Launching the Video
The "House of Cards" video was the first music video to be premiered by Google. It launched on July 11, 2008. The Google site includes some of the video's data, so that you may create your own visualizations, as well as a 3-D data visualization tool. Google's Creative Lab developed the site.
The visualization tool was written in Flash by myself and my friend Aaron Meyers. It allows the viewer to rotate the point cloud in real time while the video is playing. To me, this is where the data becomes truly beautiful. The Flash application allows you to look at parts of the video from any angle you want in real time, something traditional video recording will never allow. You may even turn Thom Yorke's face so that it faces away from you, effectively holding his face as a mask up to yours and allowing you to look through his eyes. This effect is very powerful, in my opinion. It makes the music video tangible in a way I doubt many people have experienced before.
We also released some of the data itself—making it open source—along with a video creation tool written in the Processing programming language. We then encouraged people to download the data and create their own videos.
I want to share the source code for the video creation tool to show you how easy it is to create your own version of the video in Processing. This is the code that outputs frames of Thom Yorke singing:
import processing.opengl.*; int frameCounter = 1; //Declare a variable to store which frame we're ...