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Toward automatic extraction of expressive elements from motion pictures : tempo

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journal contribution
posted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by B Adams, C Dorai, Svetha VenkateshSvetha Venkatesh
This paper addresses the challenge of bridging the semantic gap that exists between the simplicity of features that can be currently computed in automated content indexing systems and the richness of semantics in user queries posed for media search and retrieval. It proposes a unique computational approach to extraction of expressive elements of motion pictures for deriving high-level semantics of stories portrayed, thus enabling rich video annotation and interpretation. This approach, motivated and directed by the existing cinematic conventions known as film grammar, as a first step toward demonstrating its effectiveness, uses the attributes of motion and shot length to define and compute a novel measure of tempo of a movie. Tempo flow plots are defined and derived for a number of full-length movies and edge analysis is performed leading to the extraction of dramatic story sections and events signaled by their unique tempo. The results confirm tempo as a useful high-level semantic construct in its own right and a promising component of others such as rhythm, tone or mood of a film. In addition to the development of this computable tempo measure, a study is conducted as to the usefulness of biasing it toward either of its constituents, namely, motion or shot length. Finally, a refinement is made to the shot length normalizing mechanism, driven by the peculiar characteristics of shot length distribution exhibited by movies. Results of these additional studies, and possible applications and limitations are discussed.



IEEE transactions on multimedia




472 - 481


Piscataway, N. J.

Open access

  • Yes








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Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002, IEEE