Visual artifact

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Visual artifacts are anomalies during visual representation of e.g. digital graphics and imagery.

Examples in digital graphics[edit]

A screenshot of a Microsoft Windows XP application displaying a visual artifact. This was fixed in the next release, Windows Vista[citation needed].

Occurrences in video entertainment[edit]

Many people who use their computers as a hobby experience artifacting due to a hardware malfunction. The cases can differ but the usual causes are:

  • Fan issues, such as failure of cooling fan.
  • Unsuited video card drivers.
  • Drivers that have values that the graphics card is not suited with.
  • Overclocking beyond the capabilities of the particular video card.

The differing cases of visual artifacting can also differ between scheduled task(s).

In microscopy[edit]

In microscopy, an artifact is an apparent structural detail that is caused by the processing of the specimen and is thus not a legitimate feature of the specimen.

For example, a crush artifact is artificial elongation and distortion when smearing cells or tissue for microscopy.[1]


A retinography. The gray spot in the center is a shadow artifact.
  1. ^ Komanduri S, Swanson G, Keefer L, Jakate S (December 2009). "Use of a new jumbo forceps improves tissue acquisition of Barrett's esophagus surveillance biopsies". Gastrointest. Endosc. 70 (6): 1072–8.e1. doi:10.1016/j.gie.2009.04.009. PMID 19595312.