The autonomous hidden camera crew

Example frame showing the proposed medium shot canvas


Reality TV shows that follow people in their day-to-day lives are not a new concept. However, the traditional methods used in the industry require a lot of manual labor and need the presence of at least one physical camera man. Because of this, the subjects tend to behave differently when they are aware of being recorded. This paper will present an approach to follow people in their day-to-day lives, for long periods of time (months to years), while being as unobtrusive as possible. To do this, we use unmanned cinematographically-aware cameras hidden in people’s houses. Our contribution in this paper is twofold: First, we create a system to limit the amount of recorded data by intelligently controlling a video switch matrix, in combination with a multi-channel recorder. Second, we create a virtual camera man by controlling a PTZ camera to automatically make cinematographically pleasing shots. Throughout this paper, we worked closely with a real camera crew. This enabled us to compare the results of our system to the work of trained professionals.

2017 Fifteenth IAPR International Conference on Machine Vision Applications (MVA)