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Multi-point representation

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20120284624 patent thumbnailZoom

Multi-point representation


Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several images in the set but not all the images in the set. After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images.

Inventor: Bas Ording
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120284624 - Class: 715719 (USPTO) - 11/08/12 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >On Screen Video Or Audio System Interface >Video Interface

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120284624, Multi-point representation.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to an application concurrently filed with the present application, with the title “Motion Picture Preview Icons,” and with the attorney docket number APLE.P0112.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to multi-point representation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of multi-media content. One example of such content is motion picture content. Motion picture content is content that includes numerous pictures (frames, fields, images, drawings, etc.) that are displayed in a sequence in order to provide the illusion to a viewer that objects in the picture appear to move. Examples of such content include animations, movies, television shows, home videos, or any other type of video clips.

With the proliferation of multi-media content on computers, various methods have been proposed to allow computer users to identify and organize such content. However, to date, few solutions have been proposed to allow a user to ascertain quickly the subject matter of motion-picture content stored on a computer.

For instance, the graphical user interface of most computers today display a generic icon for the motion picture content and require the user to identify the content\'s subject matter from the title of the icon. FIG. 1 illustrates one such approach. Specifically, it illustrates four icons 105-120 of four video clips that are stored in a folder 125 entitled Videos. Each of these icons has a text component and a graphical component. The graphical component of each icon only illustrates that the icon\'s associated video clip is an AVI file that can be opened by the Quicktime media player. An icon\'s graphical component provides no other indication of the subject matter of the icon\'s video clip. The only indication of the subject matter of the icon\'s video clip is provided by the icon\'s text, which provides the name of the video clip. Hence, a viewer cannot glean too much information about the subject matter of a video clip from the video clip\'s icon.

Some have suggested having one frame from the video clip serve as the graphical component of the clip\'s icon. FIG. 2 illustrates one such approach. In particular, it illustrates four icons 205-220 of four video clips that are stored in a folder 225 entitled Videos. The graphical component of each of these icons illustrates the first frame in each video clip, while the icon\'s text provides the name of the video clip. This approach pictorially provides a user with more information regarding the subject matter of each clip than the approach illustrated in FIG. 1. However, even under the approach illustrated in FIG. 2, a viewer still might not be able to glean too much information about the subject matter of a video clip from the video clip\'s icon, because the first frame of the clip might not be very representative of the clip\'s subject matter or might not provide enough information to allow a viewer to understand the subject matter.

Another approach is to display a video preview window next to a video clip\'s icon when the video clip is selected. The user can then view the video clip in this preview window. FIG. 3 illustrates this approach. Specifically, it illustrates a Movies folder 305 that includes eight video clips. In this figure, the Movies folder is illustrated in a column-view format employed by the OS X operating system of Apple Computer, Inc. Also, in this figure, a video clip 310, entitled Comedy, has been selected. This selection causes a preview window 315 to open to the right of this video clip. At its bottom, the window 315 has control buttons 320 (e.g., play, volume, etc.) that allow a user to initiate and control the playback of the video clip within the window 315.

The approach illustrated in FIG. 3 allows a user to review the subject matter of a video clip without the need to have a media player formally open the video-clip\'s file. Hence, a user can more quickly ascertain the subject matter of a video clip. On the other hand, this approach still does not provide the user with immediate or near immediate visual data regarding the subject matter of the video clip.

Therefore, there is a need in the art for a graphical user interface that provides quick feedback to a user about the subject matter of a video presentation. More generally, there is a need for a graphical user interface that would provide the same preview feedback for any other audio presentation, image presentation (e.g., collection of images), document presentation, etc. Ideally, this graphical user interface would provide the user with several different options to quickly discern and access the subject matter of the presentation.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that presents a preview of a set of images in a graphical user interface (GUI) of a device. The set of images can be a video presentation, a set of digital photographs, an animation, a set of drawings, etc. To generate the preview, the method initially selects a subset of images that includes several images in the set but not all the images in the set. In some embodiments, the method selects the subset of images in an automated manner. For instance, in some embodiments, the method automatically selects the images based on a specified set of criteria, such as specified intervals in the set of images, scene changes in the set of images, etc. Some embodiments allow a user to adjust the set of criteria (e.g., allow a user to adjust the specified intervals for selecting images in the set of images). In addition, some embodiments allow a user to select the images in the selected subset of images.

