Happy Coding

Video game colors

I am looking at your movie color visualization

I want to do the same thing but for video games. How would I do that?

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I’m not really an expert in streaming games or anything, but at a high level your goal should be to find a way to capture a feed of whatever game you’re playing.

If you’re playing a PC game then this is relatively straightforward. You can use a program like OBS Studio to capture your screen, which you can then save as a video file.

Then you can do pretty much the same thing I did for the movie color visualization project. I converted the video file to individual frames using Processing’s Video library. The code is pretty dumb: for each frame of the video (or every 40 frames, whatever), save that frame as an image file. Once you have the image files, you can process them however you want.

The code I used is available here:

If you’re playing a console game, then that’s where I get a little fuzzy. Some googling mentions something called a “capture card” but I’ve never done it.

I’d be curious to hear about your results. Good luck!

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okay thanks! I’ll look into capture cards.

Hi Kevin,

I really enjoy reading your blog about the color visualization project on movies and comic books.

I would like to do something similar for children’s books (Le Petite Prince!) or documentary movies or collection of criterion movies or for a single artist such as Picasso?

What would you advise I use or where to get data on the children’s books? How did you capture the data for the movies and converted it to one color for each frame? I would love to add to my portfolio as an inquisitive summer project: www.sophiahhuang.com

Many thanks,
Sophie

Hey Sophie! I felt pretty strongly that I did not want to resort to pirating any movies, so my process for getting the movie color data is pretty manual. First I rent or buy the DVD, then I convert it into a digital file, then I use Processing’s Video library to read it frame-by-frame. The whole process takes a while.

For the comic book project, I purchased the comic books digitally. Back then, Image Comics provided their digital comics in a DRM-free PDF, which I then converted into image files. (Since then, Image Comics has added DRM so this process will no longer work.)

So to answer your question, I would recommend you either rent the DVD to convert it to a digital file, or find a way to purchase the books in a digital format that you can then read.

One of the fun things about those projects is that they usually take many steps. I don’t go straight from DVD to an image showing the colors in the movie. I first figure out how to convert a DVD to a digital file, then I figure out how to read in a digital movie file, then I figure out how to convert that movie file into a series of frames, then I figure out how to get the average color of a single frame, etc.

This process of splitting a problem up into multiple steps and then taking each step one at a time is the key to these kinds of large projects.

Good luck! I’ll be very curious to see what you come up with!