Move over Bernard Herrmann!

One of the sections in Brendan Dawes’ book is about generating images from music.
Whilst messing about with the “North by Northwest” images (see previous blog post), I began to wonder if you could create music from images?
Anyway, here’s the first 90 seconds of my replacement soundtrack for “North by Northwest” 🙂
It was created by grabbing a frame from the movie every half a second and working out the average colour of the frame. That colour is then split into its red, green and blue (RGB) components, and their values are used to generate a guitar tablature file which is pumped into the MIDI::Tab Perl module. The first chunk of the tab looks like this…

    D6: --1-5---3-4-4-4-4---4-4---3-4---3-3-3-
    A3: 0---1-2-3-4-4-----4-----4-----4-----4-
    E2: 0-----0-1---1-----1-----1-----1-----1-

Going for a 3/4 timing seemed to give the most pleasing output. That seemed appropriate, as Hitchcock often used waltzes in his films 🙂
I wasn’t too sure just how it would sound, but it’s actually not too bad!

"North by Northwest" squished

After reading Brendan Dawes’ “Analog In, Digital Out“, I’ve revisited the colours of “North by Northwest” (see earlier blog post).
Rather than squish every frame to a single horizontal line, this time each frame is squished vertically — see if you can spot the “crop duster” sequence:

( full sized version on Flickr )

The Colours of North by Northwest

Colours, and the moods they evoke, play an important role in Hitchcock’s films.
With that in mind, I got ImageMagick to figure out the average colour of each of the 1000 frames for “North by Northwest” — you can see the results here.
To put the average colours into context, here they are annotated with a selection of scenes…
Getting the average colour of a given image got me wondering if it might be possible to do the same with the book cover scans on the OPAC. You could then virtually arrange and group books by their cover colours, in the same way that Huddersfield Public Library physically did last year:

(image courtesy of Iman’s photostream)