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LookOut! Interactive Camera Gimbal Controller for Filming Long Takes

Sayed, Mohamed; Cinca, Robert; Costanza, Enrico; Brostow, Gabriel; (2022) LookOut! Interactive Camera Gimbal Controller for Filming Long Takes. ACM Transactions on Graphics , 41 (3) , Article 30. 10.1145/3506693. Green open access

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Abstract

The job of a camera operator is challenging, and potentially dangerous, when filming long moving camera shots. Broadly, the operator must keep the actors in frame while safely navigating around obstacles and while fulfilling an artistic vision. We propose a unified hardware and software system that distributes some of the camera operator's burden, freeing the operator up to focus on safety and aesthetics during a take. Our real-time system provides solo operators with end-to-end control so that they can balance on-set responsiveness to action against planned storyboards and framing while looking where they are going. By default, we film without a field monitor.Our LookOut system is built around a lightweight commodity camera gimbal mechanism, with heavy modifications to the controller, which would normally just provide active stabilization. Our control algorithm reacts to speech commands, video, and a premade script. Specifically, our automatic monitoring of the live video feed saves the operator from distractions. In preproduction, an artist uses our graphical user interface (GUI) to design a sequence of high-level camera "behaviors."Those can be specific, based on a storyboard, or looser objectives, such as "frame both actors."Then, during filming, a machine-readable script, exported from the GUI, ties together with the sensor readings to drive the gimbal. To validate our algorithm, we compared tracking strategies, interfaces, and hardware protocols and collected impressions from (a) filmmakers who used all aspects of our system and (b) filmmakers who watched footage filmed using LookOut.

Type: Article
Title: LookOut! Interactive Camera Gimbal Controller for Filming Long Takes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/3506693
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1145/3506693
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155407
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