“DirectCam: a gestural system for animatic creation” by Lockwood, Simari, Coleman and Singh

  • ©Noah Lockwood, Patricio Simari, Patrick Coleman, and Karan Singh

  • ©Noah Lockwood, Patricio Simari, Patrick Coleman, and Karan Singh




    DirectCam: a gestural system for animatic creation



    In film production, hand-drawn storyboards are used to generate a roughly–animated animatic to explore visual ideas easily, without refining motion to a detailed performance. Our DirectCam system allows nontechnical users such as directors to quickly create and refine an animatic by gesturally controlling the placement and imitation of sets, characters, and the camera. We use gloves augmented with reflective markers and a Vicon1-optical motion capture system to track the user’s hand position and posture. Users begin by importing a storyboard reel to overlay atop the camera view and then incrementally work by bringing in the set, animating the camera, and bringing in characters and props while applying rough animation to each as needed. A small set of hand postures are used to select a task such as camera navigation, object manipulation, or keyframe specification, which are controlled directly by subsequent hand motion. For fast access to scene elements, we reference sets, cameras, characters, and props on shelves that automatically appear as users reach to the edge of the display. The lightweight gestural interface, in conjunction with a large display, allows for fast learning and effective communication with collaborators in a group setting. 


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