Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tutorial: Datamoshing - The Beauty of Glitch

[This page has been moved to http://bitsynthesis.com/2009/04/tutorial-datamoshing-the-beauty-of-glitch/. Please update links to the new address.]


Datamoshing, as it has been coined by the Providence, RI artist collective Paper Rad (warning, site may induce seizures), refers to a technique of exploiting video compression to create intentional artifacting and distortion. If you've ever skipped ahead in a poorly compressed DVD rip and seen the moving outlines of actors ghosted behind the pixels of the scene you were just watching then you know what I'm talking about.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Generation JPEG

These are JPEGs that have been compressed many hundreds of times. This brings out the "natural" artifacts that appear from generation to generation. (you should really click to open the larger images to get a feel for the effect)

275th Generation Tree:

400th Generation Clouds:

425th Generation Ho Chi Minh City:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

May Glitch Bless America

The aM3r1cAN F!aG, looking better than ever. The dollar bill is next.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

JPEG chopped and screwed 2

Here's the latest (disclaimer: some photoshop used as well).

I'm starting to learn how to make educated guesses about what part of the image will be effected.

The following bullets refer to the text file which results when opening up a JPEG in TextEdit or another basic text editor.

  • The top section should be left untouched, this seems to contain the code that identifies the file as a JPEG (even slight changes to this code may render your image file unreadable)

  • The next few lines after the above section often relate to color. These are fun to play with, and only require very small changes. Try removing single characters, or small groups of characters for big results.

  • The remainder of the text document describes the structure of the image. It also contains color information

    • Changes are less drastic than in other parts of the document (sometimes very large sections of text can be deleted without much change to the image)

    • Deleting too much information will result in grey bars, or the removal of whole lines of the image

    • Copying, pasting, and writing new text seems to have the best effects in this area (though I have been using the delete key almost exclusively)

    • Generally, the image is described from the top down. Ex: changes made to the bottom of the document are likely to affect the bottom of the image.

  • JPEGs created in Photoshop are structured a bit differently than those found on the Web, and are harder (in my experience) to work with in this way

Oh, also... I have found that saving the files as "Western (Mac OS Roman)" works best for me. I originally tried "Unicode (UTF-8)" but it seems that this doesn't have a large enough alphabet to accommodate all the strange characters created by the JPEG.

Monday, April 20, 2009

JPEG chopped and screwed

Here are some more hacked JPEGs. Check em out.



JPEG Hacking

I spent my lunch hour today experimenting with hacking JPEG files. I opened the original file with a text editor and went to town cutting, copying, pasting, and typing. Small changes to the text result in sometimes drastic glitches, so I saved and checked my progress after every change. Often I had to backtrack, having wiped away too much of the image for it to be recognizable. Worth playing around with, though entirely unpredictable.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009


[This page has been moved to http://bitsynthesis.com/2009/04/supermosh/. Please update links to the new address.]


This is the result of my first experiments with datamoshing, or videotripping, or compression exploitation, or glitchtastic video artifacting - whatever you want to call the effect.

Youtube cuts the vid off a little early, probably a result of the glitchiness... anyway, just an experiment, crazy stuff this is.

All the clips are from the trailer of Superman IV the movie.

Monday, April 6, 2009

PD Red Video Feedback

Here's another example of my latest PD work. Another kaleidoscopic video feedback patch using Pure Data's GEM library.

If anyone's interested in a copy of the patch, I will happily provide it for them (of course, it's a bit of a mess right now so good luck sorting it out).

The audio is another track by Josh Harding.

Friday, April 3, 2009

PD Video Feedback Patch (sketch)

[This page has been moved to http://bitsynthesis.com/2009/04/pd-video-feedback-patch-sketch/. Please update links to the new address.]


Here's a short demo of a patch I'm working on using Pure Data and Gem. It responds to audio, so I plugged in this track by Josh Harding and let it run.

I hope to upload more examples of my PD work soon. I've got a trial version of a screen capture software, so I've got a month to do as much capturing as possible.