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How to DIY VHS Overlay in After Effects?

The retro VHS overlay effects have made a comeback. You can also apply DIY VHS overlay effects in After Effects to create great videos.

Max Wales
Max Wales
Originally published Jan 04, 22, updated Jun 12, 24

The 90s generation is familiar with Video Home System video. Today, Moviemakers use VHS static overlay to give their videos an antique and vintage look.

The VHS glitch overlay has become increasingly popular as it changes the video's theme, tone, and whole look. Let's see how we can add DIY VHS overlay in after effects-

Part 1:Step by Step DIY VHS Overlay in After Effects?

The retro "VHS Look" has become relatively trendy in recent years. The memories associated with the popular VHS trend has helped the trend make a comeback. Creating this effect in After Effects may seem to be a complicated process if you have not tried it before. But we have made it easier for you to add VHS overlay in Adobe After Effects. Follow the steps to add it in after effects-

Before you begin, download and install VHS preset if you haven't already. Remember that VHS preset only works with After Effects CC 2018 and up. So, make sure you have the recent version of After Effects or the one not older than the 2018 version.

Step 1: To create a VHS look on your video, drop any video of your choice into the project panel and give it a name, let's say, "VCR static overlay". Set the width and height to 1920 and 1080 px, respectively.

changing composition settings on after effects

Step 2: Right-click on your video and select New Comp from Selection. Drag your video to a new composition and then go to Lumetri Color < Basic Correction. Add some contrast. You can set it to 50 or any other number of your choice. Then bring the white level down to -55.

getting lumetri color effect to get vhs look

Then open the Creative tab. Increase the faded film to 40. Set sharpening to -70. Bring vibrance to -30.

Note: Here, I changed the number to get the effect I wanted. You can change the numbers and set the values as per your requirements.

Now, click on the Curves option. Drag down the white curve and then align it with the original curve. Move the green curve up a bit and bring down the blue curve. Then comes the Vignette tab. Open it and set the number to -1.

changing white green and blue curves on after effects

Step 3: Now, we will give our video a subtle RGB spit appearance. For that, we need to use the Channel Blur effect twice. First, go to Effect < Blur & Sharpen < Channel Blur. Set red blurriness to 20. Turn on the repeat edge pixels. Then change the Blur Dimensions from horizontal and vertical to vertical.

giving rgb split appearance to video with channel blur

Step 4: Again, go to Effect < Blur & Sharpen < Channel Blur. Set blue blurriness to 30. Repeat the process of checking the repeat edge pixels box. Change the Blue Dimensions from horizontal and vertical to horizontal.

Step 5: Next comes giving the video artificial sharpening look using Unsharp Mask. So, go to Effect < Blur & Sharpen < Unsharp Mask. Under the Unmask Mask menu, set the amount to 100 and the radius to 10.

using unsharp mask to give you video sharpening look

Step 6: To add a font to your video, simply search VHS font on Google. Look for the one you want to use in your video and download it. To give your video that authentic VHS-style look, we suggest downloading free VCR OSD Mono font and installing the font on your system.

Step 7: Go to Layer < New < Solid and choose any color. We chose white. Now, under Effects & Presets, search for a number. Drag it to the white solid. Choose the font VCR OSD Mono. You can change the number to time or date. You can also add time manually. Select the text tool, go to the source text, hold alt, and click on the stopwatch. Write "timeToCurrentFormat() and time will be displayed on the video. Let us say we want to see the date on the video instead of time. So, change the time to date. Drag the date to the bottom right of the video to give it the look of an old VHS tape.

If you are a beginner and want a simple VHS effect, you can follow these easy steps and create the VHS video that will transport you back to the 90s.

BONUS TIP: How to Add VHS Overlays and Glitch Effects to Make Retro Videos in Filmora Video Editor?

Do you remember the look of the VHS and miss it? You can bring your memories back! With Wondershare Filmora, you can add this effect easily to your videos. Adding a VHS overlay transparent brings drama and creates an atmosphere of distortion. It can significantly change the appearance and feel of your video.

So, if you want to create professional-looking VHS overlay free, the only thing you need is Filmora video editing software. Filmora allows you to add three different overlay VHS effects that you can use along with other overlays to create retro videos.

Try It Free

For Win 7 or later (64-bit)

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For macOS 10.12 or later

Do you want to add retro videos on Filmora? It is simple!

To create a VHS overlay video, you should first download the Filmora app for free if you haven't! Let's learn how the effect can transform your video. You will have to choose various effects and values to get the final VHS overlay video. These effects can be added to any lyric video, intro, outro, and many others.

Let's look at the steps:

Open your draft in Filmora software and select sample colors from the Media tab on the top left.

sample colors for video on filmora

You can drag and drop the photo on a track on the timeline. Then adjust the trim handles to change the duration to match the section of the video to be transformed.

In sequence, add these three overlays by dragging them from the Effects panel at the top to their own individual tracks on the timeline: VHS Distortion Bad (alpha = 25), VHS Distortion (alpha = 35), and VHS Rewind (alpha = 10).

You can also add effects like Strong Glitch, Chromatic Aberration, Glitch Distortion, Distort, etc., to enhance the vintage look of the video.

When finished, click export and choose the format and target folder to save the processed file with the added effects.

adding vhs effects on filmora

The smart generation has access to HD videos and high-tech devices, yet VHS is an exciting concept for them. The videos created with this effect resemble those from the 90s era. You have to customize everything when you add a VHS effect, including the title, background noise, overlay, and credits.

By choosing a video-editing software like Wondershare Filmora, users can make such videos and add retro glitch overlay professionally. You can also access Filmstock to download any video effects, stock media, templates, or sound effects for Filmora.


Video editing is now easy and fun. The trend of VCR overlay is now back as VHR overlay. With Wondershare Filmora, you can easily create classic videos with 90's effects. Take your video editing to the next big level with Filmora Video Editor. We can help you make the best use of this tool to create glitch effect videos and add a VHS tape overlay.

Versatile Video Editor - Wondershare Filmora

An easy yet powerful editor

Numerous effects to choose from

Detailed tutorials provided by the official channel

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