Cinemetrics creates a visual fingerprint for movies

Posted to Data Art  |  Nathan Yau

As we saw with movie barcodes, each film has a uniqueness that can be broken into bits of data. Cinemetrics, by Frederic Brodbeck, provides a different view.

Each film is broken into segments, where each segment represents ten shots. Color changes with each movie and with each ten-shot chapter. And then the segments are set in motion based on the amount of movement in that chapter so that action sequences show rapid pulsations. For example, the first circle in the top left is Alien, whereas the last one in the second row is The Simpsons.

See it in action in the animated video.

The code is available on github, and individual movie fingerprints are available in poster form.

[Cinemetrics via @blprnt]


  • Gorgeous and – once you’ve made sense of what each element means – quite interesting. It’s a shame the key isn’t clearly explained on their site, it took me a while to figure out that jaggedness within a section replaces movement in the static images as a measure of motion through that segment (e.g. in quantum of solace, the action scene at the start, and the chaoticness of the action decreasing through the orange scene near the end when everything is on fire)

  • Kevin Carlson January 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Too bad they won’t be selling many of these posters – 25 to 45 Euros each, plus 20 Euros shipping to US, plus 19% VAT…


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