A bespoke multichannel raw image utility
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Hyperstencil is a command line utility that lets you convert between JPEG or PNG images, and raw (headerless) files with an arbitrary number of layers per channel. It does this by subdividing each color channel by intensity, with lower layers containing only darker pixel values, and higher layers containing brighter ones, like a set of stencils. This is a very inefficient image format, but can be interesting for sonification purposes. For instance, a 4-layer RGB raw image can be imported as a 12-channel audio file in Audacity, manipulated, and exported for re-assembly.


Make sure you have a recent version of Rust, and run:

make && make install

in the top-level project directory. By default the binary will be installed in /usr/local/bin, but this can be customized in the Makefile.




hyperstencil encode <INPUT> <OUTPUT> --layers <layers>



hyperstencil decode <INPUT> <OUTPUT> --height <height> --layers <layers> --width <width>


hyperstencil encode -l4 input.png output.raw
hyperstencil encode --layers 4 input.png output.raw

hyperstencil decode -l4 -w640 -h480 input.raw output.png
hyperstencil decode --layers 4 --width 640 --height 480 input.raw output.png

A few notes on behavior

If your raw file and the dimensions or layers supplied in decoding don't match, Hyperstencil will do its best to re-assemble something, but it will probably look quite strange. Depending on your tastes in glitch art, this could actually be to your liking. Layer values of 0 are coerced to 1, which is just a regular old image. Keep in mind that for an RGB source image every additional layer increases the raw file size by a factor of 3. Otherwise don't be afraid to get weird with it.

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