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Glitching Images

Page history last edited by Lacy Mahone 10 years, 2 months ago

This isn't a "tool", really, but more of a skill/method. This will show you how to manually "glitch" images, like the one below.























(the image above used to look like this)











What's going to happen:

The idea is pretty simple. You take any digital image, take it down to its code, mess it up, and open it to see the damage you've done.


What you'll need:

1. Any digital image file (.jpg, or whatever other standard image file type)

2. A text editor or hex editor (NOT Word or TextEdit - these add their own formatting code. If you're on a Mac, try downloading Smultron. PC users may want to try searching for a hex editor online... can't vouch for these, as I don't own a PC. Don't pay for one.)


How to do it:

This how-to will be explained through use of Smultron on a Mac. Procedures on PCs are comparable, though the program used may be different.

1. Open Smultron (or text editor of choice). Open your chosen image file; in Smultron, click the "Open" button, and select your chosen image file. Your image file will be shown in the window below. MAKE SURE you open a COPY of your original image, as the changes will save on top of the file.



2. Start messing it up! You can add text, delete text, insert a poem, rant about traffic, whatever you want to do.

TIPS: You want to avoid the very top and the very bottom of the code - this is the place where the header and footer information are contained, so if you mess with that, the image will not be readable after you make changes. The SIZE of the image file matters! The smaller the file, the fewer changes to the code it will tolerate. If you use a huge file, it may take extreme edits to the code to see any change at all.


3. Click the "Save" button, and open the image in your standard image viewer. If you like it, great, that's it! If you don't, then do it again (and again, and again, and again...). Tried to open it and the program crashed? You've simply made more changes than the image viewer can handle (it doesn't recognize the code as an image anymore). Just start over. The smaller the file, the greater the chance of a crash.


(Glitched image of a jumbo tub of Cheez Balls. You're welcome.)


For an easy, experimental tool that illustrates this idea, you might want to check out Smack My Glitch Up As a side note, if anyone would like to know how to do this with video, I'd be glad to share.

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