The central argument is that the diffusion of this method of filmmaking to developing countries, the technology was separated from the philosophy. Briefly, it is argued that whereas the technology was readily adopted, the philosophy was rejected for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these is that under the major development paradigms of the first two decades after independence, industrialization and state centralization, the media were used to "hammer" the myths of modernization. In such a context, an aesthetic like cinema verite, which is committed to revelation and "mirroring" people as they are, was bound to have difficulties being adopted...

Storied Navigation: Towards Media Collection-Based Storytelling MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-09-00 00:00:00
Shen, Edward Yu-Te

Life is filled with stories. Modern technologies enable us to document and share life events with various kinds of media, such as photos, videos, etc. But people still find it time-consuming to select and arrange media fragments to create coherent and engaging narratives.

This thesis proposes a novel storytelling system called Storied Navigation, which lets users assemble a sequence of video clips based on their roles in telling a story, rather than solely by explicit start and end times. Storied Navigation uses textual annotations expressed in unconstrained natural language, using parsing and Commonsense reasoning to deduce possible connections between the narrative intent of the storyteller, and descriptions of events and characters in the video.

Blindsight MS in Science Communication 1981-05-00 00:00:00
Starkey, Michele Christine

BLINDSIGHT is a film designed for an informed audience, in contrast to science communication films aimed at general audiences with little formal knowledge of a topic. It is a film that joins the documentary-like style of information with the personal experience, emotional involvement style of cinema verite.

In a chronological manner, I have traced the development of this film project from the original choice of the topic to the editing. My experience looking for funding for the project, and the problems involved in securing financial backing are described.

It was a challenge to learn enough about the field of blind mobility in a short period to make a current, state of the art presentation of the subject matter. I have detailed the research process, and the helpful contributions of many blind people and of the members of the blind mobility community, which made this task immeasurably easier.

I have concluded with a discussion of the contrasting roles of cinema verite and documentary styles in science communication, and the manner in which both have been incorporated into this film.

One-Man Video Verite: Thoughts on SCENES FROM UNDERGROUND MSVS 1984-09-00 00:00:00
Strongin, Barry

This thesis considers the making of a documentary videotape on the Red Line Subway Extension project in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts entitled "Scenes From underground". It traces my initial plans for an expository 16mm film on the Red Line construction work occurring alongside Harvard University in Harvard Square. It then tells of how the influence of one-person cinema verite filmmaking resulted in the similar use of light-weight video tape recording equipment, and the subsequent utilization of this equipment in the tunnels and subway construction sites of the Red Line Extension Project.

The paper asserts that the video medium is ideally suited for a non-preconceived approach to documentary work and that the rules and conventions governing observational filmmaking are applicable to video.

Plans, Pans, and Six Grand in the Can MSVS 1980-01-00 00:00:00
Swartz, Carol

Making an unscripted documentary (cinema verite) film is a kind of exploration into uncharted territory. It was my experience in making "marv Cutler and the Little Prince of Rock" that preconceptions in shooting a scene were rarely realized. The footage returned by the lab, having been shot by me in a state of instant surprise, often had a puzzle quality which would then be reworked into a logical scene which was usually a restructuring, rather than a reporting of the event.

Thus the film acquired a shape molded by feasibility, logistics, and accessibility in shooting. Conclusions are avoided; I strive instead for evocative scenes which suggest the complexity of real life.

Using Video as Textural Input to a Computer Graphic Database BS in EECS, MIT 1988-12-00 00:00:00
Thorman, Christopher P.

A method for the spatial tagging of images is proposed. With each image, the location, direction, vector, aspect ratio, and view angle of the camera are recorded. These variables correspond to those used in the process of traditional three-dimensional rendering, and are sufficient to characterize the viewing transform performed by the camera. Because of this correspondence, spatially tagged photographs or frames of video may be treated as two-dimensional perspective renderings of their subjects. To demonstrate an application which uses spatial information, several frames of video of a building on the MIT campus were tagged with spatial data as they were generated, and then put through an inverse rendering process to create a three-dimensional database of video textures. The database was used to generate textured renderings of the object from arbitrary viewpoints.

Picture and Sound Editing on optical Media with a Graphical User Interface: Progress Report for MacEdit BS in EECS, MIT 1986-08-10 00:00:00
Tindell, J. Michael

The optical disk medium has made random access to audio-visual information a practical reality. There are now low-cost systems that allow users to impose an abstract structure upon the material stored on a disk or disks. The organization might be a traditional edited program, a hierarchal database, or something else. The advantage to a software approach is the ability to impose an arbitrary number upon the same optically stored information.

One to One Connections: Building a Community Learning Culture PhD in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-09-00 00:00:00
Urrea, Claudia M.

