The '90s are back. The golden era of video games and 3D computer graphics. CD players, beepers, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, AOL, JNCO jeans, Dunkaroos, Beanie Babies, Tamagotchis, Pokémon. I could go on and on about how awesome (and terrible) the '90s were.
This time we're target-locking on specific apps that'll give your photos and videos a retro '90s aesthetic to make them stand out from the crowd.
Hold on to your butts because here we go!
We're so spoiled these days with our fancy 4K and uncanny-valley graphics, but in the early '90s, graphics were limited, and those of us who were lucky enough to have computers at home probably had one from the '80s — which meant even crappier low-res graphics.
BitCam is a simple camera app that mimics the style of old-school computer operating systems like the Classic Mac OS. You get three different grain levels of pixelation (FatBits, Standard and Super-Res). To get color graphics, however, you'll need need to pay $1.99.
2. VHS Photo App
Ignore the name, it has almost nothing to do with the app and after installation, it shows up as "Chromatic."
With this app, though, you can either take a photo or edit an existing photo and give it a chromatic stereoscopic 3D effect. You only get controls for adjusting the angle and radius of the effect, but's more than enough to get the retro aesthetic.
The only annoying thing about the app is you have to deal with ads. And there's no way to pay to remove them.
3. Camcorder – Record VHS Home Videos
Ahh, the '90s, when scan lines and VHS tape ruled. There are lots of VHS camcorder apps out there — most of them free — and they all do pretty much the same thing.
This one is free and records in a cropped 4:3 aspect ratio (but with pillarboxing) for that extra old-school look. In true '90s fashion, videos have a time and date timestamp in the corner and glitch lines that run across the footage.
To really sell your fake '90s footage, be sure to shake the camera and do big side-to-side pans and swoops to replicate the big, bulky video cameras of a bygone era.
Though the '90s eventually brought us advanced 3D computer graphics, 2D sprites still ruled the gaming world. Game consoles like NES, SNES, Sega Genesis and Commodore 64 (some of which actually came out in the '80s) made sprite-based art commonplace in that decade.
Famicam64 replicates dozens of different game and computer graphics styles from that era, including even the ill-fated Virtua Boy's awful headache inducing red-3D aesthetic.
Why is an app called 1967 in a roundup about reproducing the look of the 1990s? Because the filters reproduce the effect of many of the film filters that I used in the '90s, when film was on its last legs. 1967's is also notable for its simple interface.
The app gives you 10 free filters and all 64 if you pay $1.99, which is pretty damn reasonable.