Make Killer Retro Screens: Static Overlay Effect in DaVinci Resolve 17

DaVinci Resolve 18/05/2022 4 min read

Getting that cool retro TV screen look may seem intimidating but it’s not that hard to do in DaVinci Resolve 17 as long as you have the right TV screen footage and static overlays. It’s a simple process of masking and blending the images in DaVinci to make a composite. Most of the work is done on the edit and color pages.

Part 1: Create a Realistic Retro TV Screen in DaVinci Resolve

To create the retro TV with a static effect you will need some specific footage and images. First up you need a video clip or still image of a retro TV like this stock footage clip we used, Retro TV with Static. This clip already has static on the screen but we won’t be using it since we want to show you how to do it with a clip that may not have this static. 

Next, you will need some static overlays like one of these, Television Noise Glitch Overlay, and you will also need the actual TV screen. Because the main screen we are using already has static that we don’t want to use we will use a still image like this one, Mini Television. If you can find an image with some realistic reflections on it, it would be even better. 

The last thing you will need is the footage you want to show on the TV screen with the static overlay. This could be your own footage or a clip like this one we used, Stylish Dancer Performing Vogue.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Place your footage on the first track in your timeline on the Edit page, then place the static clip on top of that clip and the retro TV clip on the top of both.
  2. Select the retro TV clip and go to the Color page. Here you need to mask the screen of the TV using a window with the Curve tool. Invert the window to mask only the TV screen and make sure you add an Alpha output to the node in order to show the mask. Feather the mask to create a clean edge.
  3. Back on the Edit page, you will now see your static showing on the TV screen. Select the static overlay clip and change the Composite mode to Add in the Inspector. Now your footage will show as well. Adjust the Opacity of the static overlay to get the right look.
  4. Resize the Static overlay and your footage to fit perfectly inside the screen and adjust the Lens correction for both to match the bulge of the screen on the retro TV. 

Your look is now almost complete but you will find it doesn’t look exactly right. That is because there is no actual screen.

  1. Move the Retro TV clip up one more layer and add the still image of the other Retro TV below it. Now resize and move the image until the screen sits perfectly inside your Retro TV clip. 
  2. Change the image Composite mode in the Inspector to add and lower the Opacity until you have the perfect look.
  3. Lastly, we will add some extra interest by adding zoom to the clip. Select all the clips, right-click and create a New Compound clip.
  4. In the Inspector enable Dynamic zoom. Adjust the start and endpoint in the viewer using the dynamic zoom overlay. 
  5. You can swap the Direction to Zoom In or Out.

Part 2: Create a Cool Transition Using Static Overlays

You can also use some static overlays to create a cool-looking transition between clips in DaVinci Resolve 17. You need two static transitions. One that is not too busy and one that is very busy. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. With your 2 clips next to each other on the timeline on the Edit page, place the less busy static clip on top of the transition point then trim it to the length of the transition.
  2. Place the busy static overlay on the next track and make it slightly shorter.
  3. Now change the Composite mode for both static overlay clips in the Inspector to Add and adjust the Opacity for the best look.
  4. From the Effects menu add the Camera Shake effect to both your original clips so we can add keyframes in the inspector.
  5. We want the camera effect to start just as the static starts and then increase and decrease again as the static stops.
  6. Use keyframes at the start of the transition and where it ends on the next clip along with the Motion Scale, Speed Scale, and Pan Amplitude settings to create the effect.

Done! You now have a cool static overlay transition created in DaVinci Resolve.

Part 3: Top 8 Static Overlay Effect Graphics for DaVinci Resolve Editors

1. Static Overlay

Static distortion overlay that can be used in a composition with a blending mode on a seamless loop. A great way for showing a broken video stream or feed in your next project.

Download Static Overlay Now

2. Flashing Retro TV Static

Vintage television screen with static in a seamless loop. Impressive retro tape glitches and noise distortion to create a realistic static look!

Download Flashing Retro TV Static Now

3. TV Screen Static Loop

A vintage television screen with colorful flashing static. Easily create authentic static loops that you can even use as a background.

Download TV Screen Static Loop Now

4. Bad Signal TV Static Loop

Retro TV screen overlay with static on in a seamless loop. Display lost signals with this pack of black and white or colorful static.

Download Bad Signal TV Static Loop Now

5. TV Scanlines Pack

A pack of 5 different 20-second clips of vintage television static. Use it as transitions between sections of your short clips or when going from one scene to another. 

Download TV Scanlines Pack Now

6. TV Noise Pack

This pack of 5 overlay clips of vintage TV static and noise can be used by simply dropping them on top of your edit and changing the blending modes.

Download TV Noise Pack Now

7. Blue TV Static

Blue TV static on a vintage CRT television screen overlay or background. Use it in various combinations to create a unique signal interference, flickering, and noise.

Download Blue TV Static Now

8. Old TV Static Overlay

Analog CRT screen static on a seamless loop overlay. Perfect for adding a ’90s TV look to any footage. To use, drag and drop onto a composition with a blending mode.

Download Old TV Static Overlay Now

A static overlay along with some stock footage of a retro TV can create an awesome effect in DaVinci Resolve by using a combination of masking and blend modes. It is a simple effect to achieve and you can go even future and use the static overlays to create a cool transition as well.  Another related effect is the old VHS look. If you are looking for additional retro effects, have a read to learn how to create a VHS effect in DaVinci Resolve.