Photosensitive Enby the Octopus

Vidding Photosensitivity Relay (VPR)

Vidding is the name for the hobby of editing fan-videos. Photosensitive individuals are often overlooked when creating and sharing content, making it hard for them to find videos that are safe to view. The VPR system seeks to change this by offering information on how to relay content advisories for common photosensitive risks.

If you'd like to read more about what can cause seizures to further help rate your video, please see WCAG (Web content accessibility guidelines) and/or Prodicle's Photosensitivity Prevention Best Practice Guideline - Production (link contains high risk GIFs).

Originally made for our BentoVid Discord server, this relay system has been designed to accommodate photosensitive individuals without Epilepsy so may not be suitable for those with different sensitivities.

However, we are happy to modify our information to make it more inclusive for wider adoption. Please join us in Discord ( to suggest changes for the VPR.


TL;DR: It's like a CW, but for photosensitivities

VPR Application

No Risk Videos

There will always be some risk associated with watching videos for photosensitive individuals. If you believe a video does not have any risk factors, you can use VPR: No Known.
It is important to still use VPR in these cases to show that photosensitivities were considered. Otherwise, it may come across as a normal (possibly risky) link to a photosensitive individual.

Writing VPRs

Briefly describe what visually happens in the video. Use timestamps if risk factors are isolated to one section.
Make this visible somewhere before the video starts playing.

A VPR is a balance between describing what happens visually in the video with timestamps while also not being too detailed. Generally one paragraph is all that is needed. If a video is overflowing with risk factors, there is no need to list timestamps for them all unless they are isolated to one section of the video.

The relay should be visible or easily found before the video begins to play.
Always put the VPR in the title, filename, description, and/or hyperlink text to the video.
If putting the VPR inside these is not possible, place them directly next to those elements.

When possible, identify what the exact risk factors of the video are (not just the categories). In the case of Youtube, this is most easily done by placing it in the video's description area. If a text VPR is impossible, or an additional VPR notice is desired, place the VPR inside the video itself as a title card or overlay before any risk factors play. The VPR should be on the screen for at least 2 full seconds and clearly legible. A video-based relay should not move.

Order of Elements

When summarizing a video's risk factors, they should be ordered from most likely to harm to least.

While this can vary in the context of your particular audience, most often this means the risks which happen the most frequently and/or with the most intensity come first, and are listed in this order until the last element, which has the least intesity and/or frequency.

When listing timestamps, the times should be listed chronologically.

Use of "Major" and "Minor"


These words are optional in the standard/full VPR. When used, "Major" refers to above-average intensity of risk factors and "minor" refers to below average intensity.

As an example, if the video has blurs throughout, but they are all no stronger than a radius of ~2, this could be called "minor blur" as they are weak compared to most blurs we normally see in fan vids.

If the vid has blurs and all of them have a radius of 100 or greater, that is much stronger than we're used to seeing in videos, and could be referred to as "major blur" if desired.


In shorter VPR variants, "major" and "minor" almost always refer to how often the risks occur.

For example, if a fan vid has no risk factors except for blurs from 0:25 to 0:30, shorter relays which do not use timestamps would instead use "minor blurs" since the blurs are only present in a small section of the video.

VPR Examples

While it is not required, it is recommended to give the short VPR variant directly followed by the standard/full VPR.

Super Happy Fluffy Jumping Times

VPR: Motion

Entirely comprised of characters jumping rope. Motions and patterns related to that are in every scene. Some zoom transitions.

0:10 double wipe transition
0:31 - 0:33 textured movement/distortion

An Eggcellent Adventure

VPR: motion, peripheral, minor red

Mixed media, but primarily 3D/CG animation. Transitions are cuts and some slow quick zooms with rare fades. Focuses on an uncooked egg, so most scenes include clear liquid motion and yellow yolk motion. Some soft light effects that for the most part should be predictable. Occasional peripheral effects, such as speedlines.

Stand outs:
Starts with dark blue scene
0:13 spotlight
0:31 bright + peripheral
0:53 - 0:56 fast moving grid bg
1:14 - 1:15 red + moving peripheral
1:19 - 1:27 white dip; black vignettes; animation change; lower framerate; 2d to 3d rain transition


VPR: Peripheral, overlays, minor motion, minor quick cuts, minor black cuts
CW: child abuse? blood

Video is letterboxed. Generally slow video with natural peripheral framing and soft but prominent light rays throughout, but mostly concentrated in the beginning. There is one part with quick cuts and a few rare parts with black cuts.
Isolated incidents with heavy light leaks, one section with natural particles (falling flower petals, etc). Rare isolated incidents of tunnel motion.

