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Posted on Tuesday August 11, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023


MotionNotes is a web-based, real-time multimodal video annotator designed to assist the creative and exploratory processes of dance professionals. It was developed by NOVA University of Lisbon under the CultureMoves Europeana Generic Service project and further enhanced under the WEAVE Europeana Generic Services project.

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Screenshot of MotionNotes Annotator from CultureMoves website
May 2020

About the tool

MotionNotes is a real-time, multimodal video annotator which responds to keyboard, touch and voice inputs. It was designed to assist the creative and exploratory processes of both professionals and amateurs who work with dance choreography and art performances.

The tool allows users to record videos and take notes over the video at the same time, as well as make annotations including drawings, text, voice, marks and web URL links to edit and enrich video performances.

The tool also supports 3D annotations. Users can upload their 3D models to MotionNotes and have them available while creating new annotations, as well as save them in their account. They can look at the model, rotate it, and zoom in and out on it. Users can annotate any part of the video with 3D models. The tool will then save the timestamp and position in which the 3D model was added. Musical instruments can be added as 3D annotations and provide important information. The 3D object annotations can be used as historical and cultural references. Geographical mapping is possible through the use of 3D object annotations.

The tool uses AI to automatically enable specific human movement detection in a video (e.g., arms open) and to estimate human pose in the video. This enables users to add dynamic annotations in MotionNotes, i.e. annotations can follow a human body part.

Benefits of the tool

  • Allows users to annotate dance performances in real time, supporting the practice of dance professionals and enthusiasts

  • Encourages and enhances the use of dance related content for the promotion of local and regional territories, potentially strengthening community ties and attracting tourism.

  • Thanks to the AI-powered annotations of human motion, MotionNotes is also relevant to performing arts, sports, education, journalism and tourism.

Technical information

The tool follows responsive design principles and can be used across all major operating systems, browsers and devices (including smartphones and tablets).

The videos are WebM files (open, royalty-free, media file format). Annotations and metadata are stored in an open video-specific JSON format.

For human pose estimation the tool makes use of the OpenPose algorithm.

MotionNotes videos and annotations can be shared over the web using an oEmbed.

Use MotionNotes

To use the MotionNotes tool, register and log in on the website. You can also find out more through the online tutorial, or by contacting the project partners.