Postscript Mashup to Create New Images

Most of us never stop to think about the “1’s and 0’s” that form the binary language behind all computer processing, just as we don’t contemplate the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies. In the same way, most every graphic we view online has a language called Postscript, which started becoming universal in the 1980’s. Postscript is the basis for which nearly every printing device is able to “deconstruct” or RIP a visual photograph into printer driver language, so that all those raster pixels can be converted onto the printed page using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink (or some variation).

One day I took a Jpg image, and opened the Postscript data in notepad. Surprisingly, a tiny (95k) jpg image file yielded almost 700 pages of Postscript data! In case you haven’t seen it, Postscript looks nothing like the characters of a keyboard. I was intrigued at viewing a jpg image in this way. Images and Photoshop are quite familiar to me, but viewing this version in what looked like an alien language made me want to “reconstruct” a portion of the same image, using Postscript as the subject.

That was the basis for the images in this post, and sprinkled throughout this website. I have many more of them on my local computer, which sit in various stages of production. For me, creating images like these is nothing more than pure creative inspiration.


Extract Postscript data from Jpg

Original Image


Postscript, which looks like some strange and alien language, is found in every photograph online.  The example below is a tiny portion of some 700 pages of Postscript contained in the photograph above.

Postscript deconstructed from a jpg

I obtain the data by opening the image in Notepad (or Word).  I then copy a selection and paste it into a new Photoshop file.  Once the Postscript is copied into a Photoshop layer, I begin playing with all the tools and tricks, letting the image take form and “reconstruct” into what will eventually be a new Jpg, derived from a portion of the “DNA” of the original.

Postscript reconstructed into a new image

This might be the first level of reconstruction in Photoshop. There is no “right or wrong” way to construct the new image, nor is it ever really finished until you decide you’re happy with the result. For me, images such as these are a process of pure creative exploration and relaxation.


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