I’ve long been a collector of glitch apps for ios and have had my fingers crossed for a good video glitch (or datamoshing) app. I’ve toyed around with animating Decim8 images, but last week a new app called Databender finally made it’s way to the app store.
Databender appears to have two distinct modes: image & video. The video mode is what I spent most of my time messing with. This provides some pretty straightforward compression errors that look pretty swell. Sort of like this video. The only two modes of adjustment for the video effect are Intesity and Target (which I believe selects how wide the glitchable area is). For the video above, I took several videos I shot and edited in Lightt and ran them through several different settings in Databender. I then took these glitched clips and arranged them in iMovie and added a song from my Beeps and Smudges album as a background track. These files are actually fun to work with and I was surprised that while working in iMovie, I’d get different compression effects depending on what clips were side by side with another.. sort of turning iMovie itself into a glitch editor. I especially dug this effect of Christine skating over me!
It’s worth mentioning that this whole video (music, editing, glitching, etc) was created using iPhone apps.
It’s also worth mentioning how perfectly timed this app’s release is considering Instagram’s recent update, which allows you to upload videos from your camera roll. This is going to open a huge new ecosystem of video apps for the appstore. Since all my clips came from Lightt, they were already square, and Databender handled that nicely. Unfortunately neither Youtube or iMovie allow square videos. Whatever.
I hope to see this app grow more and can’t wait to see what else the developer has in mind. Here are a couple features I wouldn’t mind seeing:
1. Audio glitching. It’d be great to have some audio options. If possible, glitching along with the video (somehow) would be great… if not, perhaps a simple stuttering glitch like found in Cut-Up Machine.
2. More options for “target”. I believe the target mode picks a color and allows you to select how wide that color range is, then effects areas mostly within those colors. If so, I’d love to be able to tap on the screen and select the color itself, not just how wide the palette is. For instance, if there is a green background with a red ball, it would be awesome to be able to select either the green area or the red area… if that’s even how this effect works
3. Stuttering effect. Thinking about simple video effects, a random stutter effect could be nice. Options would include: on/off, random or sequenced, intensity, etc. Maybe this effect could be controlled partially by the audio in the file. IE, everytime there is a distinct clip in audio, that becomes a new segment to get cut up.
4. VHS/pixel/saturation filters.
5. Gif import/export. See also Anim8 article linked above.