Whether you’re trying to add an edgy, artistic touch to a design or give a vintage, retro feel to a modern-day photo, glitch effects can be a great way to achieve the look you’re after.
What is a Glitch Effect?
To understand what a glitch effect is, first it helps to define what a glitch is. Glitches are the jittery, pixel-y, distorted digital errors that are inherent in the analog technology of yesteryear. Things like lines from a fraying VHS tape, distorting or separating colors, digital flaws from corrupt media, tracking errors, or static and scan lines from an old TV set. But, glitches, by nature, are difficult to capture or anticipate. And with advances in technology, glitches are becoming rarer.
Now, the shortcomings of old technology have become a popular editing style. Adding glitch effects to your photos videos, and designs is a way to add a retro, abstract, and even trendy, futuristic-looking aesthetic to your work. Luckily, techniques have emerged that allow you to mimic these effects without actually corrupting your data.
How to Add a Glitch Effect to a Design
Glitch effects can be achieved in many ways — by adding static or noise overlays to photos, by creating digital distortions or artifacts, by using glitchy transitions in videos, or even by using glitch fonts in your designs. The possibilities are endless and digital artists are constantly coming up with new ways to achieve the look. This article will go through how to create some of these glitch effects yourself.
The easiest way to add a glitch effect to your design, however, is to use one of the many fantastic pre-made glitch photoshop actions, video templates, and fonts we’ve showcased later in this article.
If you want a huge collection of glitch effects that can be applied to your photos, text, and videos, we highly recommend Envato Elements. Many of the resources featured in this article are from Envato Elements, and you can get access to all of them (plus millions of other design resources) for a low monthly subscription.
How to Add a Glitch Effect to a Photo
There are so many different techniques for adding glitch effects to photos, we could probably fill an entire website with tutorials! So, this photo effect tutorial will show you how to easily create a simple RGB split effect in just a few steps:
Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop. If you’d like, convert it to black and white. You will achieve a different look depending on if you start with a color or black and white image.
Step 2: Make two duplicate layers of your image. You can do this by dragging the image thumbnail to the “add new layer” icon on your layers palette. Name the new layers “red” and “cyan.”
Step 3: Change the layer blending options for each layer. First, double-click the image thumbnail for the “red” layer to open the Layer Style dialogue box. Since you’re in the red layer, uncheck the G and B channels under Advanced Blending and click OK. Now do the same for the “cyan” layer you created, but this time only uncheck the R.
Step 4: With the cyan layer still selected, and the Move Tool selected, use your arrow keys to nudge the layer around. Do the same with the red layer until you achieve your desired effect. You can also try this with different colors by leaving different R, G, and B channels on in different combinations. Or, play around with adding a halftone pattern filter to duplicate the old scan lines from a television.
The easiest way to add a convincing glitch effect, though, is to use one of the many cool glitch art photo effects we’ve got showcased below.
How to Create a Glitch Text Effect
Just like adding glitch design effects to photographs, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to creating these effects for text and fonts, too. You can find fonts that already have glitch effects built right in. And yes, we’ve listed the best ones for you below!
That said, here’s a way to create the trendy 3D video glitch look with text using Photoshop.
Step 1: Start with any font you like. We recommend a retro computer font, like one from the ’80s to match the effect. Type your text and then create two copies of it, set to contrasting colors. We recommend cyan and magenta. Set your background to a black color.
Step 2: Stack your text layers on top of each other, with one layer offset just a few pixels to the right.
Step 3: Change the Layer Blending Mode to Screen.
Step 4: Merge the layers.
Step 5: Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, draw a pixel-tall box the entire width of the text to select it. Once selected, click the Direct Select Tool and use the arrow keys to nudge a section of the text to the left or right just one or two pixels. Repeat this a few times to achieve the desired effect.
For the easiest methods, be sure to check out the Photoshop actions we’ve listed below that were specifically created for adding cool glitch art effects to text.
How to Add a Glitch Effect to a Video
It should come as no surprise that there’s a wide variety of ways to add glitch effects to digital video. Some video editors have vintage video filters that will add effects like chromatic aberration, color separation, analog noise, and distortion between clips. If your editor doesn’t already have these effects, the easiest thing to do is use one of the fantastic pre-made video glitch effects and templates available in this article.
For more retro design resources, please see:
Creating Glitch Effects in Photoshop
If you’ve ever tried creating your own glitch effects in Photoshop you know it can be a complicated and time-consuming process, especially if you’re trying to make the effect look authentic and convincing. That’s certainly not the case with this collection of glitch effect plugins, templates, and glitch effect actions for Adobe Photoshop! Now you can apply convincing glitch effects to your original photos with the click of a button.
Instantly generate the look of a corrupt data file or an old analog television set with effects like channel shifts, scan lines, missing and shifted pixels, and more with this fully customizable plugin.
This action is really handy for content creators and web designers. It will take any photo, logo, or illustration and generate a video sequence of animated glitch effects. From that, you can use the glitch image, create animated GIFs, or even HD video.
