FilmSite- Design by Contextual Inquiry


The goal of this project was to design a system that could augment filmmaking capabilities with the help of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Requirements Gathering:

Our Project involved observing the setup, production, and post-production activities that take place during filmmaking projects. This included observing all activities related to videography, light and sound, Computer Graphics, and the synchronization between all these various aspects of the filmmaking project.

We observed the behaviors of the various people involved in the activities, their routines, and the procedures that were involved. We conducted interviews to gather more information about the various issues encountered while conducting activities pertaining to filmmaking. The constraints they had to work within were of importance to us. The observed environments consisted of film sets, office spaces, and Post Production facilities that had computer workstations.

Conceptualization through contextual models

We took note of all the artifacts used, and the methods involved with using them. Contextual notes were taken, and diagrams were made, which were then consolidated. Based on the information gleaned from the aforementioned diagrams, we envisioned certain designs and a storyboard was created collaboratively.

Flow Model

Below is a representation of the coordination, communication, interaction, roles, and responsibilities of the film crew.




Sequence Model

The step by step process of film production is described below in the sequence model. Intent, triggers, activities and breakdowns are discussed.



Physical Model

Below is a model that represents the physical environment where the work tasks are accomplished within it.


Artifact Model

The artifact model gave us some insight into possible inefficiencies with using heavy equipment that requires power outlets and manpower in order to move. This gave us a little insight into how we could use drones in order to make some of these tasks less physically tedious and more efficient.



Cultural Model

The cultural model reflects the close interaction among the film crew.


Affinity Diagram


Visioning and Storyboards

FilmSite is envisioned as an on-the-go visualization and film production tool that would allow directors, film crews, and post-production VFX designers to plan film scenes from any location, at any time that inspiration hit using a combination of real-world imagery and simple mock-ups. FilmSite will allow for scene and camera planning and instantaneous ability to share work through the application or by lending a mobile smartphone to another to view completed work.


The following storyboards illustrate scenarios of envisioned use:




User Environment Design

User Environment Design


Low Fidelity Prototype







High Fidelity Prototype






Interactive Prototype


Key Strengths:

  • Users appreciated the high-level intentions of the design idea
  • The 3D perspective in the pre-visualization was considered helpful
  • Ability to restrict the view to specific camera choices was extremely useful for multiple shot planning
  • Mobile platform is convenient for use when ideas come to mind, or you want to show ideas to colleagues by handing your phone to them

Key areas of Improvement:

  • Improved definition between sections that cater to different subsets of production (pre-production, production, and post-production)
  • Filming section is considered ambiguous, as  the entire application is designed for the process of filming
  • The exportation of the 3D environment in pre-visualization needs more clarity as to what it does
  • Show different angles of the 3D environment so perspectives can be seen within the prototype for better expression of the prototype’s intentions

FULL REPORT: You can view the full report, which includes all of the detailed information here: Full Reportbox_expand-512

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s