I read somewhere one time that programmers haven’t been able to accurately replicate the effect that camera film gives. Adding grain in photoshop or lightroom does an adequate job but after awhile people are able to tell. I’m usually able to tell when grain has been added in photoshop or lightroom. And if you’ve shot film you know when you’re looking at a film vs digital image…there’s just a different quality about film which I really like and which is why I’ve been shooting film lately. Expired film, in particular.
Anyway, what VSCO did was scan in different films…Kodak 400, Fuji, Ilford 3200…and extract the grains and effects that those films give and make a lightroom filter out of them. Not only that, but what they realized is that film can be inconsistent so they give you different variations of that film. The Ilford 3200 filter is just the standard Ilford 3200 look. Ilford 3200+ filter is more grainy and the Ilford 3200++ filter is even more grainier.
Then you can cross process and make different versions of them using the basics that they give you. They also give you tools to take out grain altogether, so if you want the tones/look without the grain/texture you’re able to do so.