Maneesh Agrawala: 2016 Plenary Sessoin


Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Location: McCaw Hall, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Storytelling Tools"



Storytelling is essential for communicating ideas. When they are well told, stories help us make sense of information, appreciate cultural or societal differences, and imagine living in entirely different worlds. Audio/visual stories in the form of radio programs, audiobooks, podcasts, television, movies and animations, are especially powerful because they provide a rich multisensory experience. Technological advances have made it easy to capture stories using the microphones and cameras that are readily available in our mobile devices, But, the raw media rarely tells a compelling story.

The best storytellers carefully compose, filter, edit and highlight the raw media to produce an engaging piece. Yet, the software tools they use to create and manipulate the raw audio/video media (e.g. Pro Tools, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Maya etc.) force storytellers to work at a tediously low-level-selecting, filtering, cutting and transitioning between audio/video frames. While these tools provide flexible and precise control over the look and sound of the final result, they are notoriously difficult to learn and accessible primarily to experts. In this talk I'll present recent projects that aim to significantly reduce the effort required to edit and produce high-quality audio/visual stories.


Maneesh Agrawala is a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford University. He works on problems in computer graphics, human computer interaction and visualization. His focus is on investigating how cognitive design principles can be used to improve the effectiveness of visual Displays and interfaces.