CWI develops tool for creation of personal video stories

Researchers at CWI have developed software that can automatically create a personalized video story by re-mixing material captured by multiple people at an event. The project, called MyVideos, enables users to share stories from small-scale events with friends and relatives that might not have been there. Researcher Rodrigo Laiola Guimarães will defend his thesis ‘Socially-Aware Multimedia Authoring’ on 28 January 2014 at the VU University Amsterdam.

Even though most people carry around a smartphone with a built-in video camera, the hours and hours of recorded material are rarely shared or even watched again. They are usually overly long and of mediocre quality, not following any narrative principles and showing a single point of view. In order to create stories from such videos making them interesting to others, there is a need for editing them; and amateur filmmakers do not have the time or the skills. With MyVideos this process can be automated. Based on the input given by multiple enthusiastic, but less experienced filmers at an event, the tool creates a personal video mash-up re-mixing videos from different cameras, targeted to the personal preferences of the viewer and taking into account the recipient of the video and her relationship with the portrayed people.

The CWI researchers conducted a number of pilot studies together with high-schools in the Netherlands and the UK. During a school event more than 300 raw video clips were collected from over ten different cameras, some fixed and some belonging to parents in the audience. After the event, the parents assisted in labelling the clips with some personal details. The software then composed personal videos of the event, each intended for a close relative, for every parent. Participants were satisfied with the resulting videos, and particularly liked the possibility to focus on a specific person. They all agreed that MyVideos would allow them to use all that material they normally record, creating and sharing videos with the people they care about.

This research was carried out as part of the Together Anywhere, Together Anytime (TA2) project, funded through the EU’s 7th Framework Research Program (FP7). TA2 studied how technology can help to nurture relationships between households, enabling people to share their stories, pass digital photos and videos around and add comments to them. In November 2013, researchers Rodrigo Laiola Guimarães, Pablo Cesar and Dick Bulterman were awarded a Best Paper Award for this project at WebMedia 2013 conference. The MyVideos software is currently a prototype, licensing still has to be decided upon.


Thesis: Socially-Aware Multimedia Authoring
By: Rodrigo Laiola Guimarães (CWI Distributed and Interactive Systems-group)
Promoter: Prof. dr. Dick Bulterman (CWI and VU)
Co-promoter: Dr. Pablo Cesar (CWI)
Date: 28 January 2014, 13.45h
Place: Aula, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam


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