VCRs may be hard to come by these days, but the analog tape glitches are still in high demand. This set of Photoshop actions comes with 10 different VHS glitch effects so you can quickly and easily apply tape wrinkles, color separation, and analog noise to your images.
It’s easy to get this retro, cyberpunk look on your own images with this Photoshop template. You simply add your own image to the smart-object layer and watch the magic happen.
This smart-object glitch effect PSD template comes with lots of options to help you create a digital glitch photo that meets your needs. Check out the neon glow effect for a cool ’80s neon noir vibe.
If you’re looking to create the fractured appearance of an old analog television, give Anaglyph a look. This is a non-destructive template that’s extremely easy to use.
Here’s a smart-object template that’s giving off serious retrofuturistic, sci-fi vibes. If that’s the look you’re looking for, then look no more! These templates are so easy to use — you simply drop your image into the indicated layer and you’re done.
This set comes with three PSD smart-layer templates for creating quick glitch effects. Plus, you get 11 bonus Photoshop actions for additional artifacts, textures, and distortion effects, like retro effects and grungy, post-apocalyptic interference.
This is a simple Adobe Photoshop template for creating the glitch in color channels. Simply drop your source image into the smart layer and color distortions appear in seconds!
What was once an eyesore is now embraced, and you can easily recreate the trendy and desirable effect of VHS distortion, color bleed, and scan lines with this Adobe Photoshop template.
This Photoshop smart layer template has all the glitch effects — scan lines, broken pixels, and color aberration — but it’s turned them vertical. This adds a new and interesting dimension to the look.
Here we have glitch with a twist. This template combines the glitchy 3D color effects with the grainy noise of risograph. The result is a grungy, gritty, ultra artistic look that might be exactly what you need.
Achieve this dark, dingy, grungy, cyberpunk, corrupted scene with one click of your mouse. Simply start with your high res image and apply this Photoshop action. You’ll have plenty of options for editing.
Easily transform your photos into dark scenes. This action will add grungy scan lines, jittery digital auras, fractured color, and chromatic aberration glitch effect with the click of your mouse.
Here’s a colorful glitch art photo effect that’s easy to customize and easy to use. Just drop your original image in the indicated layer. It’s that easy!
Use this effect with any high-resolution photo, logo, or text — it will work with them all. Just drop them into the smart layer and the glitch effect will be instantly applied.
Everything you need to make a cool glitch art effect is right here. The set includes 10 PSD files for creating glitch text effects and 14 Photoshop actions for adding different glitch effects to photos and illustrations.
This set comes with 15 different high-resolution glitch backgrounds, textures, and overlays. Use them as backgrounds for your designs or use them as overlays on top of your photos and change the blend mode to achieve different effects.
Here’s another set of 15 different high-quality glitch overlays. Use them to add distortion, texture effects, and glitch layers to your PSD files. Play around with different opacities and blending modes to change the look.
Volume 3 of Abstract Glitch Overlays contains 15 more high-res glitches that will work as background images, textures, or overlays for adding distortion effects, VHS flaws, and retro tech to your modern files.
This ultimate glitch bundle is jam-packed with 200 textures, 80 black and white textures, and another 20 bonus textures so you can add distortion, grunge effects, and glitches to everything.
Check out this set of 20 abstract and experimental high-res glitch textures. These are all created in blue color tone, giving them that cyberpunk, dark aesthetic. Perfect for backgrounds.
This set of 12 abstract backgrounds is a perfect set for a variety of your print and digital projects. From website and social media graphics to editorial layouts and album covers, use these to give your designs that retrofuturistic vibe that’s so trendy right now.
Glitch Effect Video Templates
There are so many pre-made glitch effects for video and we’ve rounded up the best of them for you here. Whether you’re editing with After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro, we’ve found glitch video effects that will work with your platform in a variety of different styles. Some of them are so convincing, you’ll think your wi-fi signal is dropping out!
After Effects users will love this pack of 100 different glitchy animated titles. Perfect for music videos, social media, YouTube videos, explainer videos, movie titles, and more.
If you’re looking to recreate digital distortion, aberration, and retro electronics malfunction effects with your titles — you’ll want this set of 70 text presets that work with any font.
Here’s a template for glitch titles with a more modern sci-fi, futuristic vibe. A solid choice for corporate videos, YouTube videos, and movie trailers.
These cool, glitchy titles are perfect for retrofuturistic motion graphics for your social media graphics and website.
This set of modern, futuristic titles is easy to edit and would be perfect for social media graphics and YouTube videos.
This set of multipurpose glitch titles works with any font and allows for customizing the color. For use with Apple Motion and Final Cut Pro.
This template easily adds a dynamic, corrupted, geometric glitch effect to logos and text.
This set includes three different energetic, cyberpunk-style logo effects for Adobe Premiere Pro.
This template for Premiere Pro includes animated scribbles and grunge that reveals your logo. Easily change colors to match your brand.
