Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

This Is What Movies Look Like Broken Down by Color and Motion

If you've ever wondered how movies vary in color and motion, scene-by-scence, don't worry any more. Cinemetrics is a project that's decoding and visualizing films, and you can see it in action here.

Advertisement

The brainchild of graphic designer Frederic Brodbeck, Cinemetrics is an attempt to to create a visual "fingerprint" for films. He analyzes the editing structure, color, speech and motion of movies, then transforms them into graphic representations that can be compared side by side.

He strips data out of DVDs — video, audio, subtitles — and then processes them, frame-by-frame. It's a time consuming business, but the results are fascinating. The fingerprints that Brodbeck creates look a bit like pie charts, but don't be deceived. The length of the broken ring represents the duration of the film, and the segments that make it up are separate shots.

Advertisement

The motion of the segments represents in-frame movement, and the hues represent the palette of colors that make up the scene. I find the variation of color with time particularly interesting, especially when you see different films next to each other. The Simpsons Movie stands out as being a bit odd, for instance.

On his website, Brodbeck explains:

"Not only cinema enthusiasts and people doing film studies might benefit, but also for regular people an alternative way of looking at movies could provide an interesting new way of choosing movies based on formal criteria. For instance: ‘I don't want to see the dark one with lots of motion, that colorful one with the great amount of spoken words looks much more interesting to me.'"

Whatever they're used for, I just like the fact they exist. [Frederic Brodbeck via Flowing Data]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

To fully understand poetry we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme, and figures of speech. Then ask two questions: 1) How artfully have the objectives of the poem been rendered? 2) How important is that objective? Question 1 rates the poems perfection. Question 2 rates its importance. Once these questions have been answered determining the poem’s greatness becomes a relatively simple matter. If the poem’s score for perfection is plotted on the horizontal of a graph, and it’s importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness. A sonnet by Byron might score high on the vertical, but only average on the horizontal. A Shakespearian sonnet on the other hand, would score high both horizontally and vertically yielding a massive total area, thereby revealing the poem to be truly great. Practice this rating method. As your ability to evaluate poems in this manner grows, so will your enjoyment and understanding of poetry.