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Bring old-school style up to speed with VHS Effect

The VHS style effect has been making the rounds on Instagram, TikTok, and other social media because it induces a sense of nostalgia. Some editing apps claim to have the VHS filter, but the video clip doesn't look quite right afterward. Do you want your video project to look like VHS footage? Create a video to remember with our textured VHS video effect. Then, easily combine this vintage-feel feature with countless filters and templates to craft your timeless masterpiece. When you work at lightning speed in our AI-powered editor, you can bring retro style into the future.

Tell your story with this versatile special effect

Add creative textures, stretch your style, and evoke a nostalgic feeling with our VHS video effect. Experiment with special features whenever inspiration strikes with a web-based editor that’s always at your fingertips. Ready to share your creation with collaborators? Send over a simple link or email for immediate feedback.

How To Use

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Upload your video file directly to the cloud and don’t worry about computer storage ever again. From ProRes to MOV, we've got you covered.
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Add Effect
Find Runway’s VHS effect under “Effects and Filters” in the right-hand panel of the editor. Select your clip and simply click to add – that’s it!
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Once you’re satisfied with the applied effect, you can continue editing or export your finished creation in a variety of resolution and formatting options.


Wondering how to add VHS video effect overlay using video editing software for maximum impact? Experiment with Runway’s all-in-one editing suite to find out. Whether combining various features, adding innovative audio, or searching for the perfect template to power post-production, tap into the magic of our top-speed editing system and create an instant classic.

Captivate your audience

Evoke images of the past and add a sentimental—or suspenseful—touch to your content by incorporating the VHS look.

Mix and match different effects

Combine our adaptable VHS video effect with other <a href="https://runwayml.com/browse/template/" class="underline">video templates</a> and features, including multitrack audio editing, black background, motion graphics, and color filters for countless creative styles.

Make adjustments easily

Find the perfect look when you add our VHS feature to one scene or the whole cut, experimenting freely with our intuitive tool.

Why Runway?

Looking for a user-friendly online editing app? When you have our comprehensive editing suite of intuitive tools at your fingertips, you can focus on what matters: telling your story exactly how you want. Enhance your creative vision, discover new possibilities, and incorporate collaborator insights with an intelligent editing system designed to keep up.

Transform your footage from raw material to a filtered final cut in a flash

Perfect every part of post-production, from editing to inpaint, with Runway. Our comprehensive editing suite supports your entire workflow, whether you’re stitching together a rough cut, touching up high-quality images, or adding in a VHS special effect. Access our convenient all-in-one editing suite from anywhere, so you never have to pause your creative process.

Boost your creativity with bold combinations

Surprise yourself and your collaborators when you mix and match our endless features, such as Green Screen, filters, templates, and effects. Our adaptable AI-based editing suite provides intuitive tools that make developing your unique style seamless and stimulating. Let’s make video magic together—our editing suite, your vision.

