How to create a VHS effect in postproduction...

Vamify Felix

Posted on January 04 2019



How to create a VHS effect in postproduction and why is the VHS Look everywhere?


Why is the VHS-Look seemingly everywhere?
For a couple of years a new retro-trend has developed. All the 80ties- and 90ties-Kids feel like their favourite childhood and teenage memories reemerge. To name some examples, you can buy the original Playstation again, Pokémon have their comeback and 80ties-themed series like “Glow” or “Stranger Things” are highly popular. Not only because of their great actors and engrossing plot, but especially because they appeal to our love for arcade games, synthy music and Ghostbuster costumes! Another way you can feel the retro trend, is on how popular the 80ties/90ties-look of old VHS and Camcorder tapes and its sound have become.

Still interested for more VHS related stuff? Try our short tutorial on “How To Get The VHS Look in Premiere Pro” without any Plugins.

Even though technology continuously improves and with it the picture quality, you will find companies that offer special tools and services, that allows costumers to take a step back. But why would anybody want to take a step back from the high-definition-state of the art, you may ask? Well, beside the general retro-trend, that is hard to describe. The tools I am talking about, try to recreate a certain feeling of filmmaking. They are able to give back or better recreate, what has gotten lost over the last decades. For example, there are “Imperfection-Tools” (as I like to call them) for -light leaks, several film grains and burns, interference layers, colour washes, static noise and the like. Those tools make for a great asset. They serve to enhance your video-project and enrich it with something best described as a more “organic feel” and help you to recreate the popular 80ties or 90ties-look.

Maybe you stumbled upon our VHS-PACK and wonder why we would sell something like that. In the past we even received questions why anybody would buy something like it, when you can do it yourself. So here is what you will need to consider if you want a DIY-VHS-Look.

First of all you will have to buy your own VHS-Camera and digitalize all your footage. Sounds easy?
Keep in mind that: You will have to use proper lighting. Because the dynamic range of VHS-Cameras is horrible and you will want to still have details in the shadows, while avoiding out blown highlights. Since you will not be able to do much colour correction or even colour grading in post, you will need to have a neat white balance. This is best archived in using lighting filters. Expect the look of your picture to be built “in-camera” not in post. In addition you should have access to capture hardware, that is able to de-interlace while capturing. But this will take time and may not have convincing results.

Sounds time consuming and unpredictable? This is exactly why Vamify took steps to save your valuable time! Our VHS-Pack will give you the desired look of shooting on real video tape but without having to follow all the steps I explained above. So no need to buy an old cam corder, lots of operational steps, trial and error and possibly questionable results.  Just drag and drop the VHS-Pack effects over your video to cause the old school look of the 80ties and 90ties home videos. We used genuine analog source material taped by my parents in the early 90ties, to catch the unique textures and imperfections of real VHS.

How do you get the VHS Look to your projects? Comment below...

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