2) Find a photo you want to glitch. Let’s start off with a .JPG. Better make a copy of it first, that way if you glitch it too much you can go back to where you started.
3) Do a find and replace. I’ve only used Hex Fiend, but you can probably do this in HxD too. So, what do you find and replace? Just pick any group of four numbers and letters from your photo. Now re-arrange them anyway you like and select Replace All.
For example, I randomly grabbed E2AD and re-arranged it as ADE2:
Magic! This is what the photo looks like when I open it now:
It’s that easy.
Now a brief a question and answer period:
Q: Mine didn’t work! I can’t open the file. Or nothing changed. This is the worst and I am terrible at everything!
A: Don’t worry! Try again. You didn’t do it wrong, you’re really just blindly flipping switches in your computer. It’s amazing that this works at all, ever. It’s all about trial and error. Eventually you may even notice certain letters and numbers give different kinds of results (hint: Fs and Es, especially when put together in certain ways, can produce excellent or terrible results).
Q: I’m an extreme guy or girl. How can I make my glitch more EXTREME, like me?
A: Instead of working with group of four letters and numbers, try groups of two. You are more likely to totally break the file, but if you don’t, oh man it gets more extreme:
(above: Finn on the left, Jake on the right, glitch everywhere).
Q: What we’re doing here is fine but I need total control of everything and everyone. This feels so random!
A: I understand. One way to use this technique in a more control way is to glitch out a bunch of images, then bring them into a program like Photoshop and work on them more. A little randomness can help get you to places you would not have thought of. Or make something in Photoshop, glitch it out, bring it back, change it again, glitch it again, and repeat this process until you are left with Something Amazing.
Q: It worked and I’m bored. How can I feel excited again?
A: Try it with other image formats. They each glitch in different ways — PNGs, TIFFs, BMPs. Some simply break, some do surprising things. What often makes interesting glitches is working with compressed files. JPEGs are nicely compressed — go into a photo editor and export them in different ways, with different compression levels and see what happens.
Then try it with animated GIFs.
Then try it with movies.
Then share it with the world.