Video synopsis (often abbreviated V.S.) is an approach to create a short video summary of a long video. It tracks and analyzes moving objects (also called events), and converts video streams into a database of objects and activities. The technology has specific applications in the field of video surveillance where, despite technological advancements and increased growth in the deployment of CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras, viewing and analysis of recorded footage is still a costly and labor-intensive and time-intensive task.
Video synopsis combines a visual summary of stored video together with an indexing mechanism.
When a summary is required, all objects from the target period are collected and shifted in time to create a much shorter synopsis video showing maximum activity. A synopsis video clip is generated, in real time, in which objects and activities that originally occurred in different times are displayed simultaneously. (See Figure 1 - Screen shots: Before and after Video Synopsis).
The process begins by detecting and tracking objects of interest. Each object is represented as a "tube" in "space-time" of all video frames. Objects are detected and stored in a database in approximately real time.
Following a request to summarize a time period, all objects from the desired time are extracted from the database, and indexed to create a much shorter summary video containing maximum activity. (See Figure 2 - Tube packing).
Real time rendering is used to generate the summary video after object re-timing. This allows end-user control over object/event density.
Video Synopsis technology was invented by Prof. Shmuel Peleg of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and is being developed under commercial license by BriefCam, Ltd. BriefCam received a license to use the technology from Yissum which is the owner of the patents registered for the technology.
Recent advances in the field of Video Synopsis have resulted in methods that focus in collecting key-points(or frames) from the long uncut video and presenting them as a chain of "key" events that summarize the video. As mentioned in, this is only one of the many methods employed in modern literature to perform this task. Recently, these event-driven methods have focused on correlating objects in frames, but in a more semantically related way that has been called a story-driven method of summarizing video. These methods have been shown to work well for egocentric settings where the video is basically a point-of-view perspective of a single person or a group of people.
- Y. Pritch, S. Ratovitch, A. Hendel, and S. Peleg, Clustered Synopsis of Surveillance Video, 6th IEEE Int. Conf. on Advanced Video and Signal Based Surveillance (AVSS'09), Genoa, Italy, Sept. 2-4, 2009
- Y. Pritch, A. Rav-Acha, A. Gutman, and S. Peleg, Webcam Synopsis: Peeking Around the World, ICCV'07, October 2007. 8p.
- Y. Pritch, A. Rav-Acha, and S. Peleg, Nonchronological Video Synopsis and Indexing, IEEE Trans. PAMI, Vol 30, No 11, Nov. 2008, pp. 1971-1984.
- A. Rav-Acha, Y. Pritch, and S. Peleg, Making a Long Video Short: Dynamic Video Synopsis, CVPR'06, June 2006, pp. 435-441.
- S. Peleg, Y. Caspi, BriefCam White Paper
- Muhammad Ajmal, Muhammad Husnain Ashraf, Muhammad Shakir, Yasir Abbas, Faiz Ali Shah, Video Summarization: Techniques and Classification 
- Zheng Lu, Kristen Grauman  Story-driven summarization for egocentric video. In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition - 2013.
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- US Patent 8,311,277 - Method and System for Video Indexing and Video Synopsis. Also Australian Patent AU2007345938. Filed in 9 additional countries
- US Patent 8,102,406 - Method and System for Producing a Video Synopsis. Also European Patent EP1955205 and Japanese Patent JP4972095. Filed in 7 additional countries
- US Patent 7,852,370 - Method and System for Spatio-Temporal Video Warping. Also Israeli Patent IL182006. Filed in Europe: PCT/IL2005/001150
- The owner of the patents are Yissum which gave a License to BriefCam to use the technology.
- Video Synopsis and Indexing project Further information, published papers and video clips from the School of Computer Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- BriefCam company website Includes demonstration video on using Video Synopsis technology.
- Yissum's Website
- Video Synopsis paper in Hebrew - 2008
-  Demo video for paper: Story-Driven Summarization for Egocentric Video - Zheng Lu and Kristen Grauman - CVPR 2013