CS-5630/6630 | Visualization | Fall 2014
Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Printable Version

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Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Deepeeca - 11-20-2014 11:45 AM

The visualization can be found at



The visualization shows the relationships between directors and actors who worked together for at least 4 times. The directors and actors are connected in a star diagram and the whole visualization is shown as a constellation and hence the name. The visualization is divided into decades and describes the most prolific directors of these decades. The names of the directors are shown in bold and a larger font size than that of the actors. The lines between the actors and directors indicate the movie they have worked together and hovering over these lines provide details about the movies and the year they worked together.

Following are the things I like and I do not like about the visualization.

1. I like the use of colors in this visualization. There are only few colors used like green and yellow. These colors against the dark background is consistent with the title ‘Constellation of Stars’
2. The mouse hover view provides the detail of the movies that the director and the actor worked with.
3. As you scroll the screen, the description of the actors in the left gets highlighted to their respective star diagram.

1. The star diagram looks good for smaller diagrams. However, as the connections get larger the image looks more cluttered and the mouse hover view is not accurate. For example, the line next to your current mouse location gets highlighted instead of the current location.
2. When the mouse is clicked on a specific director the whole connection of the director can be zoomed in to show the details in clarity rather than just the mouse hover view. However, clicking on any link takes us to the IMDB page of the movie. This might be good to know details about a particular movie, but the connection between a director and his actors cannot be understood.
3. The list of description in the left part is kind of random and not clear of why these actors are highlighted.

Overall this is a cool visualization that could be made better with a little more interactivity.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - mind - 11-21-2014 01:57 PM

This is definitely an interesting visualization and I like it! Is it real time data? Otherwise how come the URL says 2013/09/07 yet I could find "Interstellar" between Micheal Caine and Christopher Nolan? I always heard there's always an old man character in Nolan's movie and it's always casted by Micheal Caine, now I see the proof. How interesting! I like the fact that when you click the director's name or the link which indicates some movie, it would jump to the IMDB page, but why not also add such link for the actors? It's also interesting to see some Chinese names in it, some of which I didn't even notice before though I've watched most of their films. Though I should say that the left side basically lists by director names, and then the head portraits are the actors corporated with this director. But I also don't know why those directors and actors are listed.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - aedunn - 11-21-2014 09:53 PM

I am not a fan of this visualization... One thing I do like, is that the graph look like constellations, which is cool given the title of the vis. Now for what I don't like:
You cannot click on an actor or director to highlight all of the movies attached to them.
Hovering over the movies is sometimes difficult, especially in the tighter constellations.
The orange highlighting on the yellow constellations is hard to distinguish.
As Deepeeca said, "as the connections get larger the image looks more cluttered" (e.g. John Ford)
I know the designer probably did this for simplicity, but it bothers me that "Only connections for first-billed cast in feature and short films are shown", as I'd like to see ALL of the films with Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, and not just 7. It would be nice if there was a filter option to see all connections between 1 director and 1 actor/actress for more in-depth analysis.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Aravind - 11-22-2014 10:32 PM

I liked the critique !

The idea of visualizing this data to find patterns in directors' choice of actors was useful.
It is often one of the topics of conversation my friends have.

The data could have been better visualized as radial visualization with filter capability.
On mouseover, it was not clear which connection was selected and also the popup is overlaid on the link. Hence blocking the view of which link is being selected.
Also, I was not sure what the default highlighting of the constellations for a time period was based on.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - u0480242 - 11-23-2014 12:12 AM

Thank you for the critique!

I thought the designer did a job well done with the different encoding channels. Hovering, selection, color etc. Each was very appropriate. However I do have a hard time with the linked navigation. It seems that the designer selectively chose which Directors to give a brief history and comment about. It was not very intuitive at first. I had to go back several times to get used to the different scrolling speeds of each view. When hovering and selecting a specific constellation "line" I thought that the pop up view blocked too much information of that constellation. This caused the other actor/s to be dropped from context. Overall context in terms of other directors was preserved however.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - soumyasmruti - 11-23-2014 06:33 PM

First I would like to appreciate Deepeeca for a fantastic critique, I completely agree with the post what she has critiqued.

The visualization is completely appealing and perfect to some extent but the problem with the viz is that it should portray the actual data of how they contributed to revenues in the graph provided either with numbers or as a percentage of total data.

The iconization of the chart is eye catching, clear and appealing.

The critique's decision to improve the viz is perfect and really appreciated

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Matthew Turner - 11-23-2014 10:03 PM

This is a really cool idea for a visualization, but the points that have already been raised concerning some of the problems with it are also important. This visualization concerns two main types of relationships: directors-to-actors and actors-to-actors within the same director constellation, which would represent multiple actors with roles in the same film. The creator of this visualization seemed really focused on making a memorable design (hence the interesting patterns), but this sacrifices readability as the relationships become more complex. The glyphs for Akira Kurosawa or for John Ford are simply too cluttered to derive much meaningful information. As a result, I think this visualization is great for entertainment purposes, but perhaps an entirely different encoding may be warranted if it was to be used for more serious analyses. Having to draw a line for every film/actor combination plus any intersections for different actors sharing the same film simply becomes too overwhelming too quickly. For the smaller examples, however, the visualization produces aesthetically pleasing and memorable results, which was probably the intent of the creator in the first place rather than a serious attempt to derive any conclusions about the relationships themselves.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - rfinn - 11-23-2014 11:57 PM

I wasn't very impressed with this visualization. I didn't feel like it helped me to form a picture of something that I couldn't have otherwise without the aid of this visualization.

I agree with many of the points in the critique. I thought good color choices have been made, the mouseover was effective, and the highlighting used to associate paragraph descriptions with constellations was effective. As I said to begin with, I just didn't feel like this was eye-opening to me in a way that it wouldn't be without the visualization.

The constellations with many actors in them just look like blobs or clouds of names. This is a good reminder of how adding dynamic elements to the visualization such as zooming in or pruning data during a drill down can be useful.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Chaomeng - 11-24-2014 12:46 AM

I think this is a interesting visualization. It shows the connection between directors and actors who worked together for more than 4 movies. Each director is surround with the actors he or she worked with, which looks pretty like the constellations and their start.

The vis is connected in a good way that you can clearly check the clusters of directors and actors. Big cluster indicates that directors has a large group of frequent used actors which small cluster means that director prefer fewer frequent actors. The director is list in the order of time.

One thing I don’t like about this vis is that it does not have too much interaction to show director information. The interaction of this vis is more about the movie: move the mouse on the link with pop out the information of the movie they worked with and click the link will direct to the IMDB rating page. But the not too much information about the director. For example, it could use the interaction to link the director name on the vis to the text description on the left of the visualization.

RE: Week 13: Constellation of Directors and their stars - Shravanthi - 11-25-2014 11:57 AM

This was an engaging read as the title justifies how the data has been visualized. The mouseover was an effective tool in this visualization to make the connection between the actors and directors.I like the way you could click on the graph and it takes you to the movie IMDB page.
Akira kurasowa visualization was very cluttered as Deepeca said the mouse over is not very accurate as the connections increase.
Overall I liked the viz as it was interesting to see the link between the director and the actors they have worked with.