The complexity of the school, society and policy, and dominant cultural beliefs about teaching, learning, and knowledge constrain people’s mindsets, paradoxically preventing the fundamental changes that can take advantage of new technologies and address the inadequacies of current educational systems. The same constraints permeate reform efforts as most often the educational establishment tests the transformation of the system one element at a time while attempting to hold all other elements constant, thereby inhibiting more profound changes. The promise of one- to-one computer infrastructure provides such a dramatic alternative to current educational systems that it forces us to think about change at a deeper level, leaving us with the challenge of where to begin.

The fundamental aim of this thesis is to study the potential of the one-to-one computer infrastructure as a catalyst for change. This thesis presents a holistic model for rural school that builds on a rich body of Constructionist learning research. Key components of the holistic model are: sufficient amount of student-owned technology which can accompany them as they interact at home and in the broader community; activities that are designed with sufficient scope to encourage the appropriation of powerful ideas; and, teacher engagement in activity design with simultaneous support from a knowledge network of local and international colleagues and mentors. I introduce the concept of “whole-project” learning, which strategically integrates the elements of the model, and introduces a learning approach that is fundamentally different from the existent methodology of work.

The thesis findings rely on data collected during the one year intervention. This longitudinal study of a one-teacher school in Costa Rica over the course of the year allows me to present stories of change as well as a more quantitative analysis of the learning activities. The results of the study suggest that in order for appropriation to occur, three conditions are salient: computational technology must be mobile and owned by the students so that learning becomes integral to the culture of the community; activities need to be of a scale and quality that children and teachers can make rich connections to powerful ideas; and, participation and voice must be inclusive.

HyperCASE Application: The Visual Interactive Management Simulator MS in Management 1991-06-00 00:00:00
Zetlin, Eric R.

While some work has been done in the area of interactive multimedia presentations for classroom applications at many levels, little has been done specifically in the area of business school teaching methods. What has been done has aimed at turning the classic "paper based" business school case directly into an interactive application of similar design and structure.

This thesis examines the power of providing video input and interactivity to the student. A new teaching environment was developed from the ground up which directly capitalizes on this power. The result is a management simulation exercise that puts the student in a situational setting similar to that which is likely to be encountered in a management position. It allows the user to see the situation first hand while being called upon to make real decisions concerning the health of a genuine enterprise.

This learning environment is called The Visual Interactive Management Simulator (VIMS), and serves as a new way to approach business teaching. It has been built around the development of a young company called Fluent Machines and has been created as a proof of concept. The case on Fluent is presented both in interactive form and traditional paper based form and then compared. The hope is that this project will spurn new ideas and will be built upon in the future.

Model Planes and Totem Poles: Methods for Visualizing User Models MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1995-06-00 00:00:00
Kliger, Susan Jill

In the near future more data collection devices will exist to monitor an individual's actions and interests. This data is useful for tailoring information to the individual consumer. A user model is a growing set of data that describes an individual. For many years user models have been a tool for direct marketing organizations to target magazines and other mailings at consumers who have previously shown interest in similar products. Currently, the user modelling done by direct marketers is crude and inundates the consumer with much unwanted mail. Assuming that better user modelling methods exist and are focused on helping consumers filter information down to their needs, the near future will bring many personalized systems to market. News, entertinment, and correspondence are each ripe fields for personalization...

Some Assembly Required: Making a Smart Editor AUP in EECS, MIT 1996-05-24 00:00:00
Beechum, Andrew Rogers

Film is a powerful visual medium that transmits an artists concept of a narrative through the use of images and sounds arranged according to complex cinematic language. Some Assembly Required (SAR) is a system that attempts to solve the problem of dumb cropping that occurs in the film to video transfer process today. Utilizing the methodology of structured video, SAR allows a director to control a dynamic editing process via annotations and the rules of Master Scene Language. This dynamic editing preserves the vital visual information that the director deems important to his narrative.

We have produced a structured video movie, Two Viewpoints, to demonstrate the usability of SAR.

My evaluation of the current implementation of SAR is that the resulting product, while answering some questions, still leaves room for further development, specifically in the area of narrative intelligence.

SAR was developed in conjunction with David Tames. A more detailed discussion of the theory behind SAR can be found in Tames' Master's Thesis, "Some Assembly Required: Cinematic Knowledge-based Reconstruction of Structured Video Sequences."

MIDS: A System for Describing Image Content Graphically for Multimedia Design MSVS 1989-09-00 00:00:00
Morgaine, Sylvain Charles

The first step in creating an electronic multimedia design such as an electronic book or hypermedia document is gathering the material. As multimedia information becomes electronically accessible, multimedia designers will need to find the material for their application interactively.

This thesis introduces the concept of content-knowledgable media, detailing its creation and representation and shows how content-knowledgable media can enhance the information gathering process through implicit, reconfigurable links to the available material.

