“Livelight” Algorithm Edits Boring Video
Carnegie Mellon method automatically cuts boring parts from long videos
LiveLight creates interesting video trailers
PITTSBURGH—Smartphones, GoPro cameras and Google Glass are making it easy for anyone to shoot video anywhere. But, they do not make it any easier to watch the tedious videos that can result. Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists, however, have invented a video highlighting technique that can automatically pick out the good parts.
Called LiveLight, this method constantly evaluates action in the video, looking for visual novelty and ignoring repetitive or eventless sequences, to create a summary that enables a viewer to get the gist of what happened. What it produces is a miniature video trailer. Although not yet comparable to a professionally edited video, it can help people quickly review a long video of an event, a security camera feed, or video from a police cruiser’s windshield camera.
A particularly cool application is using LiveLight to automatically digest videos from, say, GoPro or Google Glass, and quickly upload thumbnail trailers to social media. The summarization process thus avoids generating costly Internet data charges and tedious manual editing on long videos. This application, along with the surveillance camera auto-summarization, is now being developed for the retail market by PanOptus Inc., a startup founded by the inventors of LiveLight.
The LiveLight video summary occurs in “quasi-real-time,” with just a single pass through the video. It’s not instantaneous, but it doesn’t take long — LiveLight might take 1-2 hours to process one hour of raw video and can do so on a conventional laptop. With a more powerful backend computing facility, production time can be shortened to mere minutes, according to the researchers.