Artificial Intelligence Review

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 313–330 | Cite as

Automated camera planning to film robot operations

  • Khaled BelghithEmail author
  • Froduald Kabanza
  • Philipe Bellefeuille
  • Leo Hartman


Automatic 3D animation generation techniques are becoming increasingly popular in different areas related to computer graphics such as video games and animated movies. They help automate the filmmaking process even by non professionals without or with minimal intervention of animators and computer graphics programmers. Based on specified cinematographic principles and filming rules, they plan the sequence of virtual cameras that the best render a 3D scene. In this paper, we present an approach for automatic movie generation using linear temporal logic to express these filming and cinematography rules. We consider the filming of a 3D scene as a sequence of shots satisfying given filming rules, conveying constraints on the desirable configuration (position, orientation, and zoom) of virtual cameras. The selection of camera configurations at different points in time is understood as a camera plan, which is computed using a temporal-logic based planning system (TLPlan) to obtain a 3D movie. The camera planner is used within an automated planning application for generating 3D tasks demonstrations involving a teleoperated robot arm on the the International Space Station (ISS). A typical task demonstration involves moving the robot arm from one configuration to another. The main challenge is to automatically plan the configurations of virtual cameras to film the arm in a manner that conveys the best awareness of the robot trajectory to the user. The robot trajectory is generated using a path-planner. The camera planner is then invoked to find a sequence of configurations of virtual cameras to film the trajectory.


Planning Camera planning Path planning Animation generation Robotic manipulations 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arijon D (1976) Grammar of the film language. Communication Arts Books Hastings House Publishers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Bacchus F, Kabanza F (2000) Using temporal logics to express search control knowledge for planning. Artif Intell 116(1–2): 123–191MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bares W, Gregoire J, Lester J (1998) Real-time constraint-based cinematography for complex interactive 3d worlds. In: Proceedings of 15th national conference artificial intelligence (AAAI/IAAI), pp 1101–1106Google Scholar
  4. Bares W, Zettlemoyer L, Rodriguez D, Lester J (1998) Task-sensitive cinematography interfaces for interactive 3d learning environments. In: Proceedings of intelligent user interfaces, pp 81–88Google Scholar
  5. Belghith K, Kabanza F, Hartman L, Nkambou R (2006) Anytime dynamic path-planning with flexible probabilistic roadmaps. In: Proceedings of IEEE international conference on robotics and automation (ICRA), pp 2372–2377Google Scholar
  6. Benhamou F, Goualard F, Languenou E, Christie M (2004) Interval constraint solving for camera control and motion planning. J ACM Trans Comput Log 5(4): 732–767MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blinn J (1988) Where am i? what am i looking at. J IEEE Comput Graph Appl 8(4): 76–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christianson D, Anderson S, He L, Salesin D, Weld D, Cohen MF, (1996) Declarative camera control for automatic cinematography. In: Proceedings of the 13th national conference on artificial intelligence (AAAI/IAAI), pp 148–155Google Scholar
  9. Drucker S, Galyean T, Zeltzer D (1992) Cinema: a system for procedural camera movements. In: Proceedings of symposium on interactive 3D graphics (SI3D), pp 67–70Google Scholar
  10. Friedman D, Feldman Y (2004) Knowledge-based cinematography and its applications. In: Proceedings of the 13th european conference artificial intelligence (ECAI), pp 256–262Google Scholar
  11. Friedman D, Feldman Y (2006) Automated cinematic reasoning about camera behavior. J Expert Syst Appl 30(4): 694–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Halper N, Helbing R, Strothotte T (2001) A camera engine for computer games: managing the trade-off between constraint satisfaction and frame coherence. J Comput Graph Forum 20(3)Google Scholar
  13. Halper N, Olivier P, Camplan (2000) A camera planning agent. In: Proceedings of smart graphics, AAAI spring symp, pp 92–100Google Scholar
  14. Jardillier F, Languenou E (1988) Screen-space constraints for camera movements: the virtual cameraman. J Comput Graph Forum 17(3): 175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jhala A, Young R (2005) A discourse planning approach to cinematic camera control for narratives in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the 20th national conference on artificial intelligence (AAAI/IAAI), pp 307–312Google Scholar
  16. Kabanza F, Belghith K, Bellefeuille P, Auder B, Hartman L (2008) Planning 3D task demonstrations of a teleoperated space robot arm. In: Proceedings of the 18th international conference on automated planning and scheduling (ICAPS), pp 164–173Google Scholar
  17. Kabanza F, Nkambou R, Belghith K (2005) Path-planning for autonomous training on robot manipulators in space. In: Proceedings of the 19th international joint conference in artificial intelligence (IJCAI), pp 1729–1731Google Scholar
  18. Languenou E, Granvilliers L (2002) Modelling camera control with constrained hypertubes. In: Proccedings of the 8th international conference on principles and practise of constraint programming (CP), pp 618–632Google Scholar
  19. Larsen E, Gottshalk S, Lin M, Manocha D (2000) Fast proximity queries with swept sphere volumes. In: Proceedings of IEEE international conference on robotics and automation (ICRA), pp 3719–3726Google Scholar
  20. Lucas C (1985) Directing for film and television. Anchor Press Doubleday, Garden CityGoogle Scholar
  21. Nieuwenhuisen D, Overmars M (2004) Motion planning for camera movements in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE international conference on robotics and automation (ICRA), pp 3870–3876Google Scholar
  22. Tomlinson B, Blumeberg B, Nain D (2000) Expressive autonomous cinematography for interactive virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on autonomous Agents, pp 317–324Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khaled Belghith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Froduald Kabanza
    • 1
  • Philipe Bellefeuille
    • 1
  • Leo Hartman
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Canadian Space AgencyJohn H. Chapman Space CentreLongueuilCanada

Personalised recommendations