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Top 11 Style Effects for VJs to elevate your vj-ing experience!

The article is written by a human. Mistakes have been edited by AI.

Hello dear VJs and clients of LIME ART GROUP. I am new media artist Alexander Kuiava and in this article, I want to introduce you to the most interesting effects and trendy styles that we use in our work, as well as styles that have earned a reputation as reliable and frequently used methods in VJing over the years.

Right away, I’ll say that writing about things like styles, trends, or effects is not always a useful thing. There will always be many haters who will vehemently argue the opposite and defend their own unique styles or methods. But we don’t mind. The more diverse concepts, ideas, methods, and trends there are in the VJ industry, the better and more qualitatively the VJing industry will develop. Each company, each VJ, in their potential, can bring their ideas and show their uniqueness.

But before we move on to the list of the top 11 stylistic effects for VJs, let’s first understand where these styles come from and how they originate.

And as it seems to me, there are three main components:

  1. Visual Style determined by space, event location:
    • The visual style is influenced by the space, the event location, or the form of the projected surface. For example, in an asymmetrical stage design, using visuals with a mirror effect might not be aesthetically pleasing. The spatial context plays a crucial role in shaping the visual style.
  2. Style, Trend, or Effect launched by musical artists & showbiz companies:
    • Styles, trends, or effects often originate from the musical artists whose shows become viral and globally renowned. Examples include Eric Prydz with his 3D holographic show or Anyma with 3D animated content. The fusion of music and visuals creates a memorable and influential experience.
  3. Frequently Used Effect Becomes Accessible:
    • Frequently used effects often become popular due to the dominance of VJ software in the market. For instance, some effects in Resolume, a widely used VJ software, are employed by tens of thousands of VJs worldwide, making these effects trendsetting due to their widespread accessibility.

However, it’s essential not to forget that there are other industries and markets that frequently influence adjacent industries with their trends. I once attempted to analyze the entire creative market and realized that the inception of a trend often begins in graphic design. It then transitions to motion design, and only later reaches the VJing industry. Architecture, for instance, tends to be one of the last industries to be influenced by such trends.

 

Ask Google about Motion Design Trends

Therefore, we also recommend periodically searching on Google for the:

Best Trends in Motion Design in 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027,

and so forth. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to search for the Best Plugins for After Effects, 3dsMax, Cinema4D, and the like. By the way, we recently wrote two excellent articles—one for the LIME ART GROUP website titled “Top-7 Must-Have Plugins for Adobe After Effects” and another for Video Mapping Store titled “Top 5 Must-Have Plugins for Projection Mapping in Adobe After Effects.”

In any case, we recommend keeping an eye on software developers’ updates and plugins for these programs, as they often stay at the forefront, striving to incorporate technologies and methods that create trendsetting effects. Stay informed, explore new possibilities, and embrace the innovations that the world of motion design and VJing has to offer. After all, staying on the cutting edge of technology and trends is key to pushing the boundaries of creativity in the ever-evolving landscape of visual arts.

So, here are 11 fantastic stylistic effects for video compositions that VJs use in VJing.

Mirror Effect and Symmetry:

Why is this effect and style of creating visual content still in demand? Year after year, our clients continue to purchase our video art, including symmetrical abstractions, and sales of such content are growing on our website and platforms like Shutterstock, Pond5, and Adobe Stock. The reason is simple—over 90% of event organizers and their contractors set up stages in a symmetrical form, along with placing LED screens in a symmetrical arrangement. Despite the critics claiming it’s too simple, more and more VJs worldwide are buying content with symmetrical visuals or using mirror effects in VJ software.

The mirror effect quickly creates a beautiful abstraction for the audience’s eyes. If someone has an issue with that, well, it’s a matter of personal taste. Nature has always and will always strive for symmetry and balance. Moreover, we’ve placed symmetry at the center of our content. When the entire visual is designed to emphasize the artist’s uniqueness on stage, whether it’s a showbiz artist or a DJ, beautiful abstract wings will always unfold behind our artist’s back.


Glitch and Pixel Sorting:

Fans of heavy techno and drum and bass parties will appreciate these effects. The glitch effect is not new, but with the right composition and its application to key elements in the visual, you can achieve stunning rave effects. Today, there are many plugins for Adobe After Effects that can help create an interesting visual with glitch effects. The most interesting ones include:

  • Datamosh 2 by Plugin Play
  • Data Glitch by Rowbyte
  • Glitch Control by MegaKrunch

But even more sophisticated is the pixel sorting effect. If you use pixel sorting on symbolic content, you can create truly creative and unique video compositions.


Download our Glitch VJ Loops Bundle!
Immerse yourself in a world of glitchy wonders with this exclusive bundle that brings together Full HD VJ loop packs. Crafted in a minimal and techno style, these glitch effect video loops and motion backgrounds are perfect for DJs and VJs alike. Elevate your creative projects, music events, and EDM performances with the mesmerizing visual dynamics of this unique collection.


Monotone colors & tone minimalism:

Very often, many VJs make the mistake of having an excess of layers in their composition. This can turn the entire image into visual clutter rather than a visually pleasing composition. The use of no more than 1-2 or 3 colors at a time in your composition is the best solution.

Firstly, it reduces the chances of errors in the composition. Secondly, VJs almost always work closely with a lighting artist, and they should complement each other. Therefore, sometimes, having just one color in your composition is sufficient, as the lighting designer can recreate the entire additional color palette using moving heads and other lighting equipment.

