New project: VHS/analog filter

So, we’ve all decided that messed up VHS tapes look cool now. OK. Simulating these glitches in software seems like a fun project.

What’s the current state of the art?

There are some After Effects filters that seem pretty powerful for various types of glitches, for example Twitch, Delirium, etc, but of course those are closed-source plugins for expensive closed-source software. Fine for pros, maybe not for artists/VJs/hobbyists.

In terms of open-source software, the best I can find within the several minutes I feel like spending on searching is v002 Glitch. That includes some analog-style glitches and is under a CC license, but it is for Quartz Composer, and is thus not cross-platform. One could presumably use some of that code in another project that is more portable, or draw some inspiration from it at least.

There are samples on YouTube of a VHS plugin for AVISynth, which is FOSS, but I can’t immediately find a link to anything related to the plugin other than the binary. That filter looks pretty good, though.

Well then, here’s a proof-of-concept horizontal sync glitch effect applied to my webcam. This is just a starting point that I threw together in one evening. The chroma shifting that old tapes often exhibit will be fun to figure out. I’m putting this out there as a sort of accountability measure. If you are reading this and I haven’t posted any updates, feel free to get on my case about it.

Horizontal sync glitch filter — prelude to VHS filter from Joel C. on Vimeo.

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