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VFX Test - VHS Look

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Uploaded on Jan 10, 2010

Recreating the look of a damaged VHS tape completely within After Effects.

So, a lot of people have been messaging me about how this was done... Here's an explanation:

Put two instances of your footage in the timeline, one right on top of the other. Completely desaturate the bottom layer, so it's black and white. For the top layer, change the transfer mode to "Hue" or "Color," I can't remember which I used, probably Hue though. The result should end up looking exactly like your original footage (since the colour pixels on top are tinting the B&W pixels below). Put a fast blur on the top layer, and set it to horizontal blur only. Blur it out just a bit, and then put a wiggle on the blur amount. Also wiggle the opacity of the top layer. The result should look like the colours bleed at varying amounts. Add some grain, using a fairly large size grain. Already, it should start looking like VHS.

As for the streaks, that's just Fractal Noise. I masked out an area for the top to constantly have it, and also animated some masks to scroll up the image. Don't forget to animate the Evolution of the Fractal noise (A random values expression might help). Using a slightly blurred duplicate of that same noise layer as a displacement map, that creates the distortion you see. Also, a wiggled wave warp at the top adds that extra distortion at the top. That's pretty much it!

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