This After Effects template is perfect for creating animated social media graphics of your logo. Video tutorial included.
This opener for Adobe Premier Pro was created with action videos in mind and contains editable titles and description sequences.
If you’re looking to recreate an ’80s or ’90s VHS vibe, complete with scan lines and analog glitches, here it is. For Adobe Premiere Pro.
Drag and drop and mix different effects with this full-featured Glitch Effects template for Final Cut Pro.
This one has serious futuristic, apocalyptic, cyberpunk vibes. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in luck if you edit with After Effects.
This big pack of glitchy scene transitions will help pull your movie or video together. Works with Premiere Pro.
This set includes 20 jittery digital glitches for use with Adobe Premiere Pro. Just drag and drop them above your footage to transition between scenes.
Glitch Text Effects
Sometimes, adding a glitch effect to your entire image is too much. Oftentimes, simply adding the effect to the headline makes the exact statement you’re going for. The next time you want to add a retrofuturistic, artistic, digital flaw to your text, why not do it the easy way?
Try one of these glitch text effects for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Now adding authentic corrupt tech effects is as easy as a click of the mouse.
This is a set of ten smart-layer Photoshop templates with different effects, from shifty to noisy to wavy glitch.
Ten more smart-layer PSD templates give you 100% editable control over these retro-techno effects.
This set is jam-packed with 44 different styles and 8 Photoshop aberration actions to add distortion and wave effects to text.
This is an entire toolkit for experimenting with text and images! It comes with 30 displacement maps, 15 Photoshop actions, 12 grungy textures, and 3 mockup posters.
Easily add linear glitches and color separation with this 100% editable PSD smart object template.
Use this Photoshop template to achieve a very realistic-looking VHS text effect for that cyberpunk aesthetic.
This pack includes ten different simple-to-use PSD smart object templates with retro VHS-style text effects.
Use this smart-object PSD template to create a colorful, super-glitchy cover image for social media.
This smart object PSD template has that classic glitchy look and will work on text or logos.
Use any font you want with this vector text effect for Adobe Illustrator. The diagonal glitch lines give it a unique look.
This futuristic text effect for Photoshop works with text or logos and has that classic 3D glitch style.
It’s hard to believe this look could be achieved in vector, but it was — and you can have it yourself with this editable glitch effect for Illustrator.
Use this editable PSD file with your text to give your project that “broken scanner” look.
Now you can easily achieve the popular chromatic glitch effect with your text in Illustrator with this template.
Check out this set of eight different PSD smart object templates in the cyberpunk, dark, retrofuturistic, matrix-style aesthetic.
Aside from using one of the glitch text effects above, another option for achieving the look is to incorporate a glitch font into your design. Below are some of the best glitch fonts available for immediate download to use in your projects.
No signal is a display font meant for large text like headlines and title copy. It would be a good choice for retro movie posters, video openers, social media graphics, and retro designs. The download includes uppercase letters and numbers.
Mokoto is an experimental font meant to be layered to achieve the digital glitching effect. Once layered, you change the advance blending modes to achieve the look you want. Includes 5 fonts with all caps letters, numbers, punctuation, plus a background image PSD.
Avalon is a display font that features linear glitch effects. It would be a good option for cyberpunk themed comics, monogram, or video game titles. The download includes uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and multilingual support.
With its jittery distortion, Avaluna would be a perfect font choice for tech-related branding, video games, music, and titles for retrofuturistic movies and videos. The zip file comes with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, punctuation, ligatures, alternates, multilingual support, and web fonts.
Glitchy has that retrofuturistic cyberpunk vibe that’s so popular in design right now. It works for both ’80s designs and futuristic designs. The download includes uppercase, lowercase, punctuation, multilingual support, and web font.
This duo comes with a glitchy version and a clean version. Mix and match them to create a design with just the right amount of distortion. The zip includes two fonts — Felix Regular and Felix Clean, with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and multilingual support.
Uncracked is a perfect display font for music festival posters, video game graphics, album covers, social media graphics, and more. The download comes with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, punctuation, alternates, ligatures, multilingual support, and web fonts.
This all caps font features glitchy letters on the uppercase and clean capital letters for the lowercase. Combine them on posters, editorial layouts, and t-shirt designs to create eye-catching designs. The zip file includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, ligatures, multilingual support,
Saberz is a bold, oblique sans serif with horizontal glitch effects. What’s unique about this font is the fun alternate characters you can use at the beginning and end of your words. Great for title copy and single word headers. The download includes all caps letters, numbers, punctuation, stylistic alternates, and multilingual support.
Final Thoughts on Creating Glitch Effects
And there you have it — now you’ve got everything you need to add glitch effects to your own designs by adding them to either photos, videos, or text.
Whether you’re trying to replicate the old distortion of a malfunctioning VHS tape or you’re looking to create a more cyberpunk futuristic vibe, you can easily do that using the tools and templates in this article. Or, use them to make your own artistic creation that turns flaws into fine art.