Drifting is the experience of the texture, shape, and general structure of objects and scenery appearing progressively warped, melted, and morphed across themselves.    These alterations gradually intensify as a person stares, but are temporary and will reset to normality the moment a person refocuses their gaze.
Drifting is often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as texture liquidation and tracers.   It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of MDMA, cannabis, and certain dissociatives, such as DXM or 3-MeO-PCP.
The various subtypes of this visual effect are defined by the continuously changing direction, speed, and rhythm of the distortion. This results in a small variety of different manifestations which are defined and listed below:
Morphing can be described as a style of visual drifting that is completely disorganised and spontaneous in both its rhythm and direction. It results in objects and scenery appearing to progressively morph and warp in their size, shape, and configuration.
BreathingBreathing can be described as a style of visual drifting that results in objects and scenery appearing to steadily contract inwards and expand outwards in a consistent rhythm, similar to the lungs of a living organism.
MeltingMelting can be described as a style of visual drifting that results in the texture of objects and scenery appearing to completely or partially melt. It begins at lower intensities as a gradual distortion of an object's texture which causes them to subtly droop, wobble, and lose their structural integrity. This gradually increases until it becomes impossible to ignore as the lines, textures, and colour between solid objects melt into one another in an extremely fluid style.
FlowingFlowing can be described as a style of visual drifting that seems to occur almost exclusively on textures (particularly if they are highly detailed, complex, or rough in appearance). It results in the textures appearing to flow like a river in a seamless, looped animation. It is particularly common on wood grain or the fur of animals.
Regardless of sub-type, this effect is capable of manifesting itself across the 4 different levels of intensity described below:
- Subtle Intensity
- Mild Intensity
- Distinct Intensity
- Strong Intensity
Intricate vs Simple
Drifting can alter the external environment in a way that spreads out in many different complex directions and results in the original piece of sensory input becoming completely unrecognisable in appearance. Alternatively, it can be simplistic in nature consisting of simple warping, wiggling and bending even at high dosages of psychoactive substances.
Fast vs Slow
Drifting can manifest as alterations that progress at a sudden rate and produce fast movement in the visual field, or as slow and progressive changes.
Smooth vs Jittery
Drifting can manifest as a smooth, fluid, and seamless movement, or as jittery with an extremely low frame rate that moves in sudden and partial transitions.
Static vs Fleeting
Drifting can either freeze in its distorted position until one performs a double take, or can be extremely fleeting in nature, resetting as soon as a person tries to look directly at it.
Realistic vs Unrealistic
Drifting can either look convincingly natural and lifelike in its appearance and motion, or it can look extremely cartoon-like, exaggerated and unrealistic.
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