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This installation is an explorative piece investigating image processing and visual transformations. The aim is to transform unprocessed vector graphics into animations with a distorted and noisy texture.

produced by: Annie Tådne

Concept and background research

I wanted to create a system that transforms the original input, creating an output of generative graphics that is more appealing and thorough than its original vector graphics. After research of approaches for altering and distorting the image, with an aim of creating a noisy and analogue feel and a more engaging piece, I decided to use an old technique known as Slit-Scanning. This effect is more commonly used with photography, and after some experiments with vectors I was astounded how the result turned out, much like the image process I had in mind.

Slit-scan effects have been used in a variety of artist practices, at first maybe best known for being used by Douglas Trumbull in the Star Gate scene of Stanley Kubrick's film “2001: A Space Odyssey” from 1968. The historical value and richness, and with the diversity of results the effect gives, made it an easy target for my own research. The ambition was to determine how I can make use of this technique with a new, unique and useful approach.

The effect operates well on the physical shapes it was projected onto, due to the dividing scanning line, which was positioned in the middle of the rectangular shapes. The flat shaped surfaces transformed into something could remind us of a printer.


For accomplishing the best result of this technique, the concern is to find the right balance between speed, movement and shape. The result can be unpredictable, but after some experiments I found that the most interesting result would be by combining different characteristics for the vector graphics to feed the scanner with. The animated vectors is being transformed into pixels, and then processed through the scanning effect.

The scanning effect is located to a single row of pixels on the x-axis. When the graphics pass through this line, the pixels are being captured. By linking these captured rows together, a new still image emerge.

for (int i = 0; i < imageBuffer.size(); i++) {
     imageBuffer[i].drawSubsection(0, i , slitLocationX, 1, 0, slitLocationY);

Future development

What would happen if the slit-scanning row of pixels is taking a different form? Could the slit-scanning line have movement itself? Would it be possible to create this image process on 3D objects and what results would emerge? How would I add interaction to this piece? An interesting approach would be to combine photography and vector graphics with use of a depth camera.


2001: A Space Odyssey. (1968). Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

G., Ercolano. (2002). 2001 A Space Odyssey: Unwrapping the Slit Scan sequences. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

G., Levin. (2015). An Informal Catalogue of Slit-Scan Video Artworks and Research. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

Noise. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

Openframeworks forum. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

T., Papatheodorou. (2017). Slit-scanner. Lecture presented in Goldsmiths University, London.

Processing Forum. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2018, from

D., Shiffman. (n.d.). Slit-Scan Video - Processing Tutorial. Lecture. Retrieved January 14, 2018, from