Film Patterns

Every second of the film visuals

Birth of Nation (1915)


Battleship Potemkin (1925)


Jazz Singer (1927)



The Wizard of OZ (1939)


The Great Dictator (1940)


Citizen Kane (1941)


Robe (1958)


2001 (1968)


Godfather II (1974)


Jaws (1975)


Starwars (1977)


Jurassic Park (1993)


Blair Witch (1999)


Vidocq (2001)


Avatar (2009)


The Work Behind the Visuals

The Film Patterns project offers an opportunity to view, analyse and estimate a graphical
representation a feature film which reveals hidden or ignored information behind it.

Also, the project allows to compare and define graphical
representations (patterns) of different films, as well as different qualities of the films.

3 Patterns of Film

Film Patterns: Frames

To create visual pattern:

1. I extracted film frames as separate images – 1 frame per second

2. Resized them to a particular size (9X9pixels)

3. Determined a shape and size of the grid/frame
(which is a square shape, the square sides = [√time of the film in seconds]x9pixels)
(for ex. film ‘The Mirror’ is 100 minutes long, which is 6000 seconds, then the size of the side of the grid will be
√6000 x 9 = 78frames x 9 pixels = 697 and the grid size will be a square 697x 697 with each frame of 9 pixels)

4. Put them together in a particular order (left to wright from top to bottom, just as letters in a text) which creates a pattern

Film Patterns: Soundtrack

Sound intensity (volume) needs to be converted into colour.
The next step of the project is soundtrack patterns of films. Figure 2 demonstrates the concept of generating this pattern.

Sound file to be used as a source for generating the visual (MP3 or MP4, etc.)

1. from sound to graphical representation of waves
2. to colour representation of these waves
a) where whiter colours represent higher volume of the sound
b) darker shades represent lower volume, and black colour shows silence

3. to discrete mosaic of squares,
a) where the size of squares is predetermined variable (for ex. 9X9pixels)
b) 1 square of a mosaic equals 1 second of the soundtrack

Therefor the colour of a square in the pattern is determined by average volume sound of 1 second (as per the visual pattern)

Integration of Visual and Soundtrack Patterns

I’ve chosen this form of soundtrack pattern in order to achieve the next step of the project—combination of visual and soundtrack patterns. The objective of this combination is to bring the frames of the visual pattern of the films relevantly to the soundtrack pattern. So that the louder sounds bring the corresponding frames up, and quieter sounds leave the corresponding frames down.

Film Patterns: Subtitles

The next stage of the Film Patterns project is to incorporate the third component— subtitles of films.

The grid is relevant to the Visual and the Soundtrack patterns, black and white squares represent presence or absence of subtitles.

For ex. film ‘The Mirror’ has a grid 697×697 pixels, 78×78 frames (that’s how many seconds there are), each frame is 9 pixels.

• The seconds of the film that has the subtitles are represented by black square

• The seconds of the film that has no subtitles are represented by the empty white square.

Subtitles format looks like this:
00:00:15,549 –> 00:00:17,798
What is your first name, your last name?

00:00:18,680 –> 00:00:20,037
My name is Yuri Zhary.

00:00:28,760 –> 00:00:31,568
Where did you come from?

00:00:38,640 –> 00:00:41,799
l came from…Kharkov.

Integration of All 3 Film Patterns

The last stage of the project is integrating together Visual Pattern, Soutrack Pattern and subtitle pattern into one interactive image.

Figure above illustrates how the subtitle pattern integrates into the Visual and the Soundtrack patterns. The 3D vision of  the combination of subtitles and soundtrack patterns graphically represents subtitles as rays of different length, where the length of the rays reflects the volume of sound (therefore the loudness or quietness of pronounces words or/and the background sound effects). This is an approximate image what we should have at the end.

Come back from Film Patterns to