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Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in 3 Steps

Robbie Janney

Want to create a glitch effect without any plugins in Adobe Premiere Pro? Just follow the 3 easy steps in this video tutorial.

The glitch effect has become insanely popular in the past few years. It’s in music videos, promos, and all over social media. It’s easy to assume that this effect is hard to pull off, since most of the tutorials you see on creating the effect are made in After Effects, or they require you to buy an expensive plugin.

So if you don’t have much experience in AE, we’ve found the easiest glitch tutorial on the web from Peter McKinnon on how to create a glitchy transition in three easy steps using Premiere Pro. It’s pretty rudimentary, but it gets the job done quickly.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Cutting up Your Clip

Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in 3 Steps — Cutting the Clip

Import your clip, and throw it on to your timeline. To create a kind of strobe effect, slice up your clip a few frames at a time over a short distance. Then, delete some of the sliced up pieces to incorporate the “cut in and out” look. Make sure to switch it up to make it a bit random — make some cuts at only two frames, and the others at five frames.

Step 2: Duplication and Opacity Shifting

Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in 3 Steps — Duplication and Opacity

Now, when you’ve got your split-up timeline ready to go, take the clips that are still on your timeline and duplicate a second layer for all of them by holding Alt + Click, and dragging the duplicated clip to the V2 track in your timeline. From there, open up the video effects of the first duplicated clip. All you have to do is reduce the opacity to about 50%, and then shift the positioning just a little bit off of the original clip. This will create that ghosting effect people look for in a glitch. Move on over to your second clip and do the same, but this time zoom in a little bit using the scale tool to make this glitch a bit different from the first one.

Step 3: RGB Splitting and Color Enhancing

Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in 3 Steps — RGB Splitting and Color Enhancing

To make that glitch effect really soak in, shift the color of the V2 clip to make a cool RGB split effect. If you want to stay within Lumetri color for this, just go crazy with the saturation, tint, and exposure. Since the opacity is only at 50%, the intense color correction will blend in with the original clip to create the look you want.

Create a Glitch Effect in Premiere Pro in 3 Steps — Color Correction

If you really want to shift the color to a deep RGB tint, throw on the Arithmetic effect from your effects panel. This effect will allow you to go deep into the RGB settings of your clip. Change the Operator dropdown settings to Max, and then shift the RGB color of your choice: Red Value, Green Value, or Blue Value. This will bring a heavy dose of stark color contrast to your glitched clip. To blend it in with the original clip, go to the opacity settings, and change it to Linear Color Dodge (add). This final blending cultivates an insane colorscape for your glitched-out sequence, adding to the surreal look you want.


Want to Try It Out in After Effects?

If you find this tutorial a little simple and want to customize your glitch even more, maybe it’s time to graduate to After Effects. Our own Josh Noel has a killer tutorial on how to really dive in to using the glitch effect on graphics and videos in AE, and incorporating RGB Splitting, Displacement Distortion, and Noise to hone in on that “fuzzed-up” glitch look you find in your grandma’s old VHS tapes. Check out the article or the video above to try it out!

In case you have no time to work on your own glitch effects, Shutterstock offers this powerful collection of glitch effects and transitions to use in your projects. These elements are drag-and-drop effects compatible with Premiere Pro and other NLEs.


Images via Peter McKinnon.

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