This method of image corruption uses Slow-Scan Television as corruptible medium. Introduced first in the late 50’s, SSTV is basically a transmission of pictures in form of sound via radio. It was actually used by Apollo astronauts to transmit live pictures from the moon landing. Nowadays it’s popular among radio enthusiasts who exchange pictures via radio transmissions.
0) Things you’ll need to perform the ritual:
• Photoshop or similar software (to resize the initial picture, assemble frame animation and make it into a gif)
• A microphone, obviously. The crappier the better.
• A device to play your signal with (I used my phone)
1) Put together a picture you want to corrupt, or, if you already have it, crop/resize it meet the requirements for an SSTV-compatible image, which is strictly 320x256px, 24-bit BMP. Save it somewhere like that for the next step.
2) Your BMP file is ready to be converted into series of beeps and blips via SSTV Signal Generator - just put it into the program. Notice there are multiple SSTV formats, I recommend trying out a couple of them, as each gives slightly different corruptions. Leave the rest of the settings unchanged, type a name for your sound file and click generate. Obviously, put different name if you want to generate another signal with different SSTV format.
3) What you have now is your picture in form of sound. Put your sound files on any player device of your choice, make sure it can play them continuously, and loud enough for mic to pick it up.
4) Assuming you have your mic plugged in, and set up as primary recording device, launch MMSSTV on your computer. The waveform on the right usually will tell if the program is picking up sound from your microphone. Now all you need to do is play the .wav files on your device in front of the mic, and the program, even with default settings, should easily recognise the signal and automatically put the picture back together. If recognition was somewhat successful, you’ll see your picture on the left part of the window. You can pretty much leave the device playing the sounds into the mic, and go do something else for a while. Or try making noises while it’s recording, you’ll immediately see the noisy lines on your picture. Basically, this is the point where corruptions happen. MMSSTV automatically saves all successfully converted pictures, and you’ll need, like, 15-30 of them. For that reason, the process might take from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on length of your audio files.
5) After 30 turns, you’ll get a headache from hearing that constant high-pitched beeping, but more importantly, in the installation folder of MMSSTV you’ll find a folder ‘history’ with all your corrupted images in it. Save them somewhere else, so you can load them in photoshop afterwards.
Next steps cover the gif assembly, and if you know how gifs are made, or you don’t use photoshop to do it, you can pretty much skip them. You can pretty much use any other similar software of your choice, as long as it can make gifs out of multiple image files.
6) In Photoshop, go to Files > Scripts > Load Files into Stack. Locate your images and load them into stack (layer stack that is). Then open the timeline (or animation in older versions) window and make a frame animation by clicking on upper right corner of timeline window and selecting ‘make frames from layers’. Now you can experiment with duration of each frame (number on the bottom of each frame), and the position of frames on the timeline. Also on the bottom left corner of timeline, choose ‘forever’ to preview the animation in continuous loop.
7) When you’re happy with the way everything looks, go to File > Save for Web, where you’ll save it as a gif (don’t forget to resize it if necessary, and play around with dither settings to reduce the file size, as tumblr, for example, only accepts gifs under 1MB).
Sometimes ‘save for web’ refuses to save the file, or even play it - usually can be fixed by restarting photoshop and making the gif a bit smaller.
If any of these steps do not work properly, or the explanation isn’t clear enough, please contact me here on tumblr, and i’ll be happy to help! :3