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Wordpad > photoshop?
August 16, 2010 8:09 PM   Subscribe

"databending is, in essence, the artistic misuse of digital information."

Datamoshing with video was covered previously here and here. But "The Wordpad Effect" (as it's called) is easy enough to do on your own.

You can find databenders on Flickr.

You can find databenders on tumblr.

People have made python scripts for databending.

Any program that can open raw data, like wave-form editors, can bend it. (images broken, but technique still valid)

The fun of it is to experiment. Data is free, and easy to copy, so what is there to lose?

Found via this thread on SomethingAwful (maybe mildly nws)
posted by codacorolla (13 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't think I was convinced that this is awesome until I saw this compared to the original image.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:21 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huh. We used to do this years ago in reverse, opening sound files as raw data in Photoshop to make glitchy weirdness. I always figured you could do the same with image data, but never tried it myself.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:22 PM on August 16, 2010


Also, nice post!
posted by 40 Watt at 8:24 PM on August 16, 2010


"databending is, in essence, the artistic misuse of digital information."

Shhh! Quiet or M Night Shyamalan will hear you!
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:36 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used to do this all the time except for the artistic bit.
posted by Tashtego at 8:46 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once did this with kernels (solaris, sunos, linux, irix), and made pictures of them and also fed them into /dev/audio
posted by oonh at 8:51 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you like this stuff, you should check out AutoShop - "an explorative parody of professional bitmap graphic manipulation software." It's a working image editing program which is a sort of Photoshop parody, and provides an arsenal of bizarre tools for messing with images like this.
posted by oulipian at 8:55 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Functions...

Objects...

Strings...

Integers...

I guess the Databender is the one who can bend all four.

And I believe he can save the world....

(the above joke was written by a musician and may not be as funny as it was in my mind)
posted by SNWidget at 9:03 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


If you like this stuff, you should check out AutoShop

I checked it out, and it's clearly so bent that the Windows download link doesn't work.

Which makes me sad.
posted by Jimbob at 9:10 PM on August 16, 2010


Hm, you could probably do this with compressed formats too, as long as you use a hex editor. Just keep the frames intact. With JPEG, you could also tweak the Q matrix to get some weird effects, although most will result in a blocky look. Here's the structure of JPEG.

I just played around with it, and I could successfully muck around with the Quality matrix (look for FF DB in a hex editor, go nuts on everything up till the next FF marker). Changing the Huffman code is a bit tricky without knowing how it works (see link ^), so I'd skip that. In the main section of the image (search for FF DA -- make changes after this marker), you can make some changes to see some crazy color effects. Just don't touch anything that's FF D0 .. D7, since this basically resynchronizes the stream.
posted by spiderskull at 10:13 PM on August 16, 2010


Excellent weirdness. Thanks.
posted by Scarf Face at 10:35 PM on August 16, 2010


Some people not only write programs to generate art, but they do it live on audio and video. The googleable phrase you'll want is live coding. Random example
posted by DU at 9:04 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is some of my favorite stuff. I didn't know it was a thing though. I've been converting pics of Africa into audio files using Audition recently. One thing I've found, that the "wave-form editor" link doesn't mention, is noise-removal. Of course, when you open a .jpg in a wave-editor, most of what you get is noise, but after a couple of scrubbings, you end up some some interesting tones.

There are lots of ways to coax sound out of data.
posted by lekvar at 12:30 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


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