How To Create Glitch Effect in Photoshop

May 11, 2023

Feel nostalgic and miss the good old 90s futurism? This glitch effect Photoshop tutorial will bring you the best of the legendary visual style.

Years go by, and designers invent new trends and bring new facets of creativity. But in reality, we're still there, reminiscing the good old days and trying to regain as much of the classic 90s glitch style as possible. Nothing to be ashamed of (besides, we are even worse retro-maniacs) — instead, you can make nostalgia the forte of your images and prints.

In order to immerse into the old-school futurism, you can find your VHS with the Starship Troopers. Or dive into the weirdest tech music of those times. Or onboard our tutorial and have lots of fun creating the famous glitch effect. Even if it used to irritate you back then, now it will feel like a gulp of a teenage vibe. Who would refuse that?

Tutorial Assets

Make sure to download all the necessary files you will need to complete the lesson and master the glitch effect in Photoshop:


Creating Glitch Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1— Create a new document with the Size set to 3000x2000 px.
Step 2 — Go to File > Place Embedded and add your image to the document. Resize the image to fit your canvas.
Step 3 — Create 5 duplicates of the layer using Control-J.
Step 4 — Select the first duplicate, then Double Click and make only the Red Channel Visible.
Step 5 — Do the same with layer 2 and layer 4, but leave Blue and Green channels Visible.
Step 6 — Move the first duplicate up to create a color shift effect.
Step 7 — Move the second copy down and fourth copy to the left.
Step 8 — Now you should to create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the third layer and change the Hue setting to 100.
Step 9Right Click on the Hue/Saturation layer and select Create a Clipping Mask.
Step 10 Add a Mask to the Smart Object. Then select it and hit Control-I.
Step 11 — Select the mask of the layer and create a selection using Rectangular Marquee Tool.
Step 12 — Hold Shift and add more vertical selections. Then press Control-I to reveal the effect.
Step 13 — Select the last layer and add a Gaussian Blur filter with the Radius set to about 50.
Step 14 — Change the Blending Mode to Lighten and the Opacity to about 40-50%.
Step 15 — Place a TV Texture above all the layers and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 10%.
Step 16 — Create a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and set the Brightness to 30 and Contrast to 55.
Step 17 — Press Shift-Control-Alt-E to merge all the layers into one.
Step 18 — Create a selection with Rectangular Marquee Tool.
Step 19 — Use the Move Tool and move your selection to the right.
Step 20 — Repeat this process until you get as many glitches as you need.
Congratulations! You've successfully created a glitch effect — and it's just the beginning. Knowing the basics given in this tutorial, you can create unique images featuring the glitch effect and futuristic (or nostalgic!) distortion. You can adjust settings, play with contrast and distortion, or consider adding noise and grain effects. In fact, all means are good if they can help you achieve the effect you want.

Video Tutorial

Have fallen for the glitch distortion? Probably you should keep up and pack yourself with some relevant resources (custom effects are great, but not sure you will have time to create a new one every time you need it) — and then the Glitch & Distortion Effects Bundle might come in handy.

Such a huge bundle of 50+ PSD files is like a ticket to the amusement park: once you go inside it’s hard to choose just one carousel! But the great news about this pack is that there is no need to pick, you can mix them all you want. The same goes for endless customization options! In the archive, you’ll find a PDF file with links to download each effect separately.

Glitch & Distortion Effects Bundle

All kinds of distortion are carefully gathered in this huge bundle to add some mysterious vibe to your own image.

Acid Motion Photoshop Kit

One punch of trippy melting shades, a dash of vivid glitches and here you are — looking at your craziest ideas come alive with an acid photo effect.

Glitch Matrix Photoshop Effect

Rewire the habitual perception of graphics with pumping electro beats, morphed into screen distortion photo effects!

written by

Ivan Gromov

Ivan is a Photoshop tutor and stock graphic designer who loves to create textures, templates, and all kinds of effects and tools for Adobe Photoshop. Be sure to check all his exclusive tutorials for Pixelbuddha!

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