Times of note:
0:00 - 0:08 Video begins with tunnel motion
0:38 white tunnel motion
1:03 circles + tunnel motion
1:35 - 1:36 circular pattern
1:38 - 1:57 most particles
1:58 - 1:59 moving peripheral bottom right corner
2:14 circles


VPR: All

Semi-frequent flashing from lightning/lighting randomly throughout. First half of video uses a blurred vignette with color field offset. There are some sections of video with lower framerate than others. Some natural peripheral framing throughout, rare but isolated peripheral effects. Two isolated sections of red scenes. Transitions vary between cuts, blurs, and black dips.

0:05 video starts with characters near a mirror with a distinct frame
0:14 - 0:27 blur, peripheral, color offset, some twinkling and light flashing
0:47 - 0:49 peripheral + moving silhouette
1:06 - 1:24 low framerate
1:11 - 1:12 quick cuts
2:06 - 2:07 peripheral bidirectional moving black bars
2:19 - 2:26 red
2:33 - 2:38 red

Cyberpunk Resurrections

VPR: Major Strobes, major flashing & flickering, major peripheral, neon green, red/pink, blue, motion, minor red

Video has several glitch effects, hard lighting, flashing, quick cuts, flickering particles & patterns, and peripheral moving text/glitches. Neon green, red/pink, and blue are dominant throughout. Several natural strobes (e.g. trains) and some light strobes.


VPR Variants

Please use the full VPR whenever practical. However, we realize this is not always possible. Therefore, a few variants have been developed.

Short VPR

  • Only lists categories instead of specific risks and rarely gives timestamps.
  • Typically used before the full relay as a summary.
  • If there is a risk factor that only occurs in one part of the video (e.g. blurs only from 0:25 to 0:30):
    • With timestamps:
      VPR: blurs 0:25 - 0:30
    • Without timestamps:
      VPR: blurs 0:25 - 0:30 becomes VPR: minor blurs
      The singular risk is "minor" because it is only a minor part of the video.

Tiny VPR

This version of the relay uses letters and symbols and was constructed specifically for filenames.
If space is an issue, please use the short VPR in public-facing relays if at all possible.

The tiny variant starts with V_(uppercase "V" followed by an underscore) and uses the letters corresponding to each risk category to form the relay.

Average risks are indicated by uppercase letters and minor risks user lowercase. Major risks have a + (plus sign) prefix before the letter.
If increased legibility between the letters is desired, they may be seperated by an _ (underscore).

Short VPR: major flashing, major strobes, high contrast, minor peripheral
in Tiny VPR, would become:
V_+F+SCp or V_+F_+S_C_p

Adaptations for Events

It is important that the relays are video-specific. Photosensitive people are well aware of general risks for video watching, and a boilerplate advisory for the entire show does not help these viewers.

  • Award ceremonies, contests, convention viewings, etc., can help accommodate photosensitive individuals in an audience by using the relays on title cards.
  • Photosensitive risks can be displayed alongside other content warnings, or delineated with a header such as VPR or Potential photosensitive risks
  • Short VPR may be used when listing all risks is not possible
  • During on-demand showings or inn contexts where the identity of people with photosensitivities are known, digital or physical handouts with the VPRs for all videos may be given ahead of the showing(s).

Photosensitive Substitute Videos (PSVs)

You do not have to modify your editing style to accommodate photosensitive individuals. Using the relay is enough.

However, in some cases, (such as peer reviewing events like RICE) alternative versions of videos for accessibility purposes are desired. In these cases, we refer to the alternative video as a PSV.

There is no one way to make a video friendlier to photosensitive viewers, but here are a few generalized techniques that may help.

BentoVid is still currently experimenting with low time-cost solutions to making PSVs, so this article is somewhat of a stub. However, if you have any ideas or suggestions (especially if you are photosensitive), please let us know in the discord server!

