Visual artifact

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

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

Examples in digital graphics[edit]

A retinography. The gray spot in the center is a shadow artifact.

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).

Confocal laser scanning fluorescence micrograph of thale cress anther (part of stamen). The picture shows among other things a nice red flowing collar-like structure just below the anther. However, an intact thale cress stamen does not have such collar, this is a fixation artifact: the stamen has been cut below the picture frame, and epidermis (upper layer of cells) of stamen stalk has peeled off, forming a non-characteristic structure. Photo: Heiti Paves from Tallinn University of Technology.

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]


  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.