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Glitch effect plugin - PolyGlitch v1.4b

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This plugin provides a collection of effects designed for glitch art. They're a bit hacky, but then that's what glitch art is all about ;)


Latest Version: 1.4b


IMPORTANT: As of version 1.4, you will now need to download the CodeArtEng.DspToolbox.dll file (DSP Toolbox, not DSP Lab) and place it in the main Paint.NET directory. PolyGlitch will not work without it, as some of the effects now use various DSP functionality. This DLL is now provided as of version 1.4b, and can be found in the DspToolbox directory of the ZIP archive.


IMPORTANT: As of version 1.3, the file name has changed from PolyGlitch.dll to PolyGlitch.Effects.dll - you will need to delete the old file and copy the new one in. The name change is due to a re-architecture of the project namespaces, in line with future features relating to custom file types.


MODERATOR NOTE:   5/5/22  Please open the DspToolbox  file and add the CodeArtEng.DspToolbox.dll into paint.net's Effect Folder.





  • v1.4b
    • Now bundling the required CodeArtEng.DspToolbox.dll file with the plugin. This library is copyright © 2011 CodeArtEng (Code Art Engineering) and distributed under MIT license.
  • v1.4
    • Added RGB888 to Y'UV444 translations.
    • Added Literal Sort effect.
    • Added Low Pass effect.
    • Added Lumisort effect.
    • Added QAM Fault effect.
    • Added Sigmoid Shifter effect.
    • Added Spiral Transform effect.
    • Added Step Slice effect.
    • Added True Glitch effect.
  • v1.3
    • Various maintenance.
    • Re-organised namespaces.
    • Optimised existing effects.
  • v1.2
    • Added Quadratic Looper effect.
    • Added Row Shifter effect.
  • v1.1
    • Added Codebook effect.
    • Added Quad Flip effect.
    • Added Render Raw File.


I'll demonstrate each filter with the following source image:





R/G/B channel displacement using source pixel intensity as an offset multiplier. Good for generating 3D-like effects that look a bit nicer than linear displacement.





Encrypts the image using AES in Electronic Codebook (ECB) mode, creating a heavy glitch effect that works best with images that have large sections of block colour.




Convert RGB to YUV / YUV to RGB


No demo image for this - converts between RGB888 and Y'UV444, mapping the channels respectively. Produces interesting effects when affecting only the Y channel, or only the UV channels.


Cumulative Math

Performs a cumulative mathematical operation (add / or / xor) on source pixels given a loop bound amount and step, with an option for horizontal or vertical. This can produce heavy glitch effects or ghost images.


Xor effect:



Addition effect:



Interlace Lines

Simple horizontal interlace effect with optional independent R/G/B channels.




Literal Sort

Sorts an image's pixels horizontally by value, using Intensity, Hue, Saturation, Luminance, Red, Green, or Blue as the sort key.




Low Pass

Transforms the image into a digital signal and performs a low-pass filter. Essentially a blur that targets detailed areas most heavily.





Shifts pixels up to a certain distance, weighted by the luminance of the pixel.




Pixel Drag

Picks pixels at random and drags them (either horizontally or vertically) based upon a minimum and maximum drag distance.




QAM Fault

Emulates a faulty Quadrature Amplitude Modulation system. Supersamples two selected channels of the image, applies a pair of 90-degree phase-shifted carrier waves of a specified frequency, combines the two channels, then performs a demodulation using specified carrier frequencies for each channel. By shifting the demodulation carrier frequencies, you can gain different failure modes. Right now this is a WIP and almost always produces very heavy glitches, but in future it will be significantly more powerful and precise. The ultimate goal is to build upon this to the point where you can fully transform an image into a broadcast TV frame signal with all sorts of tweakable parameters, apply a number of transmission filters (e.g. notch filter, noise, clipping, etc.) then demodulate it back into an image (emulating TV hardware functionality) with yet more tweakable parameters.




Quad Flip

Flips pixel quads to create a subtle blocking effect. The process is invertible, such that performing the operation twice produces the original image. This can produce interesting subtle results when applied with other effects.




Quadratic Looper

Translates X,Y coordinates based upon a quadratic function with customisable coefficients. Produces repeating loop patterns with varying scales.




Render Raw File

Renders a raw file as an image, into the current layer, given a pixel format and byte offset. This is a work in progress - there is currently no file browser, so you just have to manually enter the file name, and errors are not displayed. However, it can create some really cool effects - this one is a random DLL file loaded in 64bpp A16R16G16B16 format on top of the source image:




Row Shifter

Shifts each row sequentially by a chosen offset, creating a tearing effect. In combination with other effects, can be used to create analog tape pause effects.


