Retro is all the rage now. If you like the glitchy, washed out look of old school VHS tapes, read on to see how you can replicate that effect with Pixlr Pro. Let’s get started.
Fire up Pixlr Pro on your browser and choose the image from your computer by simply dragging the file into the workspace, or choose FILE > OPEN.
For this tutorial, we are going to use image 43765751.
In the Layers panel, make two duplicates of the image by holding down CTRL and pressing J twice. Rename your layers (Red and Blue respectively) for each duplicated layer.
In the CHANNEL MIXER, change the value for Red from 100% to 0% and click OK. You will see the image turn blue.
Next, select the red layer and turn on visibility. Go to the CHANNEL MIXER again, but this time we’ll change the value for Blue from 0% to 100%. This in return will give the image a red tint.
Adjust OPACITY for both ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ layers to 50%
With the MOVE TOOL (v) selected, move the ‘Blue’ layer a little to the right by pressing the right arrow on your keyboard.
After that, select the ‘Red’ layer, and move it a little to the left. As a result, this will create a simple anaglyph 3D effect.
For the next step, select all 3 layers by clicking them while holding down CTRL. After that, press CTRL + G to put them into a Group folder. Make a duplicate of the Group folder (CTRL + J).
Select the duplicate Group folder, right click and choose MERGE LAYERS to make it a single image layer. Rename the new layer to ‘Glitch’. We will use this layer to create the glitch patterns.
Select the RECTANGLE SELECT (M) tool. Starting from the top, click and drag to create thin selections on the image and then use the MOVE TOOL (V) to move the selection to the left with the arrow key.
Repeat the process by selecting different areas on the image but this time vary the boldness of your selections and move it to the left or right randomly. Experiment and just do what looks best to you. However, do make sure the shape of the model still visible.
Let’s introduce more glitches. Make a new selection on the image, then go to FILTER > DISTORT > TWIRL and apply the TWIRL FILTER with the following setting.
Now, try the TWIRL EFFECT on different areas and experiment with the settings (lower or higher) and see what happens.
You also can use SPHERIZE EFFECT on different areas and experiment with the settings.
Continue the process on different areas of the images until you are satisfied with the result.
Moving along, make a copy of the ‘Glitch’ layer. Go to FILTER > ADD NOISE and apply a value of 10%. This will give a the image a grainy effect.
Now, to mimic the look of an old TV screen, we’ll include some scanlines. We’ll be using image 60192643.
Drag the image into Pixlr Pro; onto your working document. You will see that this automatically places the image in a new layer.
Lower the opacity of the Scanline layer to 10% and set the blending mode to Overlay. This overlays the pattern above the existing pixels while it keeps the features and the shadows without influencing the color of the layer below it.
Let’s add a retro home movie tape recorder effect. Select TYPE TOOL (T) and choose the font “Silkscreen Expander” from the front drop down menu in the top bar. Using white as the font color and at 300px size, type out some VCR styled on-screen information.
Create a new layer and then choose PEN TOOL (P). At the Pen tool menu at the top bar, choose white for your color FILL. Click in the shape of a triangle to create the ‘Play’ symbol.
Now go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER > CURVES and adjust the curves as shown in the image. This will give the image some contrast.
Almost there! Go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER > HUE/SATURATION. Adjust the hue to -7 and saturation to 28 to apply a vibrant overall look to the image.
And we’re done! That’s how you create VHS styled glitch art. Simple, right? Feel free to experiment with different images and settings to create your own unique design.