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How to Create the Glitch Effect in iMovie?

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

Making your videos more entertaining and visually dynamic requires a little bit of creativity. Glitch effects offer a perfect opportunity to do just that, but you should strive to find a perfect context in which to use these types of effects because they are not a perfect fit for all types of videos you share online.

To make things even better, glitch effects can be created in all video editing apps that offer only basic video editing tools, so you don’t even have to purchase a professional video editor in order to be able to add glitch effects to your videos. That’s why in this article we are going to show you a few different methods of creating glitch effects in iMovie. So, let’s get started.

How to Make Glitch Effects in iMovie?

Glitch effects can be created through combinations of sounds and short shots, that last only a few seconds. The most important thing is to have the footage you can use to create this effect since iMovie doesn’t have any preset filters you can apply over a video clip and make glitches. 

Use the Best iMovie Alternative: Wondershare Flimora to Add Glitch Effects

In case you want to add a glitch to your video quickly, it is perhaps to consider using an alternative video editing app for Mac computers, like Wondershare Flimora that lets you make your footage glitchy within seconds.

All you have to do after you install Filmora’s Mac version on your computer is creating a new project. You should then proceed to import all video and audio files you want to use in the project by clicking on the Import drop-down menu in the Media Panel and selecting the Import Media Files option.

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Add the video clip you’d like to glitch to the timeline, and then use the Split tool to remove all parts of the video you don’t want to use in the final cut. Once you’ve completed this task, you can proceed to click on the Effects tab and type in the word Glitch into the search bar located in the upper right corner of the tab.

You can then select one of the available effects and add them to the track directly above the video clip that is already on the timeline. Drag one of the ends of the glitch effect you’ve selected in order to set its duration and then proceed to add the sound effect that compliments the glitch to the audio track on the timeline.

Create Glitch Effects by Using Basic Video Editing Techniques in iMovie

Those of you who have the basic set of video editing skills can create glitch effects in iMovie effortlessly. Even though this iconic video editing app for Mac computers doesn’t feature a preset glitch effect, it does offer a plethora of effects and tools you can use to make a glitch in your video.

The first thing you will have to do is place the video clip to which you would like to add a glitch to the timeline, and then duplicate that clip by using the Command+C and Command+V keyboard shortcuts.

Position the copy of the original clip directly above it, make a series of cuts at locations where you want the glitches to appear in the video make a one or two-second separation between the cuts.

Additionally, you can also use your camera to record a monochrome grainy video, that you can import into iMovie and place on the timeline.

Once you’ve placed the grainy video on the timeline you can position it at the desired location above the original clip. When done, simply click on the Video Overlay Settings and select the Split Screen icon option and then choose on which side of the screen the overlaying footage is going to be displayed.

After making cuts in the copy of the original video clip, make sure to delete all the parts of it you don’t want to use. Click on the Crop tool and position the rectangle over the portion of the shot you’d like to keep. iMovie will then zoom in on the particular area of the shot, and proceed to reduce the Opacity value just enough so that the overlaying video becomes slightly transparent.

Click on the Clip Filter icon to start browsing through the iMovie’s filter collection. Look for a filter that will allow you to make the colors in the video seem artificial in order to emphasize the glitch. Which filter you are going to choose depends on the visual style of the glitch you’re trying to create, so feel free to experiment and try out different options.

Adding sound effects to the audio track will make the glitch effect more realistic, you can either record the static noise and other types of glitch audio effects by yourself, or you can download them from websites that offer free stock footage. Positioning the glitch sound effect perfectly so that it matches the visual glitch is essential if you want the effect to be realistic.

Download a Glitch Overlay and Use It in Your iMovie Project

Besides manipulating the footage you recorded on your own, you can also download a glitch overlay video from YouTube and use it in your project. Simply go to YouTube, and type in Glitch Overlay into the search bar, and select the video you like the most.

Save the video to your computer and import it into iMovie. Keep in mind that you are going to have to use a YouTube video downloader to save the file to your computer.

Add the video you want to glitch to the timeline and make cuts at locations where you want the glitch to appear. You should then place the glitch overlay above the cuts, make sure that the video file is selected, click on the Video Overlay Settings option and pick the Green/Blue Screen feature. Optionally, you can also add a sound effect that will make the glitch you created more effective. 

You may also like: How to Add Text with iMovie in Mac and iPhone >>


Making a glitch in a video is a relatively simple process that requires only a moderate amount of video editing experience. Anyone can create this visual effect in iMovie on their own, but keep in mind that the footage you use needs to be convincing because if it is not the results you’ll get can be underwhelming.

Those of you who want to create glitch effects in just a couple of clicks can try installing the Mac version of Filmora that offers a number of glitch effects that can be applied easily to your videos. What is your favorite method of creating glitches on Mac computers? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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