Imagine walking into a room, running up to and hugging Donald Duck, turning to face an unmanned camera and walking out with a unique QR code stamped in your autograph book next to the ‘Donald Duck #1’ signature, referencing it later to not only access hi-res photos on your phone, but a fully edited video package of your character experience — and not a single Cast Member had a hand in the process.
With motion capture (MoCap) technology setups and video analytic software becoming more and more commonplace and more cost effective, it’s only a matter of time before their applications go beyond the norm of filmmaking and security.
A recently patent application by Disney Enterprises, titled ‘Automated Personalized Imaging System,’ by Christopher James Purvis, Joshua B. Gorin and Cliff Wong, seeks out to do just that. Recognizing that video is becoming more desirable over photography and the amount of human resources required to produce photos, let alone fully edited videos, the patent seeks out to create a completely automated solution.
Using an arrangement of cameras inside the room, the system will be able to identify and track multiple guests as they traverse through a show which includes standard character meet & greets. Such technology was on display from Walt Disney Imagineering at the Disney Parks and Resorts Pavilion at last year’s Disney D23 Expo. While The Amazing Destini demonstrated the ability to recognize a single guest’s emotions via facial expressions, an alternate display showed a screen in which all of the guests in the room could be counted and tracked.
With the patent, the system would be able to immediately recognize and track any number of guests as they enter a room and could, as an example, automatically take a photo when it identifies all of the subjects are in frame and posed (i.e., not moving). Once the image is taken, the system can properly crop and edit the photo based on the guests in the photo. Additionally, a series of video clips can be edited together to document the encounter, possibly mixing in stock footage or special templates to enhance the final product, all without the intervention of a Cast Member.