How Do You Make a Video Quality Bad in After Effects?

If you’re a video editor, you may be wondering why anyone would want to know how to make a video quality bad in After Effects. However, there are certain situations where you might actually want to intentionally degrade the quality of your footage. For example, if you’re creating a retro or vintage-style video, a low-quality look can add to the overall aesthetic.

Fortunately, there are several ways to make your video quality bad in After Effects. In this tutorial, we’ll go over some of the most common techniques.

1. Reduce the Resolution

One of the easiest ways to degrade the quality of your footage is by reducing its resolution. You can do this by going to “Composition” > “Composition Settings” and then adjusting the dimensions of your composition. For example, if your footage is 1920×1080, you could reduce it to 960×540 or even lower.

Keep in mind that reducing the resolution too much can make your footage look pixelated and blurry. So experiment with different resolutions until you find one that gives you the desired effect.

2. Add Noise

Another way to make your video quality bad is by adding noise or grain. This can give your footage a gritty, low-quality look that’s often associated with old film stock.

To add noise in After Effects, go to “Effect” > “Noise & Grain” > “Add Grain.” From here, you can adjust the amount and size of the grain until you get the desired effect.

3. Apply a VHS Effect

If you really want to go for that vintage look, try applying a VHS effect to your footage. This will give it that classic distorted and glitchy appearance.

There are several VHS plugins available for After Effects that can help achieve this effect. Some popular ones include Red Giant’s Universe VHS and CrumplePop’s EchoRemover.

4. Use a Low-Quality Codec

Another way to intentionally degrade your video quality is by using a low-quality codec. This will compress your footage and reduce its overall quality.

To do this in After Effects, go to “Composition” > “Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue.” In the Media Encoder, select a low-quality codec such as H.264 with a low bitrate.

Keep in mind that using a low-quality codec can result in your footage looking blocky or pixelated. So use this technique sparingly.


In conclusion, intentionally degrading the quality of your video can be a creative choice that adds to the overall look and feel of your project. There are several techniques you can use in After Effects to achieve this effect, including reducing the resolution, adding noise, applying a VHS effect, and using a low-quality codec.

Experiment with these techniques and see what works best for your project. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to make your video quality bad – it’s all about achieving the desired effect for your specific project.