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‘The Colors of Motion’ Creates Abstract Print Art of Movies

Colors of Motion Aladdin
Colors of Motion Aladdin

I love the smell of napalm … err, art … in the morning! More specifically, I love any art that creatively combines movies with another medium—in this case print art—with just a dash of technology mixed in for good measure.

The Colors of Motion is an artistic venture turned app/website that creates abstract print art of movies based on their average frame color. In other words, they scan a movie at regular intervals, determine the average hew for each particular point in the film, then use those swatches to create bands of color that when stacked atop one another creates a color palette representation of the overall film.

Per their FAQ:

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How does this all work? We take a movie, then we extract the frames at at a regular interval based on the length of the movie (For a 1h30 movie, it’s around once every 10 seconds). Next, we calculate the average color of each of those frames. Finally we stack those colors as thin bars from top to bottom in chronological order. The result is a color timeline of the movie.

Knowing this, can you guess the movie based on the above sample? If you guessed “Aladdin,” you’d be right!

Animated films tend to be the boldest and brightest, naturally, while black and white films tend to be … well, probably not their biggest sellers. Each 12” X 18” print costs $20, while 24” X 36” prints cost $35. And even if one weren’t in the market to buy, the site is still fun to poke around and click on individual color bands to see which frames they were derived from.

My personal favorite is from “The Shawshank Redemption,” when Red greets Andy on the beach of Zihuatanejo.

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