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Thread: Enhancing film grain on VHS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021

    Default Enhancing film grain on VHS

    Hi all,

    First post here. I've been transferring a video of mine from digital to tape for artistic effect (yes, I know about plug-ins etc that do this but I want to go the authentic way). This has been cool, but I'm not getting the big specks of grain that I'd like to have. Would any of you know how I should go about abusing my VHS tape in order to get the grain? Or any other ways to do this? For reference, looking for something like this: (don't know if this has been done digitally but just to reference what I mean by "film grain").

    Thanks all.

  2. Default

    That's a film look. It might actually have been shot on film, like Super 8. VHS will never get you that collection of effects. Also, it's shot on an extremely hazy day. You might be able to mimic some of the film effects with blur and color adjustment. To get the effect of a hazy day you'll have to shoot on a hazy day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    Thanks for the reply and the tips. So the film grain is not something you can get by messing with VHS tape? Is grain only inherent in film roll?

  4. Default

    Film and tape are fundamentally different technologies. Film is chemistry while tape is electronic/magnetic (based on different chemistry). Analog video produces discrete horizontal lines across the screen. The color imperfections are a result of compromises in the electronic signal. Film is based on different light sensitive compounds on a film substrate. If you zoom way in you'll see little particles of somewhat varying shapes and sizes, in three discrete colors, embedded in the film. The imperfections in the two systems are very different.

    Here's a video demonstrating the TV and Film effect plugins in Vegas Pro 14. I didn't do anything extra like add blur or adjust the colors or brightness/contrast.

    The above is rendered at such a low resolution that you can't see the film grain effect, so I redid it at higher resolution. And I pushed the grain setting a little higher. It's still a little hard to distinguish it from the compression artifacts.

    Last edited by bouldersoundguy; 01-11-2021 at 10:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    Awesome, thanks for taking the effort, that clears things up. Looks like I'll have to give the plug-ins a chance then.

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