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Autonomous systems for professional filming

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Wenbin Li
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Centre for Digital Entertainment at the University of Bath is inviting applications for a funded PhD project.

The goal of the project is to develop an autonomous robotic system that accurately performs capture plan from the director in the action of filming.

Film making industry has been fast growing for decades. A typical production pipeline may involve professionals and many of their efforts to plan, capture and post-produce an outstanding commercial film for public. The director needs to plan their shots if they want the camera to move in a specific way. The current workflow is to convert a storyboard into a real camera path including specific camera pose and the associated timing. That is hard because the camera is usually hand-steered by camera operators and their skills and experience may vary. In addition, such capture is also expensive because this may need multiple operators along with good robotic stabilisation to capture a good footage that properly matches the director’s intended specifications.

In this project, we would like to develop a robotic system for automatic camera motion control and pre-set trajectory following. The project objectives would be:

(1) Design an advanced ground robot with active stabilisation for different real-world scenarios;

(2) Develop multi-sensory perception algorithm for scene understanding;

(3) Scratch a machine learning based interpretation system that takes into account any infeasible camera trajectory designed by director, and produces as output a feasible trajectory. Those resulting trajectories must be as similar as possible to the director’s input, along with all parameter settings for both the robot and camera.

Applicants should hold a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Wenbin Li, [Email Address Removed].

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Computer Science:

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 20 January 2020

NOTE: Applications may close earlier than the advertised deadline if a suitable candidate is identified; therefore, early application is strongly recommended.

Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project will be considered for a studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees and provide a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 per annum, 2019-20 rate) for a period of up to 3.5 years. You will also have access to a budget for research expenses and training.

How good is research at University of Bath in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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