Edit together, experiment often

From subtle transitions to bold distortions, try out different versions of our VHS effect to make it your own—and your team’s. We’ve designed a collaborative editing suite so you can create and innovate together with the people you trust. Share your creations in the blink of an eye and edit faster with everyone on board our in-browser editing suite.
What are some uses of the VHS video effect?
The VHS video effect is primarily a stylistic effect with various uses. Depending on the combination of visual and aural elements, this effect can create immersive moods, build atmosphere, and set the tone for your storytelling.
If you’re wondering where to begin exploring the possibilities, try the following ideas:
  • Create a feeling of nostalgia – VHS tapes are more than just a type of media—they’re a mood. These old-school tapes evoke precious memories and old-school style; for many, VHS tapes themselves are inextricably linked with family memories, weddings, and late-night runs to the video store. Many indie directors, video artists, and experimental filmmakers use these beloved associations to create a sense of nostalgia, memory, and experience.
  • If you’re looking to pull on heartstrings or play with the past, add our VHS video feature to your own creation. But remember to incorporate both visual and audio elements to create a nostalgic atmosphere. Beyond just the VHS video effect, aural cues such as music, ambient birdsong, a soothing voice, and more can help immerse your viewer in the past.
  • Establish your signature style – If you’re searching for a unique style as a video editor, our VHS video effect may be your answer. Because video editing is a creative endeavor, adding your own flair to projects will help attract collaborators that share your aesthetic interests.
  • As you develop your distinctive touch, experiment with the VHS video feature—changing how often and how intensely you apply the effect. Add it to a small part of the video, include it in the title card, or incorporate it in the after credits. Or take it all the way. Like a specific color scheme or repeated setting, the VHS effect can function as an artistic signature.
  • Manipulate texture and create contrast – VHS tapes are known for grainy images, distorted textures, and iconic white stripes. These classic VHS elements can add visual interest and fascinating contrast when applied to modern digital footage. The dissonance between old and new can help capture your viewer’s attention and bring a sense of dynamism to your next creative project.
    It’s also worth considering how to use the VHS effect to communicate your message aesthetically. Make a statement on technology, nostalgia, or truth—a shift in texture and mood can help you intellectually engage your viewer and inspire conversation.
  • Build an unstable world – Scratchy, grainy VHS textures are perfect for depicting uncertainty, revealing key plot points, and creating suspense. Use a VHS effect to mimic the intimacy of a long-lost family video or draw the viewer in with well-designed glitches that obscure information and build tension. You can also use our VHS video effect to indicate the crossing of a digital barrier, signaling to the viewer that we’ve taken a turn into a strange and unsettling creative world.
What are some other tools that work well with the VHS effect?
The VHS effect can easily combine with various editing tools depending on the style you aim to achieve. The first step is to understand your creative vision, particularly what atmosphere you want to convey and how VHS tapes will enhance the world of your video. Searching for inspiration? Try the following ideas:
  • Add a color filter – Different colors evoke different moods, so combining your VHS feature with specific hues can help you reinforce a certain vibe. If you’re editing a picture slideshow of childhood memories, for example, you may choose to add a sepia filter along with the VHS effect to lean into a nostalgic effect. On the other hand, if you’re interested in mimicking the bold aesthetics of the early 2000s, combine your VHS special effect with a technicolor scheme.
  • Lean into distortion – Whether you’re hammering in the instability of a setting or depicting a jarring interruption in the narrative, enhance the distorted textures of our VHS effect with additional editing tools. Rotate frames, zoom in and out, or combine the VHS feature with rapid cutting and jump cuts to emphasize incongruity. Or, arrange your sequence nonlinearly to highlight uncertainty. Our one-click cutting tool to makes editing easy, so you can quickly try out a wide variety of aesthetic choices.
  • Mix in audio tracks – Setting our VHS video effect to various audio tracks can create a rich, layered atmosphere. Consider adding in music, looped speech, ambient noise, and more to enhance your creative vision.
Ready to try our special effects yourself? Runway is your one-stop shop for creative editing. Mix and match various features, filters, and templates in a single web-based editing suite accessible from anywhere.
When in the editing process should I apply the VHS effect?
Because the VHS overlay is a special effect, apply it after you’ve arranged your clips in a sequence.
When you arrive at the editing table with your raw material, the first step is to create a sequence with the clips in the right order to tell your story. It’s helpful to know the progression of your video before adding special effects so that your aesthetic choices enhance the throughline of your project, whether the video project is a short film, documentary, commercial, or music video. Decide on a final cut, and then make a copy of the sequence before proceeding.
The next step is to perform any technical touch-ups. For example, you may need to rotate certain clips, crop out extraneous objects, or fix a tripod wobble. Using our all-in-one editing suite, remove filming errors easily with intuitive, AI-powered tools. Once you’re satisfied with the image quality of your sequence, you’re ready to turn to various special effects. All of these steps are needed so that by the time you're done video editing, it would seem like watching old TV.
Try out the VHS feature along with other filters and transitions. Work on the copy of the sequence you’ve made and leave the original version intact in case you want to return to it. Tackle the audio after you’re satisfied with how your video looks. While you may have a strong sense of the audio you want to include before you begin editing, seeing the almost-finished clips can often help you decide on complementary sounds and songs.
Finally, put in the finishing touches and clean up your effects. You might tweak your VHS effect to appear immediately with the start of a clip or decide that the effect should fade in gradually. Do you want your effects to appear simultaneously or one after another? How long should each effect last? Small editing changes can become significant aesthetic choices. If you're about to make similar videos, make sure to save the presets, so you don't have to start from scratch.
Ready to start the editing process and create your own video? Hit the ground running with Runway’s easy, intuitive editing suite. From uploading raw footage to sharing your polished creation, we make each step of the process lightning fast.
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