I am looking to intentionally distort a video file. Filters and effects are not really doing it for me, they are simply too generic or predictable over the course of a 2-3 minute video. I am looking for something that is close to entirely random. I would like to still be able to decipher the video content (in some manner, at least recognize it). Having the video overlaid with all kinds of random effects (I am really open to anything, as long as it changes over the course of the video) is what I am aiming for.

I care less about it, but any similar suggestions for audio would be great!

I really look forward to any creative suggestions. I've done a bit of research and haven't got anywhere satisfying. I know this is probably a silly question.

  • Which applications will be available to you? – John Rygielski Apr 27 '12 at 14:52
  • John Rygielski is spot on. Yes, toss us a bone, we need to know what tools you have in your shed, e.g. video editors, or other applications, as well as your level of expertise on each. – filzilla Apr 27 '12 at 18:14
  • Sorry, meant to add something about this. I have OS X/XP/Win7 and have access to Adobe Premier/After Effects as well as Final Cut Pro. I am not an expert in either, but am definitely proficient and have no issues getting what I need from them. Not sure if you are looking for anything more specific. – user5124 Apr 27 '12 at 18:23
  • That's s pretty meaty bone to gnaw on, that should help a lot. Thank you. – filzilla Apr 27 '12 at 19:40

I really like what this guy did. He's been "repurposing" YouTube's video compression to create a glitch effect for his voice and video recording. Not sure whether this is what you're looking for.

  • It totally is. This is definitely in line with the kind of effect I am going for, but am looking to achieve it without uploading a video to YouTube 1000 times. Any thoughts on replicating it in a more controlled manner (not requiring me to upload 1000 times)? – user5124 Apr 27 '12 at 13:34
  • Well, just re-encode the video over and over again. That's essentially what that guy did. :D – Zettt Apr 28 '12 at 20:54

From an After Effects point-of-view, I think some experimenting with the included Stylize collection of effects would be worth exploring. It will take some layer duplication, precomping, and expressions of course. The Mosiac and Posterize effect will give you some pixelation and abrupt color gradations. If you wanted to control the edges more, use the Find Edges effect in addition. I would recommend using expressions to bring an element of randomness to effect attributes or to animated noise masks for adjustment layers.


Have a look at AEScripts TV Distortion Bundle. It has a bunch of scripts that can be used to create distortion and artefacts on videos. Its just a matter of tweaking them to your liking and then keyframing the settings rather than just using a preset.

glitch effect

From AE Scripts:

  • DataGlitch: Data Glitch creates realistic digital image glitch effects on the fly. You can control the glitch pattern, type of
    glitch and create awesome audio reactive image glitch effects. Data
    Glitch also helps you to create controllable compression artifacts
    with ease.
  • BadTV: BadTV creates realistic analog TV distortion with control over vertical,horizontal syncs and scanline distortion. Simulates VCR, DV Tape and Poor Reception Television effects.
  • TVPixel: TVPixel is a plugin for After Effects and Premiere Pro that pixelates your image into R,G,B Pixels like a real TV/LCD Screen.
  • Dot Pixels: A native plugin for After Effects and Premiere Pro to pixelate your image into circles and rings.
  • Separate RGB: Separate RGB separates the individual R,G,B channels. Not only you can separate them but you can also offset, fade and rotate individual channels in a single layer. You can create many color distortion effects including Chromatic Aberration.

Well this is about 9 year late but-

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