Who would have imagined seeing a music video on Google Code? Welcome to the new age of data visualization.

Radiohead’s new video uses 3D images capture from two scanners – one a close-proximity 3D scanner from Geometric Informatics, another a multiple-laser array for the “exterior scenes” rotating in a 360-degree pattern. That yields just data, not anything you can look at, so the artists created the video itself using the open-source tool we love so much, Processing (site | CDM tag).

Cool so far. But the interesting part is that the tools and data are open-sourced and/or freely available:

View the data visualization in 3D and navigate with the mouse

Download the data in CSV form and do stuff with it using Processing source code and instructions

There’s a remix-friendly license in there, and a YouTube group to follow the results.

All the relevant links, plus the video itself:

RA DIOHEA_D / HOU SE OF_C ARDS [ Google Code ]

It’s also striking to notice that, despite the new-fangled technologies, the face stuff is remarkably similar in actual visual effect to the Rutt-Etra video synth (see also stories on Rutt-Etra restoration, Bill Etra restrospective). The process is entirely different: the Rutt-Etra processed the image directly via raster manipulations, whereas the Radiohead video is really a visualization of 3D data. But in some ways, I find the 1972 effect more appealing, and the visual relationship I believe is intentional.

Then again, part of the power of data visualization is that you can make it look like whatever you want. So it’ll be interesting to see how these techniques evolve.

Director: James Frost (Zoo Films)

Director of Photography: Von Thomas (Zoo Films)

Director of Technology: Aaron Koblin (whose work we’ve admired at the MOMA Design and the Elastic Mind show, via the now-defunct Yahoo Design Innovation Team, and elsewhere)