Hello Glitch

Using the same svg glitching techniques that I’ve come to love, today, with the help of Twitter folk, I created this rather short animation that compliments my new deviantART ID

My initial aim was glitch the video file itself but then I figured it’d be quite different to glitch each frame individually. To do this I created the original text in Inkscape and then created 52 copies of it. I then opened up the file in a text editor and began messing around with the numbers!

After the 17th or so version of the file it became hard to try and randomly replace numbers, so I turned to Twitter for some help.

I asked people to give me two random numbers, each between 0 and 99. I’d then modify an image using only those two numbers. Within minutes of asking I already was given quite a lot of numbers, so I began work on glitching. In the end I sporadically used the numbers that were given on each image. All of the results can be seen below:

Hello Glitch (by hellocatfood)

All but two of the frames from the animation in no particular order

The amount of variation you can get by just replacing a few numbers or changing a number from a negative to a positive is quite amazing.

For the sound I ran an mp3 file through MPeg Fucker, which is a nifty little script for warping sounds.

Bull Glitch

You may have noticed that in my previous post there was a nice little image of the Bull Ring Bull. I did that! Before I go on, it’s not an image that will be used for Birmingham’s City of Culture bid (though if you really like it monies plz). It’s more an image just to represent the work that we’re doing to collect opinions of Birmingham.

bull glitch

Although not a completely original concept (Andy Warhol anyone?) I have utilised a few newly found techniques to create it. Whilst the results, and indeed databending as a whole looks cool I have yet to use it in any real world situations. Until now that is.

To begin I found an image of the Bull and cut it out of the background. I then took it into Inkscape and used the Trace Bitmap function (Alt + Shift + B) and traced it several times using different settings. I saved svgs that scanned for several different colour values. After saving a copy of the original I basically databent it i.e. replaced some numbers with other numbers using a text editor. I’ve described this process in a lot more detail in this earlier tutorial.

I still did manipulate the image afterwards (a bit of shifting of layers and colour/opacity adjustments), but the overall random effect was achieved this way. Here’s how the others turned out:

Bull Glitch (by hellocatfood)

And now we wait to see if we actually become City Of Culture

Databending using Audacity

Thanks to some help on the Audacity forum I finally know out how to use Audacity to databend. Previously I’d been using mhWavEdit, which has its limitations and just doesn’t feel as familiar as Audacity. From talk on the various databending discussion boards I found that people would often use tools like Cool Edit/Adobe Audition for their bends. Being on Linux and restricting myself to things that run natively (i.e. not under Wine) presented a new challenge. Part of my task was to replicate the methods others have found but under Linux. My ongoing quest is to find things that only Linux can do, which I’m sure I’ll find when I eventually figure out how to pipe data through one program into another!

Here’s some of my current results using Audacity:

Gabe, Abbey, L and me (by hellocatfood)

Liverpool (by hellocatfood)

Just so you don’t have to go trawling through the posts on the Audacity forum here’s how it’s done. It’s worth noting that this was on using Audacity 1.3.12-2 on Linux. Versions on other operating systems may be different. Before I show you this it’s probably better if you work with an uncompressed image format, such as .bmp or .tif. As jpgs are compressed data there’s always more chance of completely breaking a picture, rather than bending it. So, open up GIMP/your faviourite image editor and convert it to an uncompressed format. I’ll be using this picture I took at a Telepaphe gig awhile back.

Next, download Audacity. You don’t need the lame plugin as we wont be exporting to mp3, though grab it if you plan to use it for that feature in the future. Once you have it open go to File > Import > Raw Data and choose your file. What you’ll now be presented is with options on how to import this raw data, which is where I would usually fall flat.

Import Raw Data

Import Raw Data

Under Encoding you’ll need to select either U-Law or A-Law (remember which one you choose). When you choose any other format you’ll be converting the data into that format. Whilst you want to achieve data modification this is bad because it’ll convert the header of the image file, thereby breaking the image. U/A-Law just imports the data. The other settings do have significance but I wont go into that here. When you’re ready press Import and you’ll see your image as data!

Image as sound

Image as sound

Press play if you dare, but I’d place money on the fact that it’ll probably sound like either white noise or Aphex Twin glitchy goodness. This is where the fun can begin. For this tutorial select everything from about five seconds into the audio. The reason for this is because, just like editing an image in a text editor, the header is at the beginning of the file. Unless you know the size of the header and exactly where it ends (which you can find out with a bit of research), you can usually guess that it’s about a few seconds into the audio. The best way to find it out is to try it out!

Anyway, highlight that section and then go to Effect > Echo

Apply the echo

Leave the default settings as they are and press OK

You’ll see that your audio has changed visually. It still wont sound any better but the magic happens when you export it back to an image file, which is the next step.

Once you’re happy with your modifications go to File > Export. Choose a new location for your image and type in the proposed new file name but don’t press save just yet. You’ll need to change the export settings to match the import settings.

screenshot_11_16_110037

Change the file format to Other Uncompressed Files and then click on the Options button.

Export settings

Export settings

Change the settings to match the ones above (or to A-Law if you imported as A-Law). With that now all set you can now press Save! If you entered a file extension when you were choosing a file name you’ll get a warning about the file extension being incorrect, but you can ignore it and press Yes. If you didn’t choose a file extension, when the file is finished exporting, add the appropriate extension to the file. In my case I’d be adding .bmp to the end.

Here’s the finished image:

Freaky!

Freaky!

There’s of course so many different filters available in Audacity, so try each of them out! If you’re feeling really adventurous try importing two or more different images and then exporting them as a single image.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you need help on this try the Audacity forum