Create Glitch Effects with EbSynth and After Effects
In this video tutorial, learn how to create trippy glitch effects using the free app EbSynth and After Effects.
Most people use EbSynth to save time when working with hand-drawn animation. However, I noticed that sometimes EbSynth creates artifacts that look a lot like datamoshing glitches. So this got me wondering: “Can EbSynth be used to create glitch effects intentionally?”
The answer is yes. This video tutorial will teach you how to create glitches on video footage using EbSynth and After Effects.
What is EbSynth?
EbSynth is a free software app that allows you to animate existing footage using just a few styled keyframes. It is perfect for hand-drawn animations that typically would take a long time to animate.
First, you export your footage as an image sequence. Then you select a few frames from your image sequence to stylize. Then EbSynth takes care of the rest, mapping the styled animation look from your keyframes to the rest of the footage.
How to Create Glitch Effects with EbSynth
To get started creating glitches with EbSynth, we first need to export our video clip as an image sequence from After Effects. Add your footage to a new composition, then add that composition to the Render Queue. Select the Output Module Settings and change the Format to PNG Sequence.
For the Output, create a new folder called “Video” and export your image sequence into that folder. Set the file name of your image sequence to “footage.” Then click Render in After Effects.
Now you should have your video exported as an image sequence in a folder named “Video.”
Now we need to create our “glitch keyframe.” This is the keyframe EbSynth will apply across our image sequence, making the glitchy look.
Go back to your footage composition in After Effects and create an Adjustment layer above your footage. Apply the effect of VR Digital Glitch. Then adjust the Color Distortion and Geometry Distortion X settings to your desired levels. Set the Current Time Indicator to the first frame of your footage.
If needed, you can create a mask on the Adjustment layer around your subject.
Now we need to export our keyframe image. In After Effects, navigate to Composition>Save Frame As>File. Then set the Output Module to PNG Sequence. (This will just be 1 image frame.) Then create a new folder called “Keyframe” and render your image to that folder.
Important: Make sure you re-name your keyframe image the same name as the first frame in your video image sequence.
Now open the EbSynth app and select your Keyframe image and Video image sequence.
Toggle open the Advance Settings and set De-flicker to 3.0 and the Synthesis Detail to Low. Then click “Run All” and wait for EbSynth to export your new image sequence.
Once EbSynth has finished exporting, click Export to AE. You will then need to input the frame rate of your original footage. Then EbSynth will automatically import the new glitch image sequence into After Effects and create a new composition named “comp.”
And that’s it! You can then edit your new glitchy footage into your existing footage to create some unique glitchy looks.
Create More Effects with EbSynth
You can create even more stylized and unique looks with EbSynth, such as a painting reveal animation. For this, I took a video clip from our Free Space Kit Video Pack and exported it as an image sequence.
Then I used a painting image as the Keyframe image. I set the keyframe name to be the same as the last frame in the image sequence. This is so EbSynth will then make sure the final image in the new image sequence is exactly the same as the keyframe image.
This results in an awesome painting reveal animation. Experiment for yourself and see what all you can create by mixing and mashing footage with EbSynth.
Want to Learn About More Glitch Effects?
If you want to learn about even more glitch effects, check out our video of 10 After Effects Glitch Plugins You Should Check Out. The video features glitchy examples of each plugin and can be helpful if you’ve seen some glitch effects, but don’t know what they are!
Interested in the royalty-free tracks we used to make this video? Give them another listen:
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