After selecting the subset of images, the method concurrently displays the images in the selected subset as the preview of the set of images. In some embodiments, the displayed images are thumbnail versions of the images in the selected subset of images. Some embodiments display all the thumbnail images in the same size in one row or one column. Other embodiments display at least two different thumbnail images in at least two different sizes. For instance, in some embodiments, the thumbnail for at least one image is larger than the thumbnail for at least two other images, and the two smaller images are aligned in one row or one column that is adjacent to the larger thumbnail. Some embodiments define the order of the thumbnail images in the concurrent display of images based on the order of the images the set of images. In this manner, the order of the images in the display is indicative of the order of the images in the content.

Some embodiments concurrently display the selected subset of images when a user selects, in the GUI, an icon that represents the set of images. Other embodiments have the subset of images form the graphical component of the icon that represents the set of images. In other words, these embodiments display the selected image subset as at least a portion of the graphical component of the icon representing the set of images. Some embodiments display the selected image subset in at least a portion of another GUI elements (e.g., a button or other user-selectable GUI element).

Such an icon or GUI element can be part of the GUI of an operating system of the device (e.g., of a computer or other electronic device). For instance, the icon can be displayed in a folder structure of the operating system. Alternatively, the operating system can display the icon in a window that displays the results of a search performed by a user. The icon can also be part of the GUI of an application program (e.g., an image or video editing application) that is executing on the device. The GUI element can be part of the GUI of the operating system of the device or any application executing on the device.

Each multi-image representation provides a static multi-image preview of a set of images. In some embodiments, each such multi-image representation can also provide a dynamic motion-picture preview. Specifically, some embodiments display the set of images in a sequence (1) within the graphical component of the set\'s associated icon, or (2) within the display window that opens adjacent to the icon to display the subset of images when the icon is selected.

Moreover, when a user requests such a dynamic motion-picture preview, some embodiments provide a motion-picture transition from the static multi-image preview within a multi-image icon to a dynamic motion-picture preview within the multi-image icon. For instance, in some embodiments, all but one of the images in the displayed image subset gradually disappear behind the remaining image. In these embodiments, the graphical window that contains the remaining image then sequentially displays the images in the set. The motion-picture preview icons were described above in the context of multi-image icons and previews. However, some embodiments implement the motion-picture preview in icons that are represented by only a single image (e.g., a single thumbnail image).

In some embodiments, the sequential display of images is in response to a user\'s request to view a motion picture preview of the images. In response to this request, some embodiments direct an application (e.g., a media player) to retrieve the images and generate the sequential display (e.g., the video display) of the image. Some embodiments have the application perform this operation without a visual indication to the user that the application has been opened.

Some embodiments provide playback control buttons (e.g., play button, stop button, enlarge button, etc.) to facilitate the playing of the sequential display. Such buttons can be part of or associated with (1) the icon that represents the image set, or (2) the displayed image subset when the subset is displayed adjacent to the icon. Some embodiments present some or all of these buttons only when a cursor of the GUI is within a particular distance of the icon or the displayed image subset. Alternatively, in some embodiments, some or all of the buttons are displayed irrespective of the position of the cursor (e.g., some of the buttons are at all times displayed with the icon).

Some embodiments also provide a line that scrolls across a window that displays the sequence of images as the images are being sequentially displayed in a motion-picture icon. This line provides a visual indication of the location of a currently displayed image in the series of the images that are being sequentially displayed. In some embodiments, a user can select and move this line in order to change the image that is being displayed in the window.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. However, for purpose of explanation, several embodiments are set forth in the following figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates generic icons.



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Previous Patent Application:
Context-sensitive mobile controller for media editing systems
Next Patent Application:
Online search, storage, manipulation, and delivery of video content
Industry Class:
Data processing: presentation processing of document
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120284624 A1
Publish Date
11/08/2012
Document #
13550578
File Date
07/16/2012
USPTO Class
715719
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/01
Drawings
31



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