In Radiohead’s new video for House of Cards, no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data.
Radiohead has partnered with Google to open source the data for the video:
A few weeks ago we heard about a project Radiohead was working on. The band was making a new video, but they weren’t using any cameras, just lasers and data. As you might imagine, we were intrigued.
The song is called “House of Cards,” from Radiohead’s recent “In Rainbows” album. In this new video, there were no cameras on set. Instead, two scanning technologies were used to capture 3D images. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produced structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne LIDAR system that uses multiple lasers was used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In the video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes.
Whether you’re a music fan or a developer (or both), we agreed with the band that it would be great to give you a deeper look into how all of this was done, and even a chance to play with the data yourself, under a license that allows remixing.
You can view the video, watch a short documentary about how it was made, interact with the video in 3D, download some of the data, and download an iGoogle theme and gadget – all at http://code.google.com/radiohead.
This is a really exciting project. The song’s an interesting blend of intelligent lyrics and atmospherics; the video is innovative; and the fact that it’s open source means that it opens up a world of video remixing opportunities.
Radiohead has also created a group on YouTube for sharing remixes of the House of Cards video data.
Here’s more info on how the video was made: