RETROGRADE Universe Retrograde

Retrograde is a set of tools for creating the truly realistic look and damage of old 16MM and 8MM film.

Getting Started   Premiere_icon AfterEffects_icon FinalCutPro_icon Motion_icon Vegas_icon Hitfilm_icon Resolve_icon

  • Drag the uni.Retrograde effect onto your clip.


Click the Browse Presets button to see the presets based on real-world lenses. Double-click any preset to apply. Once a preset is selected, you will see its name selected within the Film Stock drop-down menu below.

Film Stock

Real analog source material was used to create the unique film textures in Retrograde. The 8mm and 16mm film stock options were created from DPX laser scans of old, commonly used Kodak and Fuji film. You might do a double take as your footage is transformed into something that belongs to another era! 8mm film is a smaller film with larger artifacts and more apparent grain. 16mm film is a larger film stock which gives your footage smaller artifacts and features a subtler grain.

Note: The host app will always respect the film stock size (8mm or 16mm) and Color Settings of the Retrograde Preset Menu over the Film Stock menu. Changing the Film Stock menu to a different film stock than the one selected in the Retrograde Preset menu will result in even subtler changes in the film grain, saturation, and color tint to your clip, but the Retrograde preset will always remain the dominant setting. After choosing your overall and film stock presets, you are ready to dial in your look with the advance controls listed below.

18 FPS

After applying Retrograde, you’ll notice that the 18 FPS box is checked “On” by default. 18 FPS emulates the subtle jerky, stuttered effect commonly seen in home movie film cameras. Uncheck this box to return to your original frames-per-second settings on the clip.

Frame & Vignette

  • Frame Size sets the aspect ratio of your frame.
    • By default, the 4:3 option crops the image into the look of older television and “academy” footage. You will lose the sides of your image, so be aware of the compositional changes when making this choice.
    • In contrast, the 16:9 Frame Size setting will generally match up with your original HD video aspect ratio and will give you the full image within the frame.
    • The Square option option will crop your footage down further into a square frame with rounded edges for a style that closely matches the look of vintage and home films.
  • Image Offset can be useful in selecting which section of the image you want within your frame. Animate image offset using keyframes to create a “gate weave” shifting effect.
  • Edge Style settings recreate the subtle idiosyncrasies of frame edges from various cameras, film processing, and projection methods. Choose from clean, cutout, faded or projector edges.
  • Vignette adds subtle darkness to the film edges. Turning the control up increases the vignette effect by adding darkness towards the center of the frame. Turning the control down decreases the vignette by pulling the darkness back from the center.

Color Treatment

The Color Treatment Control Group isn’t simply for the color channels of your footage. In the black and white preset you can see the changes after tweaking these settings.

  • Film Fading controls the amount of contrast within the image. Raise the control to 100 to flatten the image out, giving it a “washed out” or faded feel. Set the slider closer to zero to keep higher contrast between light and dark areas. Adding film fading may bring out more grain within your footage, especially footage shot in low lighting.
  • Color Process and Saturation controls are directly related to the film stock selection in the Film Stock drop-down menu. The color tint is generated from the unique color of the overlaid film stock. Use these controls to decrease or increase the color tint. Even in black and white, these controls will provide some noticeable tinted effects.
  • Exposure controls lighten or darken the overall scene. -100 yields a dark, underexposed look, while +100 gives you an overexposed effect that bleaches out the shadow details.
  • Blur softens the focused areas of the footage. When animated with keyframes, it can be especially useful for recreating the effect of an “amateur photographer” trying to find correct focus.
  • Flicker recreates the animated strobe effect of projected film. Higher values may darken your footage slightly.


Though the Retrograde film stocks options provide realistic textures and grain to your project, there are some scenarios when you may want to add even more character and age. The Grime group of Controls can help you add more imperfections common to old film stocks and projections.

  • Dust Count adds animated flecks and dirt. Increase the value to add more bits of dust.
  • Dust Scale adjusts the size of the dust.
  • Hair Count adds random bits of hair commonly found in old projects. Increasing the hair count adds more hair.
  • Hair Scale increases or decreases the size of the hair.
  • Splotch Count can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of splotches in your video.
  • Splotch Scale increases or decreases the size of the individual splotches.
  • Splotch Opacity defines how clear or apparent the damage is in your clip.
  • Splotch Lightness controls how light or dark the splotches appear.