The interactive virtual music video

The above image links to some great work which Aaron Meyers and Aaron Koblin have done as part of the music video for the Radiohead song ‘House of Cards’ directed by James Frost. If you press play and wait for it to load, then click and drag, you experience what is essentially an interactive virtual music video environment comprised entirely of 3d physical data which you can explore in any way you like.

The video was created without using any conventional cameras or lights at all. 3d environments and surfaces ( including Thom Yorke’s face ) were scanned using two technologies : Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR.

Below is a youtube video explaining the process of how they made the video :

Whilst Frosts linear video itself is very beautiful, the really amazing experience came from the interactive version for me. It struck me that this way of interacting with the data enables the music video experience to become a sort of exploration in itself, allowing people to form their own journey through its data environment. I dont think I have ever had an experience with a music video that was so closely intimate to the artist. Being able to zoom inside Thom Yorke’s mouth when he is singing really does take it to a new level.

To me it seems to have strong resonances with the concepts of both virtual worlds and augmented reality. The potential for this technology to be used in the communication of physical information into the virtual realm seems to be enormous. I think it would really help enhance emotional connection.

I experimented with the opensource app Processing, and the data sets provided by Radiohead and a number of other datasets to see what kind of visualisations can be done with this type of data. The potential was staggering. It would be very interesting to try some experiements with bringing some of this data into a virtual environment.

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