In this After Effects tutorial, learn how to add some eye-catching action-style glitch effects to your text slates for your next movie trailer or hype reel.

As popular as they are, glitch effects in motion graphics are very difficult to pull off in a realistic way. The key is randomized animation and approaches that echo the chaos of a malfunctioning piece of electric equipment. Whether you’re going for the look of a CRT monitor slowly dying, or a sci-fi style display disabled by an electromagnetic pulse, the best way to achieve your desired effect is to make it as random as you can.

There are a lot of different ways to achieve the necessary randomness and chaos. Some of it can be done by hand, and some of it can be done by the software. But, the best way to do it is to use elements created by actually capturing glitches and chaos. RocketStock has a great pack elements that fit that exact description: Corruption 120 4k Distortion Elements.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at some creative ways to use these elements to make some cool glitchy titles for your next trailer or hype reel.

Want to follow along? Download the project file along with some free elements from the corruption pack.

Download Free Project Assets

Set Up Your Text Animation

The first step is to create your text look an animation. You want your text to be a self-contained element within a pre-comp. This way, it’s much easier to make changes to your text if you need to make a small alteration, as well as use the entire text layout itself as your necessary luma/alpha mattes.

Once you’ve designed your text the way that you want it, you need to go through and make quite a few cuts within your text element. Skip a couple of frames at a time and move the text somewhere random in the frame. I wouldn’t overthink this specific part of it.

Remember the randomness is key to achieving that convincing glitchy look.

Create Multiple Layers Of Text And Glitch Elements

Once you have your text set up, you can make as many copies of it as you want in your main design comp. This means every time you want to add a bit more glitch or even things like glow, you can make a new copy of your text element without affecting the other layers.

For this part of the process, grab one of the elements from the corruption pack and drop it above or below your text element (depending on the type of look you’re going for). Then, use the luma matte or alpha matte options to create an alpha channel for your corruption element.

Play around with Gaussian Blur on each text layer and expand the alpha channel of your text. This expands the effect of the corruption element further, creating texture around the edges.

From there you can add different colors and looks with the Glow and Curves effects.

Customize Your Background

Now you can add your background elements and finish out your scene.

You can build a full scene with a ground and rain and some car headlights, like the original example, or do something more subtle and simple.

In the tutorial I used some smoke elements from the Vapor pack from RocketStock.  These organically captured smoke elements quickly and easily added a layer of texture and style to the background.

Need Sound Effects?

If you need to add some sound to your glitch effects, be sure to check out this pack of 10 FREE Glitch Sound Effects.