Why do you need to blur someone’s face?  To protect their identity or privacy, or if they didn’t sign a “talent release” which allows you to broadcast their likeness.  This comes in handy for anything you need to blur out, really: maybe you need to censor an offensive word on someone’s T-shirt, or they have branding you can’t show on your broadcast.  Whatever the case may be, learning how to blur can be a handy tool when you’re not sure if something should be shown in your video.  Here’s how to do it in Adobe Premiere.

Blur Stuff in Premiere

  • Find the clip with the face you need to blur in the timeline.
  • You’ll need to duplicate the clip and place it just above the original clip.  To do this, click on the original while holding down the Alt/Option key, place the silhouette above the clip and release.
  • Double-click your copy.
  • Go to the Effects Tab.  Search for and apply the Mosaic effect (it will be under Video Effects/Stylize).
  • Search for the Crop effect and apply it to the duplicate clip (under Video Effects/Transform).
  • You’ve got one more effect to apply: the Gaussian blur (under Video Effects/Blur & Sharpen).
  • After all three effects are applied, go to your Mosaic effect and adjust the horizontal and vertical settings, where you can make the blocks big or small.
  • Go to your Gaussian blur effect and increase the blur in order to make your blocks smoother.
  • Go to your Crop effect and make sure all the toggle animation buttons are highlighted, which creates a keyframe that allows you to move your effect when the person’s head moves.
  • Click the square box next to the word Crop for a bounding box to appear around the footage.
  • Adjust the box so that the effect only covers the subject’s face.
  • Now scroll through your footage every couple of frames so that you can adjust the blur to stay on the subject’s face.  Keep all of your keyframes enabled because you want it to follow the subject throughout the clip.

Like these tips?  Here are some more great things you can do in Premiere:

View The Full Video Transcript

Hey I’m Stephen Schweickart with this episode of the Reel Rebel and today, you’re going to learn an advanced editing technique that will help your business videos. It’s how to blur people’s faces!

There are usually many reasons why you need to blur people’s faces in your video footage. Maybe you need to protect someone’s identity, privacy, or you just plain forget to have someone sign a release… (Uncle Sam pointing at the lens) You know better than that! You need that person’s face out of the picture and I’m here to show you how to do that.

There are a TON of ways to get this done using a variety of programs… I’m going to get you there using Adobe Premiere

  • You’ve found your latest victim’s face in your timeline and you need to duplicate that clip right above the original.
  • Click the original while holding down the “alt-option” key, drag the silhouette above your original clip, and release.
  • Double-click your copy, go to the effects tab to search and apply the “Mosaic” edit; you will find it beneath “video effects-stylize”
  • I also want you to search for the “Crop” effect and apply it to the duplicate clip as well
  • The final effect you’re going to search for and apply is the “Gaussian Blur”
  • All three effects have been applied to your clip, go into the “Mosaic” effect and adjust the horizontal and vertical settings. you can make the boxes big or small, just a matter of preference.
  • The next thing to do is adjust your “Gaussian Blur” settings by increasing the blur to make your blocks smoother.
  • Before you jump into the “Crop” settings, make sure all the toggle animation buttons are highlighted by clicking on them. This creates a “Key Frame,” which allows you to move your effect with the movement of the subject.
  • Click that square box next to the word “Crop” to add a crop outline around your footage.
  • You’re going to adjust your “Crop” so it only covers your victim’s face.
  • The only thing left to do now is to scroll through your footage every couple frames to move the blur so it stays on your victim’s face.

  • Remember to keep all of your key frames enabled because you want that effect to follow the movement of your victim’s face.

You made it! This might be the first Mount Everest for beginners you’ve had to climb, but if you stick with me AND click the subscribe button below, it won’t be your last!