Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Recently I have been working on a music video that is incorporating a glitching technique called DATAMOSHING. Datamoshing is kinda 2009, but whatever, Wikipedia has this to say about datamoshing...."

Datamoshing occurs when the I-frames or key-frames of a temporally compressed video are removed, causing frames from different video sequences to bleed together."

Basically datamoshing takes advantage of an aspect of compression in encoding. To make the videos smaller, encoding creates Key frames (or I frames) and it references other frames based off that, to make the file smaller. So, it takes one frame, and says hey, these next 30 frames are pretty similar, lets base the video information off that frame and use it as a reference. So what datamoshing does is take out those keyframes and leaves in the P-frames, and p frames reference I frames for information, the main ingredient in a p-frame is motion information. So, you take a video with an i-frame and couple it with a video with nothing but p-frames, it makes the second video work off the first video, applying its motion information to the other information of the clip..... thats datamoshing.
Here are some examples.....

and obviously...

I think its amazing that datamoshing works as well as it does, but I am surprised no one has created a plug in yet to mimic the results. I feel like there is whole world of glitch manipulation out there that is completely uncharted, and is being hindered by programs like Final Cut and Avid, which make everything work properly...... But hey.

Now, it just takes a while and it has really made me alter my workflow. Here is a really nerdy explanation of it...... Basically what I do is I line up my clips that I want to datamosh in Final Cut , then export the seperate .movs . I then encode the clips in FFMPEGX, which pulls out all the i-frames and creates an .avi file. You then have to take those two encoded files and put them into a basic editing program (one that won't put the i-frames back in), then you pull out the remaining i-frame and export it as an .avi. And then you see what it looks like, you can kinda guess what the final product will be based on the videos motion content, but its really trial and error. You then convert the .avi back to an .mov and plop it back into Final Cut.

Here is a great video with a tutorial and all the links you need to start datamoshing. I think this guy does a great job explaining how to do it. It's 3 videos in total, but he makes it pretty entertaining and datamoshes the whole tutorial.

When the music video is done I will post it up on this blog.

1 comment:

  1. GLI.TC/H ++ http://gli.tc/h/wiki ++ http://gli.tc/h/blog