How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Along with the popularity of 80s style, the glitch effect has been widely popular in the last couple ofyears. It appears in stock photos, text effects, and of course in video.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

In this tutorial, we are going to simulate an animation of an RGB glitch effect using AdobePhotoshop. I suggest that you check over some Photo Templates on GraphicRiver to get a solid grasp of this trend.

Tutorial Assets

To follow this tutorial, we are going to use the following resources:

1. How to Add Images as a Smart Layer

Step 1

Make a New Document with the size 450 px x 700 px. Click theOK button. It is essential to set its Color Mode to RGB Color.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

In this tutorial we are going to add a glitch toa free photo fromPixabay. Copy and then Paste the photo onto the blank canvas. Depending on the image dimensions, you may need to resize it.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Name the layer image. Right-click the layer and then select Convert to Smart Object. It is important to convert the base image into a smart object to retain the image quality and to help us easily edit the content.

If you are not familiar with the concept of a Smart Object, I suggest you read this short article by Martin Perhiniak. In the Layers panel, a Smart Object is indicated by a black and white icon on the lower-right corner of the layer’s thumbnail.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

2.How to Prepare the Glitch Animation

Step 1

We are going to use lots of layers, so it is always a good habit to keep them organized using group layers. Add a new Group layer and name it RGB glitch animation. We will start building the first frame. Inside the group layer, add another sub Group layer and name it 1.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Duplicate the image smartlayer by Alt-dragging it into the Group 1.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

We need to restrict the image blending options to specific channels only. Double-click the smart layer we have just duplicated and then deselect G and B. Name the layer R for Red Channel.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

At first, it seems there is nothing happening. We’ll get back to it later. For now, Duplicate the layer twice and select only the G and B check boxes respectivelyto turn on the green and blue channels. Name those two layersG and B.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

So, what exactly is happening here? The image is made of three colors, orchannels, to reproduce the colors you see on the screen. In the Advanced Blending option, we only turn on one channel. Below is what we have when the original image is hidden and only layer R(Red channel) is revealed.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

And this is what happens when the image layer is revealed. When it is revealed, we will have all Red, Green, and Blue Channels active, which ends up as a regular image.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Apply the available Distortion Filter to the one channel layer. Click Filter > Distort > Wave. Use a small Number of Generators. We don’t want the result to be too extreme. Since we are using aSmart Object, we have an extra advantage with the filter. The filter is automatically turned into a non-destructive Smart Filter which can be freely edited anytime.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Repeat the Distortion Filter on the other layer. You can instantly apply the last filter to the active layer using the shortcutControl-F. If you want to edit the parameter first, use Control-Alt-F. In the Wave filter dialog box, hit Randomizeto make a different kind of distortion.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Repeat a similar distortion effect on the remaining layer.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

We need more distortion. Duplicate all the three layers. Alt-Drag to duplicate them.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

To differentiate the result, we can modify the Wave filter setting. This can be done by double-clicking its name in the Smart Filter list. The Wave dialog box will pop up, and you can change its parameters. Or you can also try other Distortion Filters, such as Shear.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Alt-Click the Add Layer Mask icon to Hide the layer. Do this to all the layers.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

We need more layers for the next frame. Duplicate the group layer and name the copies2, 3, 4, and 5.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

We’ll start revealing the glitch. Hit D to revert the background color to white. Make a new selection using theRectangularMarqueeTool. Hit Control-Delete to Fill the selection with white and reveal the selected area.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

Repeat this step on the other layers in each group layer. To add multiple selections, hold Shift while dragging theRectangular MarqueeTool. As in the previous steps, Fill the selection with white.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

3. How to Add an Old TV Scan-Line Pattern

Step 1

Now, we want to add the subtle scan-line pattern which appears in old VHS videos. Make a New Document with a canvas size of 5 px x 3 px.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Add a New Layer. Fill the top half of the canvas with black. We don’t need the Background layer, so just Hide it by clicking on its icon or simply Delete it.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Select the whole canvas area. Click Edit > Define Pattern to save the canvas as a Pattern. Give it a recognizable name such as tv-scanline. We don’t need the pattern file anymore. We have already saved its pattern. You can simply close it without saving.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Return to our main glitch file. Add a New Layer and name it tv scanline. Click Edit > Fill. Select Contents: Pattern and select thetv-scanline pattern we made earlier.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

We want the pattern to stay subtle. Reduce its Opacity to about 40%.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Let’s add a vignette effect. Add a New Layer and then use a very big and Soft Round Brush to paint black on the corner of the canvas. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to keep the vignette effect subtle.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Add a New Layer and then add random colors to the edge of the canvas.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

If we want to, we can turn off some of its channel.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

4.How to Create a Frame Animation

Step 1

We are now starting to add animation to the scene. Open up the Timeline panel from the Window menu. Click the Create Frame Animation button.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

We are now at the first frame. For the first frame, Hide all the group layers inside the RGB glitch animation and reveal only the first group layer. Make sure to set the frame duration to 0.1 seconds and the Loop setting to Forever.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

For the second frame, reveal the second group layer and Hide the others. For the third frame, reveal the third group layer and so on.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

We can continue Duplicating the group layer for the sixth frame and so forth, but it will significantly increase the file size. We can get around this by revealing a random combination of layers from all the groups layers.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Keep on adding frames onto the scene. You can test the animation result by clicking on the Play icon on the bottom of the Timelinepanel.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

5.How to Save a GIF Animation

To Save the animation, press Control-Shift-Alt-S to open up the giant Save for Web dialog box. Select file type: GIF. It is currently the only sensible type of image file that supports animation. GIF has limited colors and may give the final image a pixelated or blocky look. To achieve higher quality, you can increase the number of colors used and useDiffusion inthe Dithering drop-down option. Click theSave button.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Note: Since the final GIF size is bigger than 200 KB, which is the limitation for an ThemeKeeper Tuts+ image, we have to show it as a movie:

6. How to Edit the Smart Object Content

Step 1

Remember that we used a Smart Object and its copies throughout this project. Every copy of the smart object that we placed in every group layer is identical. We can edit one of those Smart Objects and all ofits instances will be automatically updated. To edit the image, double-click the first Smart Object that we placed at the root of the Layers panel. We can use any Smart Object in fact, but this one is much moreconvenientsince it is not hidden inside the group layer.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

The Smart Object will be opened as a separate image file.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Let’s try another free image fromPixabay. Drag and drop the image. Resize it if needed. Once you’re happy with the result, Save and close the file.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Return to the original animated RGB glitch file, where we will find that the image is automatically updated.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Export the new scene as a GIF file.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Check out this animated result below:

Final Result

Below is the final result of our tutorial in video format. From this tutorial, we can see that what we did is just some simple editing and playing around with the channel settings. I hope you learned some new techniques from following this tutorial, just as I did while writing it.

Don’t forget to share your final GIF result. I’d love to see it. Thank you for reading.

How to Create an Editable Animated RGB Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop