A Bug Creates Art


Sometimes beautiful images are generated serendipitously; think of snowflakes or Lissajous curves. Today I got one when I encoded an animation of the back dials of my Antikythera mechanism emulator with the CamStudio lossless codec (v1.4). When I played back the movie with the VLC media player (v0.9.9) a bug in the player (or the codec or the video driver) gave me a black background and a series of overlaid images with the stark colors of the gears. I think the bug is related to the alpha channel, which I use for partially obscuring the gears behind the translucent dial face. I found the result eerily beautiful.

True to its form, the image proved devilishly difficult to capture. No matter what method I used for capturing and saving it, the image would only appear on my computer and only in the screen area and size corresponding to the original location of the media player. Saving the image in a file format that did not support transparency resulted in a black rectangle. In the end I gave up and (horror of horrors) I photographed my computer's screen. Enjoy!
A Bug Creates Art

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Last modified: Sunday, May 17, 2009 1:25 am

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.