Friday, June 11, 2004
      ( 1:08 PM ) Matt  

Video Loops

I was clicking on random things on the web and came across a description of a game called Fear Effect. One neat thing they do well in this game (from what I've read) is to use a video loop for the background. That is, 3 seconds or so of a background which has a little bit of movement. Maybe a few blinking neon signs, or a person in the distnace smoking a cigarette. That got me to thinking, how would you make such a video loop.

For a computer game, a single screen's worth of video loop won't suffice. Presumably your character is gonig to be moving across some scrolling background much wider than you could possibly capture in a single shot. What you could do is to take a slow panning or tracking clip and then assign each frame to the angle or position it was taken at, and recreate a larger panorama or backdrop. If your pan or track was slow enough, you would have small clips of each piece of action. Just what you need for a video loop.

Then the trick is get all of these pieces of action into loops. But wait, it would be best to automate this as much as possible. Isolating the pieces of action can be done with wavelets. By looking at the significant higher frequency coefficients in the time dimension, we can find action. Then by extrapolating based on existing data, we can turn the bits of action into loops.

Ta-da! Wavelets save the day again.

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