Videoannotation – Relating Precisely to Audio-Visual Images

The drastically changed possibilities of digital research tools have inspired researchers (e.g. in Digital Humanities) to explore new ways of annotating audio-visual media. A genealogy of methods in film studies could be drawn from the development from note-taking in the darkness of a projection room and detailed studies on the flatbed editor to the possibilities of automatic shot recognition and visualization on the personal computer. Video annotation can thereby be understood as the creation of timed metadata accompanying audiovisual media.

In our research group we use the open-source video-annotation software Advene that has been developed since 2002 and which is now adjusted and extended in close cooperation with the computer scientist and developer Dr. Olivier Aubert.

The modular structured Advene (Annotate Digital Video, Exchange on the NEt) allows the extensive annotation of video files as well as the subsequent visualisation and online publication as ‘hypervideo’ of this metadata. Additional to already implemented identification modules (e.g. automated shot recognition) interfaces for further modules will be created. A special challenge is the large amount of annotations our research approach demands – a single film is described with several thousand annotations.

Especially important for the further development of this open-source software is the re-use and modification-possibilities through other film scholars so that they can use the free software tool and our proposed analysis systematics for their own purposes without being restricted.

View of an exemplary file from the development phase