Javascript, Scripts, WebApp
comments 2

Rutt-Etra-Izer [Scripts, WebApp]


Created by Felix Turner Rutt-Etra-Izer is a WebGL emulation of the classic Rutt-Etra video synthesizer. The demo replicates the Z-displacement, scanned-line look of the original, but does not attempt to replicate it’s full feature set.

The application allows you to drag and drop your own images, manipulate them and save the output. Images are generated by scanning the pixels of the input image from top to bottom, with scan-line separated by the ‘Line Separation’ amount. For each line generated, the z-position of the vertices is dependent on the brightness of the pixels.

try it here: or download source.

(To run the demo you need the latest version of Chrome or Firefox)

Created with Three.js

More images generated by this demo in this Flickr set.

Felix also built an audio-reactive version with Processing (video below).

The Rutt-Etra video synthesizer was built by Steve Rutt and Bill Etra in 1972. It was one of the first devices to allow real-time manipulation of live video and helped instigate the video art movement of the 1970s. Unfortunately Steve Rutt recently passed away. His pioneering contributions to the field of video art will be always be remembered.

  • Oxonet

    That’s great! I had only problems with the offline version (doesn’t work) any issue? I tried it with the latest chrome

  • Steve Belovarich

    I found this post while doing research for my latest project. I was disappointed with this web app because it doesn’t handle video, which because of its name I thought it would. In response to this project, I built a new video synth web app anyone can drag and drop audio and video assets into and create new, original works. The project is called Synth and the alpha is available at