I find this great image of VCR OSD Mono, but I dont have any idea, whats the name of the effect: enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Same looking phenomenas which are not software effects:

  • Chromatic aberration in camera lenses due low quality or intentional design for this effect
  • Distortion when things are watched through non-uniformly thick glass or other transparent solid or liquid.
  • RGB convergence error in cathode ray tube displays

In all cases red, green and blue components of white light do not meet exactly in the same places.

In glass the reason is wavelength dependent light propagation velocity. The name of the physical phenomena is "dispersion". It occurs in glass and many other transparent solid and liquid materials. In lenses it's generally considered to be an error (=chromatic aberration) due poor design or cheap glass materials. In prisms it's intentionally used to split white light to colors. In the nature we see it for ex. as rainbows.

In CRT displays the reason is a fault, poor manufacturing tolerance or disturbing magnetic field (=a common practical joke in the era before flat displays)

One would perhaps like to add to the list poor color registration in printing, but I leave it out, because your image seems to have RGB displacement, not CMYK.

In photoshop or other bitmap graphics software the effect can be made by shifting R,G and B channels a little apart. It's discussed in this older case:

How can I recreate this holographic iridescent water effect in Photoshop?

In vector graphics program the effect is easy if the program has blending mode ADD. Simply stack three copies of the same shape, but shift them a little apart. In the next image there's three A-letters: red, green and blue. They have blending mode=ADD.

enter image description here

The screenshot is from Affinity Designer. My legacy Illustrator hasn't blending mode ADD, but the result is at least subjectively quite same with blending mode SCREEN.


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