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Forums Field Production Recording onto VHS, and back again…

  • Recording onto VHS, and back again…

  • Sam Alderson

    July 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Hi guys,
    I really need some help, and I’m sorry I’m not sure if this is the right forum to post this question but anyway…
    I have finished making a 1990s themed music video in Adobe After Effects. To give it an authentic look I want to record onto a VHS tape and then back onto my computer before it goes on YouTube. Any ideas on the best way to do this?
    I tried using a DVD player with a USB slot, putting the .mov on the USB and pluging the AV OUT of the DVD player into the AV IN of the VCR and taping. It worked okay but the image width looked a bit squished and it was also in black and white for some reason.
    Any ideas would be greatly, GREATLY, appreciated.


  • Mads Nybo Jørgensen

    July 15, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Hey Sammy,

    Respect for trying to do the digital to VHS to digital conversion the hard way.

    There can be a number of reasons as to why your signal is monochrome, including frame size, frame rate, copy protection (Not all DVD players will allow recording of their signal), Sync etc.

    I would suggest either:
    1) Shop around for a USB to composite video out – there should be quite a few of those around and should not break the bank.
    2) Use a “BAD TV” effect in AE. It is free and comes as standard. Alternatively there are third party plugins that will emulate VHS/1980’s television.
    3) Go to places like pond5 where you can purchase effect footage such as “TV Noise VHS” on a loop starting for overlaying on top of your video starting from only $10.00 – just searched and found several different variations.

    Hope this helps.

    All the Best

    @madsvid, London, UK
    Check out my other hangouts:
    Twitter: @madsvid

  • Richard van Harderwijk

    July 15, 2014 at 9:23 am

    For the monochrome: perhaps you picked the Y Cb Cr (YUV) output; or your DVD is not set to composite. On the Y is the Luma (black and white) signal, and on the other two is the chroma (color) information. So picking the Y plug gives a monochrome signal.

    Check the setup of your DVD player. The composite is a yellow plug, it should have the full video signal in the mediocre quality you are looking for. Interesting project! If it works, this hardware route should give the most authentic feeling, including low resolution, smear, etc.

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