A model and a system for describing content knowledge in images is proposed as a basis for a common representation of content information across multimedia objects.

The Wonder of Magic: Eliciting Wonder and Analyzing its Expression MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-09-00 00:00:00
Raphael, Seth Taylor

The wonder that occurs while watching a good magic trick or admiring a gorgeous natural vista is a strong emotion that has not been well studied. Educators, media producers, entertainers, scientists and magicians could all benefit from a more robust understanding of wonder. This exploration proposes a theoretical model for this understanding. Additionally, an experiment was conducted to investigate how several variables affect how magic tricks are enjoyed. 'The experiment showed 70 subjects 10 videos of magic while recording their responses and reactions to the tricks. Some individuals were shown the explanations to the magic tricks to gauge their impact on enjoyment. The style of the presentation was varied between two groups to compare the effect of magic presented as a story to magic presented as a puzzle. It was discovered that presentation style has an effect on magic enthusiasts' enjoyment and that a storied presentation is associated with individuals being more generous towards a charity. Contrary to magician's beliefs, the explanations had the effect of making people more likely to want more magic later. Other general statistics about magic spectators are also quantified.

The Mind's Eye: An Approach to Understanding Large Complex Information-Bases Through Visual Discourse MS in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 1995-09-00 00:00:00
Rennison, Earl

To develop an effective medium that adapts organically to changing information and responds dynamically to users' changing interests, we must rethink the process of designing and presenting information. Most information systems focus on reducing the information load by filtering information. This thesis presents an alternative approach, called the Mind's Eye, that allows people to see all information available in a corpus of information from a high level, while allowing them to quickly dive in for details. The Mind's Eye demonstrates a novel interface approach for visualizing, navigating, and accessing information objects in a large body of unstructured information such as on-line news stories and phoographs available via Clarinews; electronic mail; articles in a historical information-base; and World Wide Web documents...

Use of Shot-Scene Parsing in Generating and Browsing Video Databases BS in EECS, MIT 1995-05-00 00:00:00
Shu, Allen

There is a large volume of video which exists in the world today, stored in a multitude of different forms. In order to make this information more easily accessible, we need methods of organizing this data in an intelligible manner. This thesis suggests a method of cataloging and browsing videos by extracting key frames from the individual shots and scenes in the film. The algorithms presented herein were tested on video containing a wide variety of images (interviews, sports, computer animation, etc.) They provide a way to automatically segment an audio/video stream into shots and scenes, which could then be used to generate a database for many applications, from logging a broadcasting station's archives to browsing video in a digital library.

Computerized Film Directing BS in EECS, MIT 1987-05-00 00:00:00
Schroeder, Carl

The intent of this thesis is to demystify the process of film creation, a domain of unfathomed human creativity, by making significant progress towards a realization of the computer as a tool for film creation. To what extent can the computer, by following its programming, aid a user in the direction and editing of a film? For that matter, what is a film? Theories based on algorithmic methods for story generation, film representation, and editing technique have been developed. Implementation of a valid subset of these ideas involved the production of a shot library, the representation thereof, and rudimentary procedures for film generation. Programming tools consisted of Common Lisp and HPRL, a representation language developed at Hewlett-Packard and beta-sited at the MIT Media Lab.

Mini-Documentaries MSVS 1979-09-00 00:00:00
Zalewski, Marek

The considerations, potential and limitations of very short films as exemplified by the production of thirty-eight Mini-Documentaries for the Aspen Movie Map Project.

Agent Stories for Java AUP in EECS, MIT 1999-05-21 00:00:00
Young-Garner, Anthony

The goal of this project was to design and deliver a baseline (proof-of-concept) version of Kevin Brooks' Agent Stories system on a Java/Web platform. This document assumes familiarity with the current Agent Stories system and software. The deliverables were to provide the functionality seen in the Agent Stories system running on the MTropolis platform in February of this year. The two motivations for this work were: 1). the marginal nature of the now-discontinued MTropolis platform amongst both developers and users, which was likely to limit further development and use of the system after Brooks' graduation, and 2). that the current version of Agent Stories is hindered by limitations of the MTropolis platform, which is a powerful presentation environment rather than a true programming tool.

Borders: A Video Documentary BS in Physics, MIT 1990-06-00 00:00:00
Vanderway, Joseph Lee

A direct cinema style video documentary of the collaborative process behind a multi-media performance was produced. The Artemis Ensemble, a group of poets, musicians and photographers presented their combined work in a performance on October 29, 1989. Using a small video camera, I recorded several rehearsals and meetings of the Artemis Ensemble prior to and including their performance. Editing this footage yielded a 22 minute video focused on the process by which they developed this unique artistic creation.

