Like many other people, I saw that Radiohead had created an interesting music video for House of Cards with all sorts of visualizations. From what I read, they had sampled visual data using Lidar. Substantial portions of the data used in constructing the video are available (as is the music) to the general public. The House of Cards group on YouTube showcases how a number of people have re-run the data through various visual engines.
As you may notice, most of the videos on YouTube use some form of 3D engine to visualize the data. The data is structured fairly simply in the CSV files with x, y, and z coordinates, as well as an intensity level for each point.
Problem: I'm not adept (at all) with anything 3D based. So, I decided to see if I could kludge my way into trying to create a visualization of my own using what I know. Er.. All I know is Java and Graphics2D.
For rendering data, I just used a simple linear scale to position the x and y points. Each point was merely a filled circle. I plotted all points in white. The intensity value on each point drove the alpha values on each point. Lastly, I used the z value to control the size of the point- closer z values got larger points. Here's what I got for starters:
Some tuning in point size, and changes in colors to prevent it from looking too scary:
Anyone know an easy way to sequence some 1000 images into a decent video? I can't seem to get iMovie to have a delay between images of less than .3s, and the actual frames need to be rendered out at 30 frames per second.
*Follow up:* Meant the attach a larger copy that shows the patterns generated by the circle size and alpha variations: