How To Make Glitch Effects In Final Cut Pro

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Glitching is the process of using digital or analog malfunctions and distortions for aesthetic purposes in your videos. Adding glitch effects is one of the most exciting ways to add high-voltage intensity and crazy vibrancy to sports, music, and action-packed or suspenseful videos. They come across as unexpected digital errors that give videos a cool element of surprise. 

Glitch effects are effective in editing stylish videos and are perfect for sci-fi or thriller movies, sports, fights, promos, presentations, events and more! 

Check out this cooking video with glitch effects:

You wouldn’t expect glitching to work in a cooking video but it does, right?!

Glitch effects are so versatile it comes in a range of choices:

Pixel Sorting is an interesting style of glitch effect involving isolating a group of horizontal or vertical pixel lines making up an image. In the YouTube example below, you’ll see how a glitch was applied as a freeze-frame on the players as they are entering the arena, as they are playing, or even while huddling. Pixel effects were also used on the crowd’s reaction to the action that was happening.

Datamoshing distorts video compression and involves data manipulation or “damaging” media files to achieve a “file-is-corrupted,” blooming, duplicating or melting effect. Check out the datamoshing effect in the example that causes pixels to melt or glitch ideally and in sync with the music. 

Signal Glitches are spurts of interruption or sudden breaks in video images that are similar to old analog TV effects. Signal glitches like distortion, scan lines and wrinkles are perfect for retro or trippy glitches in your videos.

Slitscans are timing displacement glitches that look like undulating waves. 

Twitch is a sudden and involuntary contraction or movement. This classic effect is often used to create stylistic video effects.

Separated Glitch also called the split effect, pulls apart or scrambles text or images in your videos.

Our YouTube guy, Reggie, shows you easy ways to add glitch effects while editing in Final Cut Pro. These especially come in handy during editing because Final Cut doesn’t have a built-in glitch effect tool. However, Final Cut does offer effects and controls that you can combine with your glitchy plug-ins. Use these effects, controls and plug-ins to create text, transitions, clips and more.    

Are you ready, glitches?

Basic Glitch Effect:

  1. Find a spot for your glitch effect by moving your playhead to the exact spot in your clip.
  2. Press Control + B and then move eight frames back. 
  3. Slice your clip and then press Control + A to go back to the Select tool.
  4. Go to your Effects browser, search for Bad TV and Prism then drag both to your clips in your timeline.
  5. Go to your Inspector to modify the parameters for Bad TV and Prism.
  6. In the Amount tab tweak both all the way to 100. You can also manually input the amount you want from 1 to 100.
  7. Done!

Glitch Effect on Titles

  1. Go to your Titles browser.
  2. Press Titles, search for “Basic Ti” and drag that to your timeline.
  3. Trim your clip by pressing “B” and then pressing “A” then go back to the “Select” tool.
  4. Rename your title by changing it to your preferred font.
  5. Tweak the size of your font.
  6. Change the duration of your title by pressing Ctrl D + Enter.
  7. Move your playhead to the first trim of your clip, move four frames to the right, press “B” and slice it right there by pressing “A”.
  8. Move your playhead to the last frame in your clip, then move four frames back.
  9. Press “B” and then press “A” to go back to the “Select” tool.
  10. Copy and paste Bad TV and Prism effects on your title clips by pressing Shift C + V.
  11. All done!

Now, if you want a variety of more professional-looking, “drag-drop-done” glitch effects, there’s Glitch Pop.

Glitch Pop is a pack of 25 unique glitches for editing awesome travel videos, quirky real estate videos, stylistic and emotionally provoking music videos and thrilling sports videos.

Want to know how easy Glitch Pop works?

Reggie’s got your back! 

  1. Install Glitch Pop under Titles.
  2. Drag and drop your glitch title to your Timeline.
  3. Customize your glitch title by heading to your Title Inspector.
  4. From there you can customize your glitch title under Published Parameters including text, color and size.
  5. Done!

My last piece of advice would be to use your glitch effects wisely and thoughtfully on your titles and transitions. A little glitch goes a long way, so keep your glitches basic when a simple video needs juuust the right amount of spicing up.  

Happy editing,


About Dylan Higginbotham

Hey there. I'm Dylan Higginbotham, and I'm pretty dang obsessed with Final Cut Pro X plugins. Subscribe below because I love giving away free plugins and contributing great content.

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