Context

The construction of this database has been motivated by the research conducted for the eBDtheque project. This project has been initiated by the Laboratory in Computer Science, Image and Interaction (L3I) of La Rochelle (France) in collaboration with the CIBDI. It started in June 2011 and plan to be finished in September 2014. This work was supported by the European Doctorate founds of the University of La Rochelle, European Regional Development Fund, the region Poitou-Charentes (France), the General Council of Charente Maritime (France), the town of La Rochelle (France).

Presentation

Since the last century, comic books have become an important piece of the cultural legacy for a lot of countries. Western Europe, but also USA and Japan respectively with comics and mangas, have produced a large amount of material which is now massively digitized according to preservation and content enhancement concerns. The aim of this project is to create a comic books information retrieval system which will be based upon: The "Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l'Image" (CIBDI) has already digitized an important part of their database. Comic books digitization implies a need to new tools to handle this data. While existing tools usually provide a classical keywords navigation (writer, style, year...), the image analysis approach introduces new information retrieval possibilities such as indexation (retrieve similar images) or content based image retrieval (find a panel, a character, an object in an image).

Moreover, regarding state of the art and professional feedback, there is no clue yet of an existing tool providing a satisfying extraction of panels, balloons, characters, etc. The creation of digital comic books, meant to be read on smartphones and tablets, has still to be done manually which is another motivation for this project.

The main objective of the eBDtheque project is the creation of a information retrieval platform powered by a knowledge base gathering heterogeneous data: keywords taxonomy, extraction of regions of interest (panels, characters, balloons, etc.), screenplay's semantic (view angle, shot, role of characters, etc.) and so on.
The second objective is to set up an interative reading application so a former printed comic books can be read on a portable device in a pleasant way.

Participants

Professors and assistant professors

Jean-Marc Ogier, Karell Bertet, Jean-Christophe Burie, Arnaud Revel, Alain Bouju, Ronan Champagnat, Farid Ammar-Boudjelal, Georges Louis.

Ph.D. students and post-doc

Clément Guérin, Christophe Rigaud, Norbert Tsopze

Software engineer

Antoine Mercier