How to Make a VHS Effect In Video Editor

vhs video effects

What comes to your mind when you hear the word "nostalgia"?

Nostalgia often evokes images of Tamagotchis, iconic 90s video games, and the sweet taste of bubble gum. Yet, there's an unmistakable essence captured in the VHS tapes of yesteryears, holding classics like Titanic or Pulp Fiction.These are not just relics; they are emblems of an era, and now, with VSDC, you have the power to recreate this spirit of nostalgia. This guide is your roadmap to mastering a VHS video effect using VSDC, a versatile video editing software.

What's a VHS Effect?

vhs video effects

In the realm of video editing, VHS effect is a creative technique used to replicate the visual characteristics of tape recordings, popular during the 1980s and 1990s. It's distinguished by unique features like grainy texture, slight distortion, and color shifts. This retro aesthetic introduces a layer of nostalgia and charm to modern videos.

Key features of VHS effect may include:

  • Grainy Texture: VHS recordings had a noticeable grain or noise, especially in darker areas of the image. This is often recreated to give digital video a less polished, more authentic VHS look.
  • Color Distortion: The colors in VHS were not as vibrant and sometimes appeared slightly shifted or washed out. This color distortion is a hallmark of the VHS style.
  • Scan Lines: VHS tapes displayed characteristic horizontal lines across the screen, known as scan lines, due to the analog recording and playback process.
  • Soft Image Quality: VHS videos had a lower resolution compared to digital standards, resulting in softer, less sharp images.
  • Audio Distortion: The audio track in VHS often had a lower fidelity with some background noise and flutter, contributing to the overall retro ambiance.
  • On-Screen Text: Adding dated-looking text, often in simple, blocky fonts, can enhance the VHS effect, mimicking the style of titles and credits seen in old VHS tapes.
  • Tracking Errors: VHS playback was prone to tracking issues, causing wavy lines, static, or jitter in the video, which can be emulated for an authentic effect.
  • Tape Wear: Older VHS tapes often showed signs of wear, like flickering, sudden jumps, or brief distortions, which can be artificially added.

Pros & Cons of the VHS Effect

vhs video effects


  • Nostalgic Appeal: VHS effect brings back memories and emotions tied to the era of home videos.
  • Creative Flair: It offers a creative way to make your videos stand out in the digital age.
  • Versatility: Perfect for various projects, from music videos to social media content.


  • Quality Compromise: Emulating the VHS look often means intentionally reducing video quality.
  • Overuse: If overused or applied inappropriately, it can detract from the intended message of your video.

How to Make a VHS Effect

vhs video effects

Creating a VHS effect in VSDC is quite straightforward:

  1. Add your video to the timeline.
  2. Duplicate it by right-clicking and choosing "Duplicate".
  3. Set its size to match the parent in the "Properties" window and enter the video object by double-clicking it on the timeline.
  4. Add a rectangle shape without an outline and color it red in the "Properties" window under "Brush" - "Color". Again use the option "Set the same size as the parent has".
  5. Use "Blend" to apply "Darken" and exit to the scene tab.
  6. For the second video, choose "Lighten" under "Blend."
  7. Duplicate this video and adjust size settings again.
  8. Enter the third video, change the rectangles color to blue, and exit.
  9. Reduce the first videos Opacity to 52% and add "Gaussian blur" with a level of 100.
  10. Add a "Noise" filter with levels around 100 or less.
  11. Shift the second video left and the third video right by 5-8 pixels, adjusting as needed.
  12. This technique layers colored shapes and blending modes to mimic the VHS look, with added blur and noise for authenticity.

The basic method for achieving a VHS effect in VSDC is just the starting point. For those eager to explore additional creative ideas, VSDC offers a suite of artistic options:

Moreover, VSDC's LUT editor is an excellent tool for those aiming to master color grading. It allows for the creation of custom LUTs, giving you professional-level control over the color palette of your footage.

Why You Should Use VHS Section

The VHS effect isn"t just a throwback; it's a creative tool. It adds depth to storytelling, invokes emotions, and offers a distinct alternative in a digital era oversaturated with high-definition and 4K content.

vhs video effects


Can I create a VHS effect on my smartphone?

Yes, there are smartphone apps available that can simulate the VHS effect, though for more professional results, software like VSDC is recommended.

Do I need professional software to make a VHS effect?

While professional software like VSDC offers more control and options, there are simpler tools available for beginners.

What are the key elements to include when creating a VHS effect?

Key elements include grainy texture, color shifts, scan lines, slight blurring, and audio distortion to mimic the old VHS tapes.


Mastering the VHS effect in your videos is a journey back in time, offering a unique blend of nostalgia and creativity. With VSDC you can effortlessly transform your modern footage into a retro masterpiece. Remember, the key to a successful VHS effect lies in balancing the vintage aesthetic with your video's narrative. Embrace this timeless style to evoke emotions, tell stories in a novel way, and stand out in today's digital landscape.