Low value:



High value:



Sigmoid Shifter

Works similarly to the Row Shifter effect, except it uses a sigmoid function to calculate the row offsets, and supports both positive and negative skew.




Spiral Transform

Almost useless at the moment. Translates each pixel from being in right to left, top to bottom sequence, into a spiral pattern. The original idea was to also include an inverse transform, such that a blur or other cross-pixel effects would make weird patterns when applied in sequence (e.g. spiral, blur, un-spiral), but writing this gave me a headache and I haven't got round to building the inverse function.




Step Slice

A split hold-and-drag effect with customizable position, length, and position settings.




True Glitch

Compresses the image to a JPEG and fuzzes the data in a deterministic pattern to create the classic blocky broken-JPEG look.




Enjoy! :]


Edited by toe_head2001
fixed broken images
  • Like 1
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Nice looking set of effects! Thanks!

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You're quite right. Perhaps our author is polishing it before final release? :D

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  • 2 weeks later...


Someone was looking for this effect a while back. Stumped us all then, won't stump us again. Nice work!

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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I'm having fun playing with these effects. I love the added effects too (Quadratic Looper feels like it has awesome potential). :)

The only thing I wish some of these effects had was an "angle" option, like found in paint.net's "emboss" effect, and found in the jitter plugin (which by the way, I've been looking for more plugins like the jitter plugin, and your plugins come pretty close to what I've been wanting. Nice job and thanks for making them!)

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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  • 2 months later...

I cannot find this effect after I download and extract to C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\Effects.  Reading the documentation shows the following - "Ensure that the DLL file has been unblocked (right click, properties, unblock)".  However, when I right click on the DLL Properties, there is no option to unblock.  What am I doing wrong?

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I am still on Pdn 3.5.11 (naughty me!) ;)

I just tried installing wondering if it was an issue with the zipped file.

I have the .dll in the effects folder but it doesn't show up - can't find it with 'Plugin Browser' either.

I assume this only works with Pdn 4+, perhaps that is the problem Rainiqui?


Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings



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These effects are in their own sub menu: Effects > PolyGlitch. Does that help?

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I was wondering the same thing, that it won't work on 3.5.11.  I too have the .dll in the effects folder but it doesn't show up and I can't find it with 'Plugin Browser' either.  They are not in a submenu under Effects and they didn't fall on the floor and roll under my computer desk because I looked there.  However, I did find my 64GB memory stick there.

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Looks like it won't work on Pdn3.5.11... which is fair enough.
Rainiqui, I'm probably stating the obvious, if you are on windows7sp1 or newer you should update to the latest version of Pdn (4.0.5 currently).
If you're on Vista like me then the plugins 'Jitter' and 'Color aberation' may help for similar effects.
If you're still using XP - update a.s.a.p


Perhaps non Pdn3.5.11 compatible plugins could be marked 'Only for Pdn4+' in the first post?


Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings



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Well, I downloaded the DSP Toolbox to the main Paint.NET directory.  I then downloaded 1.4 to Effects and still nothing.  Graham, can you please confirm whether this effect will only work in Pdn4+ ?


Thanks for your assistance John and Scott - I do appreciate it.

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v1.2 definitely didn't run with 3.5.11 - so I wouldn't get your hopes up.


As for the external dll - why not just add it to the Zip file?  I tried to download it and got as far as finding out it was a *.rar.  Honestly, I couldn't be bothered....

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If a plugin could not be loaded then you should check the following


Paint.NET 3.5.11: Menu->Utilities->View plugin load errors


Paint.NET 4.0.5: Settings Icon->Setting dialog->Plugin Errors. Click the plugin in question and you will see the exception text.

midoras signature.gif

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Yes, this will probably only work for PDN 4.x+, because that's all I test it on. Windows XP is 13 years old, long deprecated, and I don't plan to support it.


I chose not to bundle the DLL for copyright and licensing reasons, but having looked a little closer it appears that they're operating under MIT license or a similar derivative. I'll re-upload a new version that includes the DLL.


That being said, I'd highly suggest installing 7-zip so that you never have to worry about what format an archive is in ever again - it's free, open source, and it'll do zip, rar, tar, gzip, bzip, bzip2, iso, dmg, cab, sfx, and almost anything else you can think of.

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