Post Production

Glitches, damage, flickers, & distortions in After Effects & Premiere Pro

Tools and tutorials, including neglected Strobe Light effect

Glitchify for After Effects + Glitchify sounds, from Mikey Borup and Cinema Spice, joins a growing number of tools and tutorials that help Adobe After Effects users create digital glitches, damage, flickers, TV distortions and the like.

For an unspecified time, the Glitchify bundle is available for 50% off through School of Motion and the plug-ins only for 20% off through Mikey Borup.

Glitchify is a full-featured yet inexpensive digital glitch and degeneration effect, providing useful starting points and customizability for things like pixel sort, channel scale, RGB split, block shift, transform glitch and more.  Glitchify Sound is a special sound effects pack of over 70 digital audio glitches, available separately or in a bundle. Glitchify is new and still 20% off with coupon code launch20. Here’s the intro videos:

Another new tool is AE Pixel Sorter by Gabriel Grenier. Here’s a look:

The plug-ins that got this niche started can be found in the TV Distortion Bundle from Rowbyte, Satya Meka 5 distortion plug-ins: Data Glitch, Bad TV, TVPixel, Dot Pixels, and Separate RGB. These filters may not create a disturbance in the force or a glitch in the matrix, but they’ll help you to create analog TV distortion with control over vertical, horizontal syncs and scanline distortion; VCR, DV Tape and audio reactive image glitch effects; and compression artifacts. Here’s the Data Glitch 2 demo:

Video Copilot Twitch for After Effects probably also played a long running role in making glitch effects popular. It can synchronize random operators to create stylistic effects. Apparently, it still works and people are still using it. David O’Dwyer used it in his recent tutorial, After Effects Tutorial – Creating a Video Glitch, and Surfaced Studio explained this plug-in well for glitchiness recently as well in How To Use The Video Copilot Twitch Plugin – After Effects Tutorial.


If you already have the Boris FX, Genarts Sapphire, or other After Effects plug-in packages, you’ll have something similar already.

There’s even a suite of tools Digieffects Damage, with 9 tools. 


Another example of a suite plug-in is Red Giant Glitch in the RG Universe suite, which also has related free filters like Camera Shake, Simple RGB Separation, and Misfire (film damage, scratches, dust, flicker, noise). Here’s the intro to RG Glitch:


Of course you can plough through most of this stuff already in After Effects, for a start by leveraging the built-in Bad TV Animation Presets, but with far less ease than with plugs-in designed to speed the process. Of course, there are numerous templates for sale, and many many tutorials, if you decide to go commando and still want some support. We can’t go through every tutorial, so here’s a few examples.

There’s at least one inexpensive template packed with separate glitch examples and sounds, CREATION GLITCH EFFECTS for After Effects. And, Rocketstock has a nice-looking one for free. Also, Rampant Design offers a toolkit filled with many prerendered elements to integrate or use as displacement sources, Use Glitch and Distortion Effects to Stylize Your Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro.


After Effects Tutorial: Custom Glitches by BakerTuts is a bit sloppy but effectively introduces several techniques to make glitches easy to create quickly. He also shared some copycat solutions like After Effects Tutorial: Homemade Digieffects Damage preset (as well as a homebrew Twitch preset).


In his Glitch Effect in After Effects, Ryan Somerville shows how to use Fractal Noise (see also AEP Fractal Noise roundup) and Displacement to quickly create some glitching. A little bit before, Aharon Rabinowitz showed something similar in Red Giant QuickTip #61: Adding Digital Distortion to Your Footage, though leaning slightly on a 3rd-party plug-in effect.


The Dojo Glitch Script, donationware from VinhSon Nguyen, gives you some instant glitches & chromatic aberration, with, controls for artifacts, flicker, and more. This script seems to have roots in previous tutorials before the script’s creation, Glitchy and Twitchy and Creating a Glitch Effect in After Effects.


 In addition to hundreds of templates for sale, there’s an iPhone app, Glitch Wizard:



Adobe Premiere Pro Tutorial: The Jitter/Camera Shake/Earthquake Effect from Olufemii Tutorials shares 3 version of jitter.


Later, Evan Abrams shows manual keyframing and expressions in Flickering Transitions – Adobe After Effects tutorial, and then manual keyframing and the Strobe Light effect in Flickering Transitions – Adobe Premiere Tutorial. The Strobe Light effect is pretty useful in general!


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Rich Young is a long-time After Effects user from the San Francisco Bay Area. His After Effects and Premiere Pro round-ups provide viewers with an easy-to-digest summary of developments. He also supplies info and links…

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