What techniques do you use to make glitch art?
October 11, 2010 7:24 PM   Subscribe

What are some techniques you use to make glitch art?

Ive been reading all the guides I could find on Google:

Primer Part 1
Primer Part 2
Using WAV editor Audacity

and the datamoshing tutorial here

I was curious if you guys knew any other good guides, tools, or methods for glitching video/images.

Any and all suggestions welcome, however, it'd be nice if it was just software databending and not circuitbending haha.
posted by muffins to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Back in the 80's, we used to take the noisy artifacts from the start up motion of a VHS tape and re-scan the playback screen with another camera-recorder in slow motion. We would have then edited the chunks of spew, but we didn't have frame accuracy yet.
posted by ovvl at 7:36 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

That's awesome. I really wish I had the setup for that kind of stuff. It seems that some of the most aesthetically pleasing glitches come from old technology.
posted by muffins at 7:48 PM on October 11, 2010

Take a given video clip and encode it to MPEG-4 ASP (DivX, etc.) or MPEG-4 AVC (x264, etc.). Use a shitload of B-frames. Now cut it on an early B-frame and don't use any "smart cut" feature offered by your editor. You will have a blocky mess, which in some decoders will also cause random color fluctuations until the next keyframe. Not very useful on its own, because everyone's familiar with the look of MPEG-encoded video run through poor editing (thanks, Youtube!), but might give you some neat input for further modification.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:18 PM on October 11, 2010

Kids these days like to open up reaper or audacity and load up random binary executables. They say it is particularly amusing to play NES ROMs as audio - you get a bunch of glitchy nastiness and then the random string of recognizable audio played way fast or way slow.

I tried making an audio CD with oscillator sweeps (in Audacity), then marked the CD up with a sharpie. If I ripped it with my mac, I'd either get clean audio or a total failure. When I tried to play it in my PS3, it would glitch up on the sharpie very nicely. Run an S/PDIF optical cable from PS3 to PC for a nice digital copy.

The other thing that works nicely is the $16 UCreate Music from mattel. The thing is a $16 Kaoss pad with lo-fi glitchiness built in.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:46 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Anton Marini, aka vade, has a number of glitch-like plugins for Quartz Composer.

There's also the old trick of opening a file in a hex editor and just shuffling bytes around (ignoring the header and footer) to see what happens.

On a related note, the GLI.TC/H festival passed through Chicago last week, during which there were a couple of workshops detailing both hardware and software glitching. And apparently, there's now a wiki with software links!

(Disclaimer: I had some work in a gallery for the festival)
posted by tip120 at 8:50 PM on October 11, 2010

glitch - A Windows VST.

There is also a Reaktor ensemble that is said to do a decent emulation.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:55 PM on October 11, 2010

if you have access to a linux box /dev/dsp can be fun to use
posted by 3mendo at 9:28 PM on October 11, 2010

AVIGlitch is a new Ruby library for glitching video (some visual examples are shown on that page).
posted by wackybrit at 9:53 PM on October 11, 2010

On a Mac, open any JPG in 0eXD. Pick a string of a few characters (2-4 for best results) and do a find and replace on them. Save as.

Alternatively, simply scroll past the obvious header info in the file and then copy a large section, delete it, and paste it somewhere further along in the file. Repeat.
posted by EL-O-ESS at 9:54 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I posted a short list of tutorials posted (self-link) although the two by stallio that you listed are really the best -- there's a lot you can do with sonification. You should check out the Glitch Art group on Flickr, people often post what method they used to get different effects.

Also, I don't have a link for it, but definitely read Rosa Menkman's A Vernacular of File Formats, break out the hex editor, and start experimenting.
posted by rottytooth at 10:44 PM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

(oh, and one more self-link: my own tutorial which is not on my list since I just reposted it -- it's for an ancient version of Photoshop, but it works with some other Adobe programs -- Lightroom for instance, at least up to 2.7)
posted by rottytooth at 10:47 PM on October 11, 2010

I would warn you to make sure the volume is turned down when playing with audio like this. I managed to blow a speaker on a laptop with cat /random/binary/file > /dev/dsp while the volume was cranked up.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:12 PM on October 11, 2010

Thanks for the link Roy. I'll check out the Flickr group. Seems like in general those few tutorials are the only ones floating around.
posted by muffins at 11:33 PM on October 11, 2010

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