Video tapestries with continuous temporal zoom

Connelly Barnes, Dan B. Goldman, Eli Shechtman, Adam Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We present a novel approach for summarizing video in the form of a multiscale image that is continuous in both the spatial domain and across the scale dimension: There are no hard borders between discrete moments in time, and a user can zoom smoothly into the image to reveal additional temporal details. We call these artifacts tapestries because their continuous nature is akin to medieval tapestries and other narrative depictions predating the advent of motion pictures. We propose a set of criteria for such a summarization, and a series of optimizations motivated by these criteria. These can be performed as an entirely offline computation to produce high quality renderings, or by adjusting some optimization parameters the later stages can be solved in real time, enabling an interactive interface for video navigation. Our video tapestries combine the best aspects of two common visualizations, providing the visual clarity of DVD chapter menus with the information density and multiple scales of a video editing timeline representation. In addition, they provide continuous transitions between zoom levels. In a user study, participants preferred both the aesthetics and efficiency of tapestries over other interfaces for visual browsing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number89
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Patch-based synthesis
  • Video summarization


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