General Techniques for Making PSVs

  1. Lower the contrast
    • Add a ~70% opacity gray overlay
    • Make the video grayscale
  2. Crop out peripheral elements
    • Do not use letterboxing or pillarboxing
    • Export the video at the same dimensions as the source footage
    • Crop the video to cut off any decorative frames, feather, vignetting, etc.
  3. Remove the risk factors
    • Remove flashing, flickering, motion effects, etc.
    • Replace risk-filled sections with representative stills (just 1 or 1 stills; do not use image sequences)

Distributing the PSV

  • Bundle the PSV with the original video
  • In the original's VPR information, briefly describe what was changed for the PSV
  • Give a VPR for the the PSV, if it is different from the original's
Example of a VPR with PSV

VPR: Flashing & flickering, high contrast, motion, overlays, peripheral

Hard & match cuts on a fairly consistent basis throughout. Many transitions include quick zooms. Some scenes with flashing fireworks. Intermittent scenes with circular rotation. Rare occasions of inversion/psychedelic/duplicitous scenes. Rare scenes with black bars, a vignette, or peripheral movement.

Video has a PSV with several changes. Entire video has a gray overlay, most flashing & flickering has been replaced with stills.
PSV VPR is: Peripheral, minor flashing, minor high contrast, minor motion

Potential CW: Video contains giant cicadas throughout.

0:00 - 0:01 Video starts with a black vignette and a high speed camera tilt
0:12 - 0:13 Moving peripheral, similar to a natural strobe [also in PSV]
0:29 letterboxing, grain overlay, bokeh flickering [in PSV without the grain overlay]
0:59 - 1:02 time echo, blurs, high contrast scene, fast barn door transition (peripheral) [less intense in PSV]
1:24 - 1:25 flickering, white flash
1:28 radial wipe
1:35 - 1:39  flickering light rays [less intense in PSV]
1:56 hard white/invert flash
1:58 fast moving sliding doors [less intense in PSV]
2:00 - 2:01 black vignette
2:05 - 2:16 high contrast, noise overlay, flickering with white flashes, peripheral  
2:31 - 2:40 glitch-like time echo, blurs, inversions [also in PSV]
2:47 - 2:51 black & white time echo, blurs, kaleidoscopic patterns [only time echo in PSV]
2:52 - 2:53 black vignette

Accessibility Without PSVs

Using VLC Media Player, you can add several different filters to videos while they play. Primarily of use are the brightness, contrast, and saturation sliders.

Common Photosensitive Risk Categories

Note: All links in this section lead to high risk videos or GIFs.

Remember: Your source can have these naturally! Your video can be a risk without adding any effects!

Strobes (S)


One of the most dangerous photosensitive risks as they are often the cause of seizures.
Strobes do not have to be single frames flashing by; they can also be a persistent switching at a slower, but continuous interval.

Light Strobes

The first type of strobe that usually comes to mind when you think of the word. It refers to switching between different high contrast colors, objects, or scenes at a persistent interval.

Natural-pattern Strobing

Another frequent trigger, these occur most often in nature and/or live-action videos.

Other Strobing

  • Optical moiré speedup or lenticular effects
  • Jerkiness, stuttering, choppy video, or footage that appears to be at a low fps rate.
  • Film strips
    (This would also be "P" and potentially "T", but "S" would take precedence)

Warps, Kaleidoscopes, & Psychedelia (W)


Kaleidoscopes & Psychedelia

Typically, these are textures, overlays, patterns, or particles (T) and/or intense colors (C) which have been taken to extremes, and thus should be separated into another category for specificity and caution.

Colors (C)

This category is almost entirely exclusive to animated videos.
Live-action videos with scenes in this category are mainly strobes, and should be labeled as such.

Special Consideration for Colors

Specific color(s) should always be named in relays. Individuals may have especially high sensitivity to particular colors, but not others.
When possible, include every color that would fall into this category. If there are flashing colors, patterns, or vivid silhouettes (e.g. the utena anime or persona games), include the specific color combinations (like "red/black high contrast scenes" or "red/green glitching").


High Contrast Colors & Scenes

Specify when the colors that stand out are in a scene that has high contrast.

Intense Colors

Generally, these are high contrast colors & scenes, but more severe and thus should be separated for specificity.


Flashing & Flickering (F)


Read more about flashing in the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines.


A flicker is a flash that is always present and may never reach 100% opacity

Textures, Overlays, Patterns, & Particles (T)

Textures & Overlays

These are any sort of texture or overlay where movement also occurs.
If the video moves while the overlay or texture does not, this counts as movement.
    Some examples
  • TV snow/noise or film grain
  • VHS effects
    (Could also count as "F" and/or "C")
  • Manga halftones
  • Moiré patterns
    (Though in some cases this may also be "S")
  • Animations with natural or added styles such as, or similar to, Gankutsuou or Mononoke
  • Noticable lightleaks, bokeh, and other similar overlays that may not fall into flashing and/or flickering
  • Heat haze
    (Which may also count as "W")


Any sort of pattern that appears on screen and has some type of movement or repeats over time.