From personal experience, it can be firmly stated that a beautiful video composition in VJing can be created with 2-3 layers and 1-2 colors. It can be much more visually appealing than a haphazard piece with 7 colors and 10 layers. Stick to minimalism and restraint; it will always be in trend and look more sophisticated.


Black and White Masks:

White elements on a black background and black elements isolated on a white background are often used by VJs and visual artists as transitions. However, these are also beautiful masks that can give new shapes and figures to your symbolic or thematic visual content. This style is deep and extensive, offering colossal possibilities for mixing and composing any video content.

Now, imagine if there were not just two colors, black and white, but an additional depth and a gradation spectrum from white to black with shadows. Exactly. That’s what our beautiful Video Mapping Loops creation achieves. You can use these footages to achieve a 3D effect in video mapping, but you can also use them in VJing as black and white masks for your main content!


3D animation &  3D characters:

Another old-new trend that has been revitalized, inspired by Eric Prydz with his 3D holographic show and the audiovisual project Anima with their beautiful Afterlife events. Creating 3D animated characters is a complex task, but thankfully, there are now numerous digital assets and animation sprites available to facilitate the creation of fast and high-quality animations. Examples include Mixamo by Adobe, Daz3D, and Unreal Engine. Technical tools like Rokoko Smartsuits can also help translate specific human movements onto a 3D model.

By the way, the Anima project’s audiovisual shows are an excellent example of how a viral idea, project, or show can generate demand for such content or style.

In our LIME ART GROUP VJ Loops Shop we have several VJ Loops Packs with 3D animation. Just look to it:


3D Naked Eye:

Within this trend, there’s a distinct style known as “3D Naked Eye.” This occurs when content is modeled and animated with consideration for the viewer’s specific position, and screens or projecting surfaces are positioned to align with the viewer’s line of sight.

A prime example is the 3D show by Eric Prydz. Essentially, it’s the same 3D animated content, but it’s rendered to match the intended angle and against a black background. While 3D Naked Eye may not be considered an effect per se, it’s more of a method for creating content. Nevertheless, it remains intriguing in its presentation.


Visual Patterns and Tile Effect:

One of our favorite effects in the Resolume program is the Tile Effect. This effect is excellent in terms of efficiency and scalability. From a small footage, which, by the way, may not be of the highest quality, you can recreate visuals that fill all the walls in an interior.

In essence, the Tile Effect works well for interior mapping projections or for videos with elongated resolutions. You need a small footage with a grid of different elements. Add the Tile Effect, and you can extend your video horizontally or vertically without losing quality. By using such patterns and this effect, you can create interesting immersive motion backgrounds.


Tunnel Flights:

Honestly, I’m not a fan of this effect. In our store, we only have 2-3 collections of footages with this effect. This is because, in our view, visuals should complement the stage’s form and the overall composition of the space. Tunnel flights, on the other hand, seem to separate the screen from the stage and the artist. I can’t pinpoint where this effect originated or who decided that when you search for “VJ Loops,” Google should flood you with thousands of tunnel flight footages. However, it’s clear that a few of these footages should be in your collection.

In any case, if you choose to use this style, it’s best to keep the flight to a minimum, literally 50-100 pixels along the Z-axis in 3D space. For example, during a shake effect, the visual might shift not only sideways but also slightly in depth. The beauty of this style lies in the fact that you can overlay anything on the tunnel flight effect. You can fly through clouds, cybernetic tunnels, futuristic rooms, along Synthwave-style beaches, or simply have abstract flights.


Strobing and Neon Outlines:

I believe this effect needs no explanation and is in the status of a must-have for every VJ. You can use it as ready-made content or as the effect itself in the required software. By the way, when we develop VJ loops packs for rave or techno parties, we always try to include at least 3-4 footage with a strobe effect. It also looks very appealing when the strobe doesn’t cover the entire video but is focused on specific objects in your video art, serving as an outline for key elements.


AI-Generated Content:

While reviewing various performances and VJ mixes on YouTube from different VJs in 2022-2023, I can see that the use of AI-generated content is gaining traction in VJ sets. This appears to be the future, where we’ll see an increasing number of visuals that are either directly created using AI or mixed using AI-driven techniques. For example, here is one of the latest visuals we created – 3D animation in Daz3D with generated elements using StyleGAN, StableDiffusion.

This trend is likely to grow, and we can anticipate more visuals that showcase the capabilities of artificial intelligence in the realm of VJing, creating innovative and unique visual experiences.


Symbolic Content:

No matter how technology evolves, we live in a world of people—a world of signs and symbols. It’s a world of national holidays and cultural events. There will always be a demand for symbolic and iconic content, from skulls and pumpkins for Halloween to animations of national symbols for events in different countries. So, whether you generate the French flag through AI, create it with 3D animation, or capture it on camera, it will always be in demand. By the way, in line with my personal strategy, I came up with the project “National Elements” that I’ll be working on for the next 20 years. If you have national content, I invite you to collaborate.

In summary, I hope this article was helpful for you. Follow my Instagram @alexanderkuiava, where I share my experience in the world of media arts and VJing.

Best wishes from Vienna,
Thanks for your attention, faithfully yours,
Alexander Kuiava – Founder & CEO LIME ART GROUP
https://alexanderkuiava.com/