In Rainbows Radiohead

“House of Cards” video is out

Yes, we know it’s been out since earlier this week but we’ve been on vacation so cut us some slack.

For those that haven’t noticed, the video that used lasers instead of cameras to make has finally been released. We’ve been talking about it for months and the hype has certainly held up to the amazing-ness of the final product. What makes this video really interesteding is that you can download the raw 3D data and do pretty much whatever you want to with it. The animation data used to make the video are licensed to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license at Google Code. This means you are free to use the data to make your own video projects, as long as you abide by the CC license?s conditions. (To be clear, the song and its accompanying video are not under CC license; the data used to make the video are.)

First off, here’s the video:

If you’re interested in getting your hands dirty in all of the 3D goodness, head on over to to find out more.

There’s a fabulous behind the scenes video of how it was made. You can view that here.

An interview with director James Frost can be read at Creativity Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:

Creativity: How did you come to the idea of using this sort of imaging?
JF: About a year and a half ago I came across Flight Patterns, a piece of work done by Aaron Koblin—he’s basically a data visualizer. I’m kind of frightened by flying, I’m always obsessed by things that have planes and stuff, so I emailed him and said that I thought it was a really beautiful piece of work. He responded and we had lunch. At the time he had just left UCLA Media Lab, and he was going through all the stuff they were researching and developing. One of the things he had mentioned was they were working on real time 3D laser scanning. I immediately said Well, hang on a minute, what’s all that about? I wanted to get to the crux of it — is it really real time? He said that at that point they were pretty close to having it.

So, basically, I wrote up an idea. I’d known Radiohead’s managers for a while, and figured that they’d probably be the only band that would take that kind of a risk, so I sent it to them in November or December and they showed it to Thom.Thom is obviously very intelligent and keeps up with technological advances, and he came back and said he wanted to know more about it. At that point he sent me an email saying what was in his head before the video. There were two things he had very strong feelings about– one was vaporization and the other was a party scene. We went back and forth over email to try and decipher some sort of linear narrative to convey everything. I happened to be in England in April, so I went up to Oxford, met with him and talked for a couple of hours about stuff and then went, Let’s try it and see what happens.

And finally, what kind of cool stuff are people doing with the animation data? Boing Boing has got some video of Thom’s head mapped onto the album cover displayed on an iPhone.

Also: Yorke’s singing head rendered on their Multi-Touch Heyewall 2.0 in a 8160 x 4000 pixel resolution in real-time and his virtual head shot and atomized.
(Thanks to Adam and Rex)

By Jonathan

New York, NY