This applies to the more obvious particle effects as well as "busy scenes," such as ones with complicated backgrounds or where several individual elements move independently.

Quick Changes (Q)

Generally speaking, almost all risk categories have things that happen quickly. "Quick Changes" is a special category for items which happen quickly but do not also fit any other category.

This category is for transitioning from one scene to another rapidly (quick fades or quick cuts), but only when the sequence does not otherwise qualify as a strobe.

  • Quick cuts
  • Quick fades
  • Several match cuts in succession
  • Cuts between zooms, such as cutting from 100% to 150% to 300% quickly in succession

Motion (M)

Motion effects or transitions that mimic fast camera movement can be risk factors. Such effects and transitions added in the editing process are easily identifiable, but many problematic scenes can be natural to a source.

Note: Dolly zooms should be Peripheral (P) or Warps (W) depending on behavior.

Blurs (B)

Any full screen blurs or blurring effects.
Note that the blur need only be present; you do not have to see the transition from unblurred to blurred for this to count as a risk.

  • Motion blurs
  • Gaussian blurs
  • Directional blurs
  • Etc.


  • Bokeh is either flickering (F) or texture (T), depending on behavior
  • Motion blur when used with zooms should only be counted as zooms and/or motion transitions (M)
  • If the blur only takes place around the border of the frame, it should be noted as Peripheral (P) instead

Peripheral (P)

Any effects or motion that happen in the peripherary or along the edges of frames/video can be risk factors.
Any type of peripheral effect would belong here, but always note whether the effect is moving.

Peripheral Effects

  • Vignettes
  • Borders
  • Glitches (on the edge)
  • Letterboxing or pillarboxing
  • Lens distortions
  • Anything that moves which only takes place near the edge of the frame or only one of its sides

Peripheral Framing

Noting peripheral framing is only necessary when the periphery elements are: (a) moving, or (b) straight lines, and/or (c) a different color from the rest of the frame.

  • When the rule of thirds or leading lines are taken to extremes
  • When the composition of a scene has straight lines near any of the edges
  • Dolly zooms (which may also be "W" based on behavior)
  • Examples: 1 | 2

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are you asking me to change my editing style to accommodate others?

No. Feel free to edit however you want! All we ask is that you label your video.

I don't want to use the VPR. Is there another way I can be considerate of photosensitive viewers?

Use of a standard Content Warning with an explanation of what is in the video will help.
Example: CW: flashing, red.

A generic notice like "flash warning," "photosensitivity advisory" etc. is also helpful, but more vague than a CW. Using "epilepsy warning" is discouraged. It can be seen as reductive and exclusionary. Photosensitive epilepsy is not the only form of epilepsy and many photosensitive individuals are not epileptic.

Is it a bad thing if my video has a lot of risk factors? The VPR is not a statement on the quality of your video. It is simply a label to allow greater access for photosensitive people to decide if they are able to watch your video or not. Think of it like a TW/CW. A video that has a CW or TW doesn't mean it's a bad video.

VPR System Changelog

2023 and Prior April 2023 - added changelog

Webpage redesign. Added several more risk categories, better documentation, VPR examples, PSV explanation, and this changelog.
Mostly an expansion & simplification of the previous VPR system.

    VPR system changes:
  • Changed the standard VPR to be a paragraph explaining what visually occurs in the video (off-site, this was previously known as an extended VPR).
  • Made "Short VPR" (the summary) its own thing
  • Delegated the letters-only filename-version of VPR as "Tiny VPR"
    Risk category list:
  • Flashing & Flickering (F)
  • Textures, Overlays, Patterns, & Particles (T)
  • Strobes (S)
  • Colors (C)
  • Quick Changes (Q)
  • Motion (M)
  • Blurs (B)
  • Peripheral (P)
  • Warps, Kaleidoscopes, & Psychedelia (W)

The original VPR system was completely scrapped as unhelpful. Working together with actual photosensitive individuals, we came up 4 general risk categories which almost everything could fit into.

    Risk category list:
  • Brightness & Contrast (B&C)
  • Motion (M)
  • Peripheral (P)
  • Red (R)

This version of the relay was essentially what became 2023's short VPR.


The original creation date of the VPR had a complex system using math to determine how often risk factors were present in a video and how much of the screen they took up. It had generic labels of "low" "medium" and "high" and did not categorize trigger types.