Glitch groove

Glitch Groove

This latest effort was an excuse to try out a glitch technique in After Effects (explained below).

This is video #42 of my #100videoclips project. The music is Mystical Call by Flowertz, from their album Kumbhaka, available on

The Inspiration

I’ve seen lots of examples of “glitch” art and video, but I haven’t done it much. I like the idea of using and pursuing mistakes on purpose in the name of art, since mistakes are often a part of the process anyway.

In the past, when I’ve used Time Displacement in After Effects, I’ve noticed that some glitchy things can happen during the process of setting it up to do some non-glitch thing. Ever since, I’ve wanted to go back and try to glitch it on purpose.

I had never actually read about anyone doing it, but just now I searched for “glitch using time displacement in After Effects,” and not surprisingly, others have figured it out before.

What I Did

This process required a lot of processing power (rendering the 1 1/2 minute video required more than 3 hours), but the basic concept is very simple:

Use the Time Displacement effect in After Effects on a video, using a different video as the Time Displacement layer to glitch the first layer.

I created an uncluttered base video (me dancing in front of a white backdrop), but then used a smartphone video of a dance class demonstration as the time displacement layer. The second video is kind of lo-fi, vertical instead of horizontal, and moving around a lot: not great as a video, but interesting as a glitch layer.

I experimented with different segments of the video (and other videos as well, but I ended up liking the dance class one the best) until I got something I liked.

Rather than rendering the video in After Effects, I imported the AE file into Premiere Pro. That makes for higher-quality files using less space, but it does mean the final rendering time is horrendous.

In Premiere Pro, I also layered a few sections of the video using Blend modes. The second video layer is just the first glitched clip but played backwards with a Darken blend mode applied, and color modified using the Invert effect but just on the Blue channel, which results in the yellow backdrop.