Saturday, December 03, 2011

mosh bit

that (if you watched it) is my final project from my "digital image" class, where we essentially learn the coding behind photoshop.
in case you're wondering about how that happened:

that's what we call a "datamosh." in a compressed video file, each frame is designated as either an i-frame or a p-frame. an i-frame redraws the entire image, while a p-frame records only the movement changes in the pixel (i've never ever heard of these before). i-frames are placed anytime there is a drastic change in the content of the image. this is usually at a cut to a new shot but it can also be when there is a great amount of motion in the shot, such as a rapid pan across a room or if a rabbit full of confetti exploded.

the magic of datamosh occurs when the i-frames are removed, so that different images are blended together, causing the motion of one frame to be pulled from the pixels of the previous frame. i did this by taking my demo reel, cutting out some shots, adding one or two new shots and some video of tally hall (shot by kristin) for good measure, then using two different programs. the first was ffmpegx, which i have no idea what it did other than put a lot of extensions on the end of my video file, somehow making it ready to be used in the second program, avidemux. in avidemux, i went through and removed the i-frames, thus moshing two shots in a very unnatural way.

the biggest challenge of this process is that these two programs, ffmpegx and avidemux, suck. ffmpegx, with enough coddling, spit out my file in the desired format, but avidemux was a nightmare. its most reliable feature was crashing, and it would do this unfailingly. i have made this movie about a dozen times, and just as i would go to save or export my i-frame-less movie, it would crash. once i finally did get it rendered out, the file was so unstable that only the most robust video players could recognize it, and that was another adventure until i could wrap that mess in a nice and secure quicktime format.

another effect that can be done with datamoshing is to repeatedly copy and paste a single p- frame, which gives a rad color bloom effect that you can see briefly at the start and end of the video. i would have liked to add more of these, or at least sustain them longer, but even copying one frame only twelve times (half a second) was risking a crash, and what ended up in the video was the balance between the program's temperament and my sanity.

overall, though, i'm happy with how this turned out. the music came from there's a lot of weird junk there, and i spent more time searching through there than i did on the rest of the project.
but, for the first time ever, my project was the first one submitted on the website.
know why? because this didn't involve writing any code....  : D
and i'm going to savor that feeling.

1 comment:

The Former 786 said...

Darn. My computer is having issues, so that video pixilates a lot for me. I'll have to try it again later. But it looks pretty impressive so far!