Visualizing Movie Dialogue


Designer/programmer Eva Schindling has posted Cinematic Particles, an online applet that creates art based on the dialogue in popular movies.

Cinematic Particles creates smoky, abstract images based on a mathematical analysis of the movie's dialogue. The user can run the process in realtime (launch the applet) and adjust the speed at which the movie dialogue is replayed, which influences the creation of the image. The dialogue (and its pacing) is taken from the subtitle files included with commercial DVDs. By looking at the images, you can start to see differences in the output, stemming from differences in movie dialogue and pacing. Schindling explains:

"Movies that are defined by rapid successions of spoken dialog produce drawings that consist mostly of black ink blobs that grow together, as the particles are constantly reset with new parameters. Movies that show long silent pauses between scenes gives particles more time to produce long lines and curves."

Here are a couple of samples from Schindling's site:

Blade Runner:

See what His Girl Friday looks like after the jump!

His Girl Friday:

Cinematic Particles - His Girl Friday
Cinematic Particles - His Girl Friday /

Many more examples are available at Schindling's Cinematic Particles site.

If you're interested in this kind of thing, I'd recommend checking out the work of Ben Fry, who is partly responsible for Processing, the open source programming language used to create Fry's and Schindling's visualizations.