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  • Writer's pictureCorrina Crazie Espinosa

Lab: Pixel Sorting

Updated: Jan 24

Pixel sorting is a coded algorithm that sorts pixels in the rows/columns of images, depending on a variety of factors including color, brightness, etc., to create an interesting glitch effect. It was popularized (possibly invented) by artist Kim Asendorf. There are multiple ways to approach this type of glitch, I will show you how to use the code to make pixel sorted glitches, and also how to fake pixel sorted glitches in Photoshop.


For this Lab you will need to download free open source software called Processing:

You will also need to download the processing script called ASDFPixelSort, available on GitHub:

Step 1: Download processing, and the processing script. Extract all the files.

Step 2: Double click the processing script to open it in processing, you should see the code.

Step 3: In the same folder where your script is located, put 4 image files that you would like to glitch. Make sure that your files are not too large. I recommend making them no longer than 6 inches in any direction.

Step 4: In the code, locate where it says "String imgFileName = "MyImage"" and replace the word "MyImage" with the name of the first image file you want to glitch.

Step 5. In the code, locate where it says "int mode = 1;" and choose which mode you will try first, 0 = black, 1 = brightness, or 2 = white. Change the number in the code to the number of mode you choose.

Step 6. In the code, locate where it says:

"int blackValue = -16000000;

int brightnessValue = 60;

int whiteValue = -13000000;"

make adjustments to the numbers for the area that coincides with the mode you are using. mode 0 is blackValue, mode 1 is brightnessValue, and mode 2 is whiteValue.

Step 7. Hit the Green triangle "play" or "run button at the top of your screen to generate the glitch. Try out each mode for each image. Adjust the numbers for each mode until the desired effect is achieved.

You must have 16 final images for your blog, the original 4 images, and 3 glitched images for each original (1 for each mode). Your blog post should look something like this:



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