DemoCut: Generating Concise Instructional Videos
for Physical Demonstrations

Joyce Liu
Jason Linder
: Computer Science Division, UC Berkeley
: Adobe Research


Amateur instructional videos often show a single uninterrupted take of a recorded demonstration without any edits. While easy to produce, such videos are often too long as they include unnecessary or repetitive actions as well as mistakes. We introduce DemoCut, a semi-automatic video editing system that improves the quality of amateur instructional videos for physical tasks. DemoCut asks users to mark key moments in a recorded demonstration using a set of marker types derived from our formative study. Based on these markers, the system uses audio and video analysis to automatically organize the video into meaningful segments and apply appropriate video editing effects. To understand the effectiveness of DemoCut, we report a technical evaluation of seven video tutorials created with DemoCut. In a separate user evaluation, all eight participants successfully created a complete tutorial with a variety of video editing effects using our system.

DemoCut automatically segments a single-shot demonstration recording and applies video editing effects based on user markers (A), including subtitles, fast motion (B), leap frog, zoom (C), and skip (D).

Research Paper

DemoCut: Generating Concise Instructional Videos for Physical Demonstrations
Pei-yu (Peggy) Chi, Joyce Liu, Jason Linder, Mira Dontcheva, Wilmot Li, and Björn Hartmann
ACM UIST 2013, St. Andrews, United Kingdom, Oct 2013.
PDF (10.5MB)


DemoCut Examples

XBEE Tutorial: DemoCut version (3:26)

XBEE Tutorial: Raw Footage (7:02)
Paper Pipe Robot: DemoCut version (4:31)

Paper Pipe Robot: Raw Footage (10:55)
Or see this complete playlist of the 7 examples and their raw footage

Effective Tutorials on YouTube

The 20 highly-rated videos on YouTube we surveyed in our formative user study to understand current DIY video practices: (including five different DIY domains: electronics/science, craft, home/repair, art, and food)