Looking for a tool that can get you that striking glitch-like effect? It’s a very unnerving way of expressing a certain feeling in your photos. Much like the kind of aesthetic that we see in today’s most popular horror shows! In this article, we’re going to show you all the different methods that you can use to add VHS effects to your photographs! Try it out with us! All the programs we introduced down below are available for FREE trial!
The best way to add a VHS filter to your photograph is through the use of a graphics editor called the Fotophire Editing Toolkit. We’re introducing it first, because it’s the most varied and the easiest to use!
In order to add VHS effects to your images, you’re going to have to use the Photo Editor part of the editing toolkit. To do this, double-click on the box that is furthest to the left called “Photo Editor.”
Now let’s import the image that we want to add VHS effects to. This can be done by clicking on the “Open…” text on the top left-hand corner of the screen! A windows/mac window will popup, choose the image that you want to edit, and then proceed to next step!
As you can see, importing the image sent us into the main photo editing screen. The first tab (highlight blue in the image below), is the “EFFECTS” tab. This is where you’ll be able to find filters that you can use to change the overall mood of your photograph!
For the VHS Effect, I opted for the “Cinematic” filter (under the “Cinema” category. It sparks up a very creepy vibe, but not too overly so! Of course, you can choose whatever effect you want! If you’re looking for a heavier VHS effect, then you might want to try the filters under the “Color” category.
If you’re not satisfied with the coloring of your image, you can made adjustments under the tab highlighted blue in the image below. This is where you can find tools that will allow you to change the color balance, adjust the blur, etc.
On the other hand, if you want your image to look a little sketchier, you can add textures using the tools under the “TEXTURES” tab. These tools include light leaks (to make your colors pop), grain effects (to add a grainy texture to your images), different types of blurs (to add drama to your photos), and so much more!
Once you’re satisfied with the overall look of your image, remember to save! This can be done by clicking on the “Save…” icon on the top menu bar.
The next part of this tutorial will be teaching you how to add similar VHS Effects using Photoshop! The process with this particular program is a bit tricky. That’s mainly due to the lack of Preset filters and effects! As such, in order for you to add VHS Effects on your photos with photoshop, you either have to go through the whole editing process OR add filters to the program. We’ll be showing you how to do the latter down below!
First! You’re going to have to import the image that you want to add VHS effects to into the editor! This can be done by clicking on the white “Open…” text button on the left hand side of the screen.
As you can see, we decided to stick to the same image we had used on the Fotophire tutorial. Pay close attention to how it looks now and see how much it changes later!
The way that we’ll be adding VHS effects to our photo, is by downloading a preset filter and uploading it into photoshop. If you don’t know where to get Photoshop filters, click on the “Filter” tab > “Browse Filters Online…” This will bring you to the Adobe Photoshop store where you can pick out extra add-ons and effects.
Once you have your filter downloaded, you can now import it into Photoshop. To do this, you have to click on the “Edit” tab > “Presets” > “Export/Import Presets.” This will open up a window where you can add the actions that you want to use!
In order to import your presets, you’re going to have to follow the steps as listed down below.
We’re not quite done! The next part will involve opening up your “Actions” module. This can be opened by clicking on the large play button on the left vertical toolbar!
We’re almost there! Just click on the “=” button on the top right-hand corner of the “Actions” module and choose the “Load Actions…” option on the drop down menu! This will allow you to finalize the preset importation
No matter what filter you use, the process of applying it is the same! Just highlight the actions with a click of your mouse, and then press the play button on the bottom toolbar of the “Actions” module. This will automatically apply your filters for you! Note, sometimes it takes a couple of seconds, and other times it can take hours! So, be prepared to wait as the program applies your effects!
Applying preset actions will take care of all the work for you! As you can see from the image down below, the VHS Effect was added to our photo automatically!
You can play around with the effect as much as you want but remember to save before exiting the program! This can be done by clicking on the “Filter” tab > “Save as…”
As a little bit of a bonus, we’re going to continue this tutorial with two more samples. The first being, a Mac alternative! Movavi, the product that we’re going to be using as our product demo, is a Mac photo editor that offers preset filters (much like the Fotophire photo editor) that you can use to get that glitchy VHS effect!
Movavi offers a free trial for their program on their website. You can easily download the Mac version by clicking on the “Download for Free” pink button on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen!
Much like the previous programs, we start by importing the image into the photo editor. For Movavi, this is made fairly simple! You can either drag and drop the image file onto the screen, or you can click on the green “Browse for Images” button and choose the image that you want to edit!
Again, we decided to stick to the same image that we used on the other tutorials! This way, you can see the difference between each! Importing said image had instantly transferred us to the photo editor, all you have to do next is click on the “Effects” tab so that you can view the filters they have available.
If you look at the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll see a drop down menu that offers different categories that you can choose from. For this sample, we went for the “Textures” category and chose the “Cold Bokeh” filter for its unique scratchy-VHS-feel!
You can always take this a step further by playing around with the color balance or choosing another filter. BUT, when you’re done with editing, remember to save your progress! This can be done by clicking on the “Save” button on the bottom toolbar.
Our final little demo will be through the use of a mobile application by bizarre. The Name of the product is fairly long (VHS Camera Glitch Retro and Trippy Effects), so we’ll be referring to it as the VHS Camera for the rest of the tutorial! The VHS Camera is a FREE app. However, it does come with its fair share of ads (lots and lots of ads.) It’s also an app that was made specifically for this purpose, nothing else, so don’t expect other filters! This is just for getting that VHS Effect.
This part is fairly straightforward, visit your app store (or play store), and search up the name of the app and click the “INSTALL” button! This shouldn’t take you too long, perhaps a couple of minutes at most! If you’re not up for typing its full name, click on the URL provided down below!
The VHS Camera app will look a little like this when you first open it. Again, there’s nothing too difficult about this one. Either click on the “Add Image” option (to take a photo) or click on the “Gallery” option (to upload an existing image.)
No matter method you end up using, the image will automatically glitchi-fied (like the image shown below.) If you want to change the VHS effect, then click on the “ADD VHS” option. This will randomly change the filter used on your photograph.
Once you’re done, click on the “DOWNLOAD” button. This will automatically transfer you to a screen that will tell you that your image has been moved to your gallery! That’s really all there is to it! You know got yourself a VHS-edited photograph!
That does it for our VHS Effects demo! We showed you a couple of different ways of adding VHS Effects for your photographs today! Which one is your favorite? Personally, for us, we prefer the intuitive interface that Fotophire offers us over bulky products like Photoshop. All in all, out of the four that we mentioned, the Fotophire Editing Toolkit is the most stable and easy-to-use solution!