Tangential Browsing AUP in EECS, MIT 1999-02-00 00:00:00
Ree, Peter

By themselves, current web browsers do not present users with a simple and cohesive means to browse the World Wide Web. Popular search engines such as Yahoo! and aim to solve this problem by allowing users to search the Web by matching simple queries with related web pages. However, this mechanism adds complexity to the actual act of browsing and thus detracts from the intended leisurely nature of the act. Tangent solves this problem by doing much of the work done by users using traditional search engines to browse the Web. It simplifies the browsing procedure by eliminating the formal search engine query while suggesting relevant URLs to the user on its own. However, Tangent is not without problems of its own. Specifically, the immense size and growth of the Internet presents Tangent with difficulties searching for material, as well as maintaining it. However, this paper will show that Tangent succeeds in offering an alternative to using search engines for users that wish to browse the Web in a leisurely fashion.

Scripts; On the Description of Computer Animated Images MSVS 1985-06-00 00:00:00
Velho, Luiz

The problem of specification of temporal transformations for Computer Animation production is investigated. based on this analysis, an interactive animation language is developed which supports both procedural and key-frame animation. It is a flexible software environment for the design and prototyping of animation programs and interfaces.

The language is implemented in C within the Unix operating system, and consists of C-like expressions. built-in functions, script and track constructs. There is also an escape mechanism to run Unix commands. C-like expressions are the regular arithmetical, logical and control of flow operations. Built-in functions are C functions incorporated in the language. Scripts are time programs that are executed in parallel to generate animation. Tracks are time variables used to define dynamic animation parameters.

A small set of animation tools is also developed to exemplify the system's utilization. These include a three dimensional geometry model interface library, a spline library, and simple mechanics, collision detection and inverse kinematics functions.

A Form-of-Inhabiting Movie: Some Geography About its Physical Features Master of Architecture, MIT 1974-06-00 00:00:00
Strickland, Rachel Morgan

A building is the verb for how it happened. A movie-making is a building. I happens to be likening itself to landscape. This project is concerned with a new way of describing architectural space, nd with exploring how the format of film (by motion-picture structure and by spatial analog) lends itself to the reconstruction of anyplace in particular. In an architectural sense it is a form-of-inhabiting movie. In a filmic sense it reverses the conventional interrelationship between background / scenes & foreground / event...

Interactive Portraiture: Designing Intimate Interactive Experiences MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2006-08-00 00:00:00
Zuckerman, Orit

In this thesis I present a set of interactive portrait experiences that strive to create an intimate connection between the viewer and the portrayed subject; an emotional experience, one of personal reflection. My interactive portraits extend traditional photographic portraiture in two ways: adding motion and interaction. I present seven interactive portraits prototypes that react to viewer's presence and gender, as well as portraits that react to neighboring portraits. I demonstrate how interaction design decisions influence the viewer's experience and give Design Guidelines for the design of intimate interactive experiences.

I ground my work in a theoretical framework called the "subject-object continuum", created for the art of portraiture (Brilliant, 1987). I show the relevancy of this framework for photographic portraiture, modern interactive portraits and intimate interactive experiences.

Designers and artists follow (or consciously break) design guidelines when creating visual experiences. For example, photographers must train themselves to recognize the influence that light and composition have on the viewing experience of their portrait. In the same way, designers and artists of interactive experiences must inform themselves about the influence that different interaction techniques have on the viewing experience of their interactive experience. In my thesis I focus on two design factors: (1) the style of the interaction and (2) the viewer's expectations. I evaluated these design factors using interactive portraits prototypes, and based on my findings, developed a set of design guidelines that can inform interaction designers and portraiture artists about the design factors relevant for intimate interactive experiences.

THE IDEA MELTING POT (IMP): An openly-editable web-based community learning resource for builders MS Thesis in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT 2007-09-00 00:00:00
Nichols, Laura E.

This thesis discusses the development, use, and potential future for an openly- editable web-based community learning resource for builders. The idea for a resource such as this and how it might be structured stems from Seymour Papert's vision of a Constructopedia:

[...] a browsable, interactive database, designed to help children build structures, mechanisms, and computer programs as well as to make connections to the mathematical and scientific ideas underlying those constructions. Whereas encyclopedias focus on "what is," the Constructopedia focuse[s] on "how to" and "what if." The Constructopedia [is] intended as a communal resource in which children not only get access to building tips, but also contribute their own ideas and designs [Lifelong Kindergarten, 2007].

The IMP differs from existing resources in three key ways. First, by allowing for both project pages and concept pages to be added and by providing numerous, flexible ways of navigating the site, the IMP attempts to treat learning through construction more like the immersive learning of a new language. Second, due to its collaborative nature, the IMP serves as a place where builders can reflect on their ideas, share their projects, and contribute to the learning environment. Third, the IMP attempts to support the use of whatever materials are locally available to the builder instead of only focusing on one type of material or on one particular kit.