Creation VHS Effects Help

What is Creation VHS Effects?
Creation VHS Effects is an Adobe After Effects template for giving your digital footage the look of an old, damaged VHS tape. The template comes with 8 damaged VHS presets, allowing you to simply drop your footage into the comp and export your video. Or, you can build your own bad-VHS tape look using over 90 included effects, comprised of analog video glitches, transition effects, TV static stock footage, signal interference audio effects, and audio filters. Effects can be customized with slider controls to get the perfect look. Every effect is modeled after authentic VHS glitches or analog TV signal artifacts.

Main Features

  • Eight Damaged VHS Look Presets - Ready to export comps that mimic the look of old, glitchy VHS tapes. All the effects are on separate layers and are customizable so it's easy to lower the intensity of the damage, or other basic characteristics of the effect. Each VHS preset has a Global Control Layer, which allows you to turn on and off multiple effects in unison, which is handy if you
    want multiple glitch effects to flicker on and off together.
  • 28 VHS Video Eeffects - Lots of useful video effects modeled after authentic, glitchy VHS tapes - all customizable with easy-to-use slider controls. Effects include wavy displaced lines, a fast forward effect, and various color effects like color channel offset, random area saturation, and various hue, saturation, and lightness flickering. There's block artifacts, warping effects, pixellation and interlace, grain, customizable static, a TV turning off, a camcorder display, and more.
  • 17 Glitchy Transition Effects - Just drop in your footage, sync up the cut to the effect, and it's ready to go.
  • 18 Stock Footage Clips - Loopable footage clips of analog snow, static, and signal interference, which can be overlaid over your footage.
  • 24 Sound Effect clips - Glitchy audio which can be imported into your comp.
  • Audio Effects - Pitch wobble, volume wobble, and EQ, all of which can be customized to your liking.

Getting Started
When you first open the template, you should see an instructions screen. Your first step, as the instructions say, is to import your footage. You can keep the file in the empty folder in the Project Panel named "Your Footage". Then drag your footage into the comp named "Put Your Footage Here" at the top of the project panel. This will allow you to preview all of the VHS effects, as well as the VHS-look presets, with your footage.

You'll also see another comp at the top of the Project Panel called "MAIN COMP - Add your FX here". In this comp, you can build your own damaged VHS comp. You must use this comp because it has a "CONTROL LAYER" inside, which all of the VHS effects layers reference through bits of code called "expressions". Also note that most comps have an instructions layer, so you can unhide the layer for helpful notes. Additionally, individual effects layers often come with their own instructions on markers at the 2-second mark. Double-click a marker to see the complete instructions.

Building a Damaged VHS Look
Inside the "Video Effects" folder are the analog glitch effects which give your video the look of a bad VHS tape. Open the "Preview" comp inside to preview all of the video effects by undhiding any layer. When you know which effect you want, copy and paste the layer into your main comp. Note that the effect layers are color-coded. Yellow layers are copy-and-paste effects. You can simply copy and paste the layer into your main comp, above your video footage layer. To customize the effect, select the layer, then adjust the slider controls found in the Effects Controls Panel. Blue layers are precomp effects. These effects were too complex to fit onto one adjustment layer, so they have their own separate comp. The blue layer can be copied and pasted into your main comp, and can replace the footage layer that's already there. To customize the precomp effect, open the precomp, select the "CONTROL LAYER" that's inside, and adjust the slider controls found in the Effects Controls Panel.

Note that each precomp effect has its own folder in the Project Panel. And inside each folder is a "Put Your Footage Here" comp. To combine two or more precomp effects, you must nest compositions. In other words, place one precomp effect (blue layer) into the "Put Your Footage Here" comp of another precomp effect.

Auto Blinking Controls
Most VHS effects in the template have Auto-Blinking Controls. These can be used to make an effect turn on and off randomly within the parameters that you set. So these controls are helpful for getting short, random bursts of effects. The auto blinking controls can be found on individual copy-and-paste effect layers (yellow layers), or on the control layers inside precomp effects. You can set the minimum on and off times, as well as the maximum on and off times. The values are in seconds.

The auto blinking controls for individual effects are sometimes referred to as local controls. There are also global controls, for controlling multiple effects in the same comp at once. The global controls can be found on the Control Layer of your main comp. In order for effect layers to receive the global controls, the "Allow Global Control" checkbox on the effect layer must be checked.

Damaged VHS Look Presets
The VHS tape presets are quick and easy. To choose an effect preset, view the VHS look presets video. Note the name of the preset that you want to use, then open it's folder in the Project Panel. You may want to do a RAM preview to confirm that it looks and sounds ok, then you'll be ready to export. Or, you can customize the VHS effects using the slider controls before you export. Remember to set your in- and out-points, since the comps are all 5 minutes long by default. Allow yourself plenty of time to render, perhaps over lunch or overnight - depending on the length of the video.

Audio Effects
Open the Audio Effects folder. To preview the audio clips, open the Audio Clips Preview comp and turn on any layer, then hit the period key on the numpad. These audio clips can be copied and pasted into your main comp. If you want to add filters to the audio in your footage, you can open the Audio Effects folder, and the Audio Effects comp. The audio from your footage is already in the precomp by default. Use the control layer to customize the audio effects. The Control Layer has sections of controls for each effect, like Pitch Modulation, Volume Modulation, and EQ.

Stock Footage
The Stock Footage folder is fairly straight-forward. Open the preview comp to preview the clips. I recommend copying the ones you want to use from this comp and pasting them into your main comp, because the layers have expressions. If you were to just drag the clips from the folder into your main comp, you wouldn't get the functionality of the slider controls.

Stock Footage
And finally, the transition effects. Open the preview comp and do a RAM preview of the layers to preview what it looks like. Or, you can go look at the Transitions Effects video and figure out which one you want that way. When you find one, open its folder, then the precomps folder, and the "Put Your Footage Here" comp. You'll notice there's a marker at the 5-second mark. The instructions say "Your cut/edit should occur at this marker. Adjust your footage so that the first frame of the second shot of your edit is showing on this frame." In other words, line up your footage in the "Put Your Footage Here" comp so that the cut occurs at the 5-second mark, and then the finished transition effect will be in the preview comp, ready to be copied and pasted into your main comp. Lastly, you will need to sync the transition effect layer to the footage layer that's already in the comp.