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September 6, 2013 7:20 AM   Subscribe

An entire episode of the Simpsons sent through various Alignment And Distrubution vector tools becomes a mesmerizing, glitched out work of art
posted by The Whelk (42 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
David Lynch wants his audio processing equipment back.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:23 AM on September 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wow, the same thing happened to me the last time I took too much cold medicine!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:31 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


WELCOME TO SPRING VALE
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:32 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Does a remarkably good job of recreating how I feel about every episode later than season eight.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have this strange desire to join the navy now.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm sure I saw this on late night BBC2 sometime in 1987.
posted by fullerine at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2013


I'm so glad that I am an adult with an Internet connection and don't have to watch scrambled Cinemax anymore.
posted by Tool of the Conspiracy at 7:52 AM on September 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


Could someone with knowledge of these tools tell us something about what it means to be running the frames through them? I don't know if they're tools that are expected to do something useful at those setting, or if it's more like just running an image through a bunch of photoshop filters and seeing what you get.
posted by evilangela at 7:58 AM on September 6, 2013


This is the thing of nightmares.

Also: Is it weird that my brain insisted on playing the actual theme song, and it tracked perfectly with each time the sounds/pictures aligned? I'm either a genius of I've seen every single episode about 20-100 times.
posted by General Malaise at 8:01 AM on September 6, 2013


I think this is reprogramming my brain to something something.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2013


I think this is reprogramming my brain to something something.

Go crazy?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Go crazy?

Don't mind if I do! WAAAAAGGGGGRRBRBRBLLLBLBLBLBLB
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


OK. First he deconstructs the video into a series of bitmapped pictures, called a frame. Each frame is run through a filter that analyzes the bitmap and creates vector shapes that generally match it. Then the frame of vectors is subjected to an organization filter that changes the location, size, orientation, and perhaps other non-shape characteristics of each shape. Each shot's worth of frames is subjected to the same settings on the filter. That's how he gets the picture.

The truly weird thing is that the artist has kept note of which process he used for each shot. Then he made a spectrogram of the audio for each shot. (A spectrogram is a graph of audio frequencies over time—here's a quick example of the fun you can have with spectrograms and audio.) He then subjected the spectrogram to the same vector-and-organization process that he used for the corresponding picture sequence. After that was complete, he converted the deformed spectrogram back into audio and edited it back into his video to match with the shot.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


OK I need to press pause and remind myself that I did not, and would not, eat the Datura Stramonium I saw growing in the ditch while walking to the bus stop this morning.
posted by smoothvirus at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Might as well say it and get it over with.


Simpsons on acid.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:09 AM on September 6, 2013


This is what Atari 2600 games looked like when you didn't insert the cartridge properly.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:14 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


...holy moly.
posted by XtinaS at 8:22 AM on September 6, 2013


Related: Corruptions/Glitches; Sesame Street
posted by kurumi at 8:33 AM on September 6, 2013


I don’t think he’s doing it right, it seems messed up.
posted by bongo_x at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2013


This is like one of those dystopian segments from Liquid Television that would haunt me for years afterwards.
posted by mykescipark at 8:53 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is how I feel every time I watch a movie from Europe from the 60's.
posted by kiltedtaco at 8:56 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Could someone with knowledge of these tools tell us something about what it means to be running the frames through them? I don't know if they're tools that are expected to do something useful at those setting, or if it's more like just running an image through a bunch of photoshop filters and seeing what you get.

He mentions Illustrator alignment and distribution tools. Which are useful but not applied to all the components of an illustration. Like if you want everything lined up along one side, or make them evenly spaced vertically. Which is great if you have things that you want lined up along one side or evenly spaced, but if you evenly space the components of someone's face vertically, then it goes 'Eye, eye, nose, mouth" and that's going to look weird, because we are used to a non-mathematical way of aligning these things.

The vector tracing can be useful too, if you have something in bitmap form but you want to manipulate it using vector methods. But you usually don't take the output of that and then align or distribute everything. Doing that would serve no practical purpose whatsoever, which is how we know it must be art.
posted by RobotHero at 8:58 AM on September 6, 2013


I don’t think he’s doing it right, it seems messed up.

Don't have a cwo, man.
posted by yoink at 8:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


WELCOME TO SPRING VALE

The odd thing is that Springvale is the first town you encounter in Fallout 3 and I thought the exact same thing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 AM on September 6, 2013


Brilliant.
posted by carter at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2013


John Kricfalusi, ladies and gentlemen!
posted by Nomyte at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2013


What the hell was that?

