Disney Tech Makes Movies from Wearables Footage

Disney Research

It's easy for the whole family to snag some fun, candid videos during a vacation, but editing all of that footage into something cohesive can take a bit of work. Disney Research is looking to quell that challenge with a new type of technology, which automatically stitches together videos taken from multiple "social cameras" like smartphones and wearables.

According to Disney's press release, the company's research group has devised an algorithm that automatically finds the most interesting part of multiple clips, and edits them together into a cohesive video. The algorithm is also designed to follow standard cinematography rules, like the "180-degree rule" of consistently showing the subject from the same side, as well as the avoidance of excessive jump-cuts or shots that are too short in duration.

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Disney posted a video of this technology in action, showcasing a basketball game in which all players wore head-mounted cameras. The video that used Disney's tech would automatically jump to the player that had the best view of the action, providing a seamless look at each big play. The same footage was put through software that makes random cuts at predetermined intervals, which sometimes resulted in missing the action completely. 

According to Disney, it will take "several hours" for the technology to automatically put these videos together. The company claims that professional editors took 20-plus hours to make short videos using the same raw footage.

“The resulting videos might not have the same narrative or technical complexity that a human editor could achieve, but they capture the essential action and, in our experiments, were often similar in spirit to those produced by professionals,” said Disney Research Pittsburgh team member Ariel Shamir in the release.

Disney Research Pittsburgh will present this tech at annual computer graphics showcase ACM Siggraph 2014, which takes place in Vancouver, Canada from August 10 to 14. There's no word yet on a consumer release, but we're eager to get our hands on it.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. He's still never worn Google Glass. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+

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