Glitch video effects defined.
When e-mailing with folks in regards to effects pertaining to certain machines descriptive articulation can be a little tricky. I tend to break out my Cybernetic-Robert Frost and the clouds of confusion move in. I thought it might be helpful to toss around some names and proper descriptions for some of the more common circuit bent video effects so we are on the same page. Open up a couple of different pieces of video gear, start prodding around and you will notice that there are a core group of video effects lurking around causin’ trouble.
The quintessential scrambled porn/ruptured transmission look. Classic. You’ve seen it in damned near everything from Star Trek to Shrek to Outer Limits to Golden Girls. It comes in many forms yet at it’s heart the same thing occurs. A video signal is destabilized in some way until it reaches it’s breaking point. Before your signal hits rock bottom colors begin to selectively tint, the horizontal gets a little bit of wiggle, the vertical tenses all it’s muscles and then just when it can’t hold it any longer…. shbammm! A free flowing soup of colors, pixels and tits.
Often described as a tracing effect conforming to and replicating based on the heaviest lines of an image. This look occurs when the video output is run back into a point in the video amp creating a video feedback much like organic camera-based video feedback. Assigned to a knob this effect starts out with many tiny lines. Give ‘er a twist and those lines get phatter and fatter until usually some synch corruption occurs. This is one of the most common effects sleeping sweet sleep in most any viddy circuitry.
Lick your video circuit on the back, just like a tree frog, and you’ll witness it’s full lysergic possibilities. Stone pony central. Like hanging out in Cheech Marin’s lungs. Same principle as regular old internal feedback with a little extra third eye sprinkled in to the mix. It often occurs when an initial internal feedback effect is already activated. This effect can really shine depending on the circuit. That’s what is nice about the Basic Cable because the neon-ize effect really brings out it’s eyes.
It’s the HDR of LDR imagery. This effect cranks up the contrast on your signal and makes it pop. It’s a true video enhancement rather than the “video enhancements” your unmodified 80’s fx processors promise you. The effect selectively extrudes portions of your image creating the illusion of depth or a little 3D (2.5D rather).
Ghost in the machine!!! Here is where you go face to face with the Caspers and the Face Killahs. One of my favorite organic video effects. Blur looks range in tonality and fuzziness depending on the circuitry. Often times a blur renders your signal b&w with the occasional flicker of color and sometimes the effect gives way to a selectively defined posterized blur.
A posterize blur is a blur effect pushed to the edge, literally. It adds a high contrast boost to the remaining lines. It borders on an illustrative look and is not always an easy look to stumble upon but you’d recognize it when you see it.
Color fill effects hones in on a particular color (often light ones), crudely key it out and replace it with another color. Some of the more fully featured video enhancers have this feature on board as a superimpose effect or “art” effect. The nice thing about stumbling upon the effect in the rough is the strange unpredictable nature of the keying element.
Highly radical. Looks great on Warren Miller movies or Endless Summer 2. The effect takes the most defined edges of your signal and slaps on a swath of hot neon sweatbands and moon boots. It has a subtle sharpness and extrusion element about it as well. It looks great in conjunction with internal feedback effects and rainbow effects. It is typically all up on that Basic Cable.
When colors get flipped on their ass and rearrange themselves in a rather curious manner I figure some sort of “skew” is taking place. I use this as a blanket term for any color inversion, saturation burst, hue rupture or drastic shift to them Rs, Gs & Bs.
The skinny puppy of circuit bent video fx. The cannibal corpse of Sima. The Gwar of Videonics. The Alice Cooper of Vidicraft. Your image unpredictably shreds on the horizontal based on the contours of the content of your video signal. Often accompanied by a loud hum from your teevee speakers. Shit always makes me nervous. Always makes my neck hair stand on end. Sorry for that image.
If Craig Mack saw this shit he’d say “Kick that old robotic, futuristic, George Jetson, crazy joint!” This effect turns anything in to science fiction. Your signal tends to dim and the lighter edges of objects tend to blow out and glow. Really dreamy. The Fritz Decontroller v3 pulls this off nicely.