Oh yeah, the topic title vid used Season 10 episode 19, Mom and Pop Art. That kind of fits.
posted by FJT at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2013


D͟o̵͎̪̭̯͎n̠̭̪̩̬̳͇'̞t͏ ̗̗̰̝͖̳̣h̖̱ͅa̪v̕e̦̙͙̘̫͡ ̝̗͇̼̬͍͞ḁ̷̳ ҉̙c̸ow͇͚͠,̮̠̟̲̤̹ ͏̘͍͇͎̱͓̜m͜a̷̱̭̦͙ǹ.̥̜̝̳̝͚̮͜
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 10:57 AM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


1. I don't really like how arbitrary the placement of the chunks is, how sometimes they're centred and sometimes they're all left or right or cornered. (Is it actually arbitrary, or am I missing something?) The bits where it goes all Brady Bunch boxes are the most confusing in that regard. Aesthetically, I prefer the just-slightly-jumbled shots most. If only it were all like that.

2. The audio had a lot of clipping. There shouldn't be clipping. Clipping is bad.

3. Why a whole episode? A shorter clip would have done the job just as well, if not better; as much as this particular episode is on point, a more specific clip could have been, um, pointier.

As a proof of concept, this is great. As a work of art... Meh.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


(The concept is really neat, though.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 AM on September 6, 2013


1) Like he mentioned, there are a bunch of different ways you can align things in Illustrator, and I guess he wanted to try them all. The ones you like are probably using a "distribution" method while the ones where they are all on the left or all on the right are using an "align" method. At first I didn't get the Brady Bunch ones but I think they are a collection of 9 different alignments/distributions.

2) Hmm. I guess he could adjust the volume to avoid clipping after regenerating the audio from the spectrograph. (Thanks to infinitewindow because I wouldn't have understood what was going on at all without that.)

3) I suppose. I'm intrigued by it, but I didn't feel like watching the whole half-hour so you've got a point.
posted by RobotHero at 11:07 AM on September 6, 2013


He said there were 23 combinations of alignment, so lemme think:

Horizontal align left.
Horizontal align center.
Horizontal align right.

Horizontal distribute left.
Horizontal distribute center.
Horizontal distribute right.

That's 6 and then you have another 6 for vertical, that will get you 36 combinations, and that's not even counting the Brady Bunch combination screen. So 23 seems low, I don't know which combinations he's leaving out to get only 23.
posted by RobotHero at 11:14 AM on September 6, 2013


Was this an advertisment for food tours of Quetzlzacatenango?
posted by lalochezia at 11:45 AM on September 6, 2013


Worst episode ever!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:05 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bart's head always did have an ... eraser-like quality.

Or is the special guest star Salad Fingers?
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 12:09 PM on September 6, 2013


What the hell was that?

That quote is MUCH better with context!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:38 PM on September 6, 2013


I put it on full screen and played Pink Floyd "Ummagumma" album, loud. Then I just went with the music... :)
posted by swlabr at 2:53 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Below the video, it says that it was designed to be displayed on a grid of 9 monitors, so I assume when it goes 'Brady Bunch', he's showing us what it would look like in the original format. I don't know, though, if when it's all smushed into one corner he's showing us just one corner screen, or if all 9 screens would look like that.
posted by rifflesby at 2:10 AM on September 7, 2013


Hm, the twelve horizontal and vertical alignments multiplied by two for whether you're aligning by selection or to the canvas gives you 24, which is closer to 23. Not really sure how you could get exactly 23 out of it though.
posted by lucidium at 8:59 AM on September 7, 2013


Might as well say it and get it over with.


Simpsons on acid.
Simpsons on ketamine.


As a proof of concept, this is great. As a work of art... Meh.


I don't know if it's "art," but I thoroughly enjoyed it aesthetically.
posted by univac at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2013


I started watching this and was suddenly reminded of the decidedly disturbing NSFW NSFL Hommer Simpson episodes on YouTube. There are five should you want to watch them all.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:41 PM on September 13, 2013


ⅅ⒟ⒹD⎷'Ὂ⊙⎈⍥ℋℌH‽•␥⑊♫!
posted by not_on_display at 7:18 PM on September 20, 2013


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