/Autonomous drone cinematographer: Using artistic principles to create smooth, safe, occlusion-free trajectories for aerial filming

Autonomous drone cinematographer: Using artistic principles to create smooth, safe, occlusion-free trajectories for aerial filming

Rogerio Bonatti, Zhang Yanfu, Sanjiban Choudhury, Wenshan Wang and Sebastian Scherer
Conference Paper, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, November, 2018

Download Publication (PDF)

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Abstract

Autonomous aerial cinematography has the potential to enable automatic capture of aesthetically pleasing videos without requiring human intervention, empowering
individuals with the capability of high-end film studios. Current approaches either only handle off-line trajectory generation, or offer strategies that reason over
short time horizons and simplistic representations for obstacles, which result in jerky movement and low real-life applicability. In this work we develop a method for aerial
filming that is able to trade off shot smoothness, occlusion, and cinematography guidelines in a principled manner, even under noisy actor predictions. We present a
novel algorithm for real-time covariant gradient descent that we use to efficiently find the desired trajectories by optimizing a set of cost functions. Experimental results
show that our approach creates attractive shots, avoiding obstacles and occlusion 65 times over 1.25 hours of flight time, re-planning at 5Hz with a 10s time horizon. We
robustly film human actors, cars and bicycles performing different motion among obstacles, using various shot types.

BibTeX Reference
@conference{Bonatti-2018-111051,
author = {Rogerio Bonatti and Zhang Yanfu and Sanjiban Choudhury and Wenshan Wang and Sebastian Scherer},
title = {Autonomous drone cinematographer: Using artistic principles to create smooth, safe, occlusion-free trajectories for aerial filming},
booktitle = {International Symposium on Experimental Robotics},
year = {2018},
month = {November},
publisher = {Springer},
keywords = {Motion planning, cinematography, UAV, visual tracking},
}
2019-02-12T14:41:51-04:00