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Fun with Movies and the command line (reprise)

This may be a throwback for most of you, but one my favorite Tumblrs back in day was this guy, moviebarcode.tumblr.com. And 6 years ago it inspired me.

I was fascinated with the color grades and color palettes from my favorite movies. Of course, not all of my favorite movies were there. I needed to add my own, but I had no idea how much I would be engaged in this process. This was totally “doable”, but how could I automate these large tedious tasks. I then stumbled upon ImageMagik, it really re-calibrated my process. Years of using After Effects, Photoshop and Maya would not let me see the forest for the trees. ImageMagik is an open source software that is controlled through you terminal or command line. It is incredibly fast and a barebones tool that can manipulate images. This was the tool to transform the most tedious task involved in making these barcodes. What I needed it to do was take every frame of a movie (actually, ever 30th frame), and scale it down to 1 pixel wide (1080 pixels high). Then I would need to stitch each pixel slice left to right until I had a very wide image, showing every frame of the movie as a single image. To do this in After Effects, even with expressions, would be a nightmare. Here is what ended up being the 3 key steps in the process:

-Export the movie as an PNG image sequence with any software of your choosing (mpeg Stream clip, after effects, etc)

-run terminal and execute command “convert *.png -resize 1x{1080}\! movie.png

-next, run “montage -geometry +0+0 -tile x1 *.png barcode.png”

I now had my very own movie barcode. I took it into photoshop, cropped out the black letterbox and adjusted the color levels slightly for print. Below are 3 of my creations. Please note, there are now a ton of movie barcode apps that involve one step, uploading a movie; however, this old process isn’t just nostalgia for me, but it has permanently influenced my work today. I am always considering that one “terminal command” to help me grasp the most complicated problems.

 

 

I also want to give a quick shout to mrreid.org. Most of what I created was helped by this man and his site. OH! And check out how these suckers look on canvas.