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Submitted by Alexander Hornung, posted on January 09, 2003




Image Description, by Alexander Hornung



This project was created during the work on my diploma thesis in computer science about "Autonomous Real-Time Camera Agents in Interactive Narratives and Games" The goal of my thesis is the development of an agent-based software implementing complex cinematographic knowledge that can be integrated into any kind of narrative application. The main focus of the agent lies in the expression of dramaturgically relevant information based on the means of expression of cameras. To prove the practicality of my system I integrated the camera agent into the HL source-code.

If the agent is activated, it takes over the visual control in the game and tries to present events in the game (like dialogues, fights, intermissions, etc...) in "Hollywood-movie-style", following narrative and cinematographic concepts. Below are some screenshots taken from the activated agent. Dialogues are filmed as if you are watching a dialogue in a movie. Subliminal information like fear, lonelyness, dangers and so on are considered by the agent and expressed in the pictures. Remember the fight against those assassins in this big warehouse? (see screenshots...) With the camera agent activated, you are watching the fight like a thrilling movie. Though the game is not playable as a first person shooter anymore, it gives the whole game a completely new dimension. Imagine your mother sitting in front of a networked computer, experiencing your walkthrough through some computer game as if sitting in front of the tv or in cinema, watching a cool movie ;). Seriously interesting fields could be 3D-based adventure games or virtual reality envronments in general, where the dramaturgic meaning of images has to be considered.

If you want to check the mod out by yourself, download it here:
http://cocoonpage.com/hlcam/

If you are working on an interesting project and an autonomous camera agent is just the last missing feature, contact me. New infos will come soon, so stay tuned. Feel free to write me for questions or feedback or whatever!

Alex


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