I have an image with an animated image effect (a nice glitch effect) and would like to recreate the effect as a filter that can be applied to other images or videos using graphics libraries like OpenCV instead of graphic programs.

On what Stack Exchange site should I ask?

I want to create the effect as code, so Stack Overflow comes to mind. But I do not need help creating the effect, I need help understanding the parts the effect is composed of (e.g. brightness change, pixelisation, etc.) and the order of these processing steps, so I need the help in the analysis and not for the program that should mimic the effect. In addition I am not sure how many people there are skilled in creating graphics (as in "applying a series of effects to an image to create the wanted appearance", not as in "programming an effect when I already know how it works").

Stack Exchange has some sites for computer artists, but I fear that the question may be too broad there and I am not sure if they can tell tell elements or just functions (e.g. in Photoshop) that execute a lot of different steps to create such an effect.

Is the question suitable for Stack Exchange at all?

I just asked on Meta Graphic Design but will keep this question open for more opinions on where I could get the best help.

To make it easier to decide: Here is the video fragment: https://i.sstatic.net/LQ8mY.jpg

I would like to create a similar effect. It does not need to be exactly the same and when people suggested what parts the effect is composed of I may even combine them in a slightly different way. The main goal is to create such a scifi/cyberpunk effect using different video filters.

I tried to create a few parts, e.g., the blocky moving noise and then I noticed that it will only work like in the video, when I understand the effects that are applied to the noise itself.

EDIT: I try computer graphics for a start. It seem still to be a small community, but probably with people who have an idea how to apply effects in real-time.

  • Maybe first ask on Graphics Design what effects a certain animation consists of, then ask on Stack overflow how to implement these effects, if needed. May 9, 2020 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


There's a Graphic Design site that allows questions about

  • illustration and image manipulation;

  • how to achieve something with design software

amongst other things but recommends that you read their FAQ first.

It has an tag for

Questions about Photoshop, Adobe's graphics and photo editing program. Ask anything related to designing and editing graphics with Photoshop.

Perhaps you might try asking on their Meta whether your question would be too broad or not.

  • The problem is, I am not talking about Photoshop, but about OpenCV. I need enough hints to understand the different steps that the artist may have used, so I can recreate the effect (probably with something like 8-10 filters).
    – allo
    May 9, 2020 at 11:29

For your general problem, the following sites come to mind (with added comments on your specific case):

  • Graphic Design, Video Production, and to some extent Photography are communities which usually “artistically” apply effects. Through usage, they naturally should have some expertise in identification as well. What community is suited best here depends on your effect. Since most of the effects appear to be frame-wise and not something you would usually apply to photography, I think Graphic Design is best suited for most effects.

  • Signal Processing is the community for applying filters to images and videos for technical purposes. Open CV is on topic there. They may have expertise on the parts that resemble real distortions observed in TV signals, etc.

  • Computer Graphics is the community for the creating graphics from scratch (and not with a high-level software). This does not to be a part of your effect.

  • Finally, what you are doing appears to be reverse engineering to some extent, which has a dedicated community. I would guess that they may help you with how to attack the problem on a broader scope. In your case, I don’t think there is much insight to be had at this level.

For every site except the last one, you should split your problem into smaller ones as far as reasonably possible and ask about them separately, for example:

  • how to create the horizontal stripe structure,
  • how to create the white dots in the centre of the face,
  • how to create the “ghost” copies appearing in some frames,
  • how to create the colour discretisation.

(I guess half of these aren’t even what you are interested in, which makes this as important.)

Still, describe your motivation as far as possible, to avoid an XY problem.

  • I generally agree but splitting the problem may not really do the OP a favour. Why? Because it has a tendency to become a xy problem.
    – joojaa
    May 9, 2020 at 16:09
  • 1
    @joojaa: Good point, but I don’t think that splitting and XY problems are tied to each other. See my edit.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 9, 2020 at 16:13
  • "create graphics from scratch" might be a bit unclear, since Computer Graphics is decidedly not about creating digital artworks/effects with a software for that as e.g. Blender or Photoshop, rather than the underlying algorithms behind that. This doesn't necessarily mean his question would be inappropriate, but it might be a bit unfortunate description. May 9, 2020 at 16:24
  • @ChristianRau: Point taken. Please see my edit. Also please feel free to edit in a more fitting description.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 9, 2020 at 19:17
  • I think reverse engineering is not that much about graphics. Signal processing may help for some parts (e.g. describing the noise), but most of the people there are probably not that into the aesthetic aspects of combining the different signal processing steps to create an appealing image. I added a link to the video snippet to my post, maybe it helps you to recommend me a site.
    – allo
    May 10, 2020 at 14:11
  • 1
    @allo: I edited my answer in response to your edit of the question.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 10, 2020 at 16:09
  • The ghost copies are not the most important part and I think I have an idea how to do them. But for example the stripe structure is challenging. I tried to create a pixelated image with some 3:1 ratio for the pixels and move it half-transparent and tinted over the image and it did not look like the effect at all. I think the details are more something to discuss on the right site for this, but the problem why I think it is hard to split is that this probably did not work because I think the pixelated image does not work without more effects that were applied to the effect itself.
    – allo
    May 10, 2020 at 20:36

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