Finding style presets for use in Premiere Pro CC could be a daunting task, especially if you’re looking for ones that are free and worthwhile at the same time. More often than not, the good-looking presets are made by companies who charge big bucks, even if all you get is a usable preset or two per purchase at best.
Fortunately, there is a decent number of skillful content creators out there who are not only talented enough to create some fantastic custom presets but are also generous enough to give them out for free. One of those folks is the seasoned video editor and filmmaker Austin Newman who has recently released a retro preset pack for use in Premiere Pro CC that brings some awesome retro looks, mimicking the style of the good old VHS days.
Inside of the pack, you get five really customizable and easy-to-use presets. The styles range from simple VHS imperfection overlays to interesting and playfully over-the-top looks. It’s also important to note that some of these presets aren’t simply drag-and-drop and will require a few extra steps to customize as outlined in the video above.
The first preset included in the pack is called Retro Dream and gives your images a neon and dreamy retro look with soft edges and a noticeable amount of blur. Thankfully, this effect is simple to use since all you need to do is drag and drop the preset onto your footage. As Newman points out, the filter is perfect for darker footage as the more gloomy the scene is, the more prominent the result will be.
The next effect in the pack is an RGB split which does require a bit of effort to use (although the steps involved are really simple). To pull this off, begin by duplicating your footage twice and stacking the duplicates on top of the original. You should also have three instances of your clip. Next, in the Retro Look preset folder, drag and drop the corresponding effect depending on the preset title.
For instance, apply the RGB Split (top/red) effect to the top layer, and then repeat for the corresponding layers and effects. Afterward, to create the split, play around with the position of the top two layers to control the amount of RGB split, thereby changing the intensity of the effect.
Third on the list is the TV Box Lines preset which emulates the Venetian blind lines we used to see on old televisions. To apply this look to your clip, create a new black video in the project bin and then place that over your footage. After adding the TV Box Lines effect to the black video, you should see your footage with the old scan lines from television of yesteryear.
The last two effects are both meant to convey the sense that your footage was shot on VHS by introducing grain, scan lines, and some sharpening to the image. Newman includes a variation of the VHS effect by creating a preset with similar aesthetics but has some horizontal jitter to make it appear as if the footage was damaged over time.
Again, kudos to Austin Newman for creating this fantastic retro presets and before I utterly forget it, here’s the link to download the pack right away.