earthrise from the moon

if you’ve been paying attention to the image glitching scene, you may have noticed a particular effect popping up known as pixelsorting. i had a lot of fun trying my hand at it and making GIFs from various NASA images.

in pseudocode, the technique for sorting a single frame looks like:

  for column in image:
    for pixel in column:
      if pixel < BLACK_THRESHOLD or pixel > WHITE_THRESHOLD:
        if not starting_pixel:
          starting_pixel = pixel
          ending_pixel = pixel

    sort_pixels_between(starting_pixel, ending_pixel)

I thought the effect was interesting, but I also wanted to create animated GIFs, so I added the ability to generate intermediate frames: the idea is to show the progression of pixels as they get sorted - creating a sort of drooping effect.