Decision, Trial, Plan: 2 hours
I was afraid I’d be blindsided by this project when the time came to buckle down and pick something to do. Halfway through the semester, I began to brainstorm while writing the artist blog posts and working on each project. I had briefly explored different databending techniques for a digital studies project this past spring, and since we were given the option to re-imagine a previous assignment as a more ambitious piece, I decided to take the GIF assignment and utilize the effects Audacity and Wordpad provide.
I first tested this idea with my non manmade gif. I applied Audacity’s “Echo” effect frame by frame and stitched them back together in Photoshop.
After a successful trial, I had to decide what the subject/theme of the GIF series would be. I initially planned on renting a camera from the HCC as I had for the selfie project, but I managed to find a dark and dreamy fantasy film called Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. I decided that I wanted to see what kind of effect my project would have on the film’s tone.
Gathering Frames: 3 hours
I downloaded the movie and set out to collect the frames. To accomplish this, I customized and enabled the scene filter settings in VLC media player. This was my first attempt at extracting video frames, so it took a bit of time for me to fully understand what I was supposed to do. I thought I could fast forward through the movie to only record the scenes I wanted, and it took me way too long to realize that this wasn’t possible. Eventually, I edited the film with Windows Movie Maker to create a compilation of the clips I wanted. Once I played my edited video from start to finish in VLC, I finally extracted my frames. I went back to this step a few times to create new compilations of clips that I had previously overlooked.
Convert, Databend, GIF: 10 hours +
I’m not sure if there was an easier alternative to this method…if there was, I spent a lot of time not using it lol
I opened all of my frames into Photoshop, removed the black border, and exported my cropped layers as new BMP files. I then organized my workspace by grouping each set of frames by scene. Once I selected a scene to work with, I imported a frame into Audacity and experimented with various audio effects, adjusting the settings of an effect until I liked it. If I was sold, I moved on, importing the remaining frames one by one and applying the same effect to each. Each scene had about 20-60 frames, so I ended up dedicating anywhere between 45 minutes to 2 hours per GIF.
The element of unpredictability is what I really love about making glitch art. Audacity’s flexible effects kept me on my toes and motivated me to keep creating different GIFs, but after a certain point I began to lose that sense of surprise. I wanted more variety, so I decided to throw a few scenes through Wordpad and see how they turned out. I also attempted to learn how to datamosh. I used VirtualDub to convert my GIFs to AVI, then Avidemux to delete I-frames between two scenes. I think I installed the wrong version tho, so my results weren’t as interesting as others I’ve seen. But hey, I tried!
After spending well over 15 hours preparing, learning, and experimenting with different techniques, I produced 9 GIFs that I am proud to showcase as my final project.