Blurring Faces in Videos

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by WesCole, May 13, 2011.

  1. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010

    I have been taking more movies recently and, while a lot of them would be great to put on YouTube, many of the people in the videos don't want their faces all over the internet.

    That is where my question comes in:

    I use iMovie to do most of my video editing. Is there a way to blur out the faces of moving people in videos with iMovie? I have searched and found a workaround for non-moving objects, but still can't find anything for moving objects. I don't really want to spend the small fortune for Final Cut since I just do this as a hobby.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Unfortunately I can't answer your question with your limitations but I use BorisFX "Witness Protect" which has a built in motion tracker. It is part of their BCC line which I highly recommend.
  3. WesCole thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    That looks like a great set of tools, but the cost of the BCC package is way too much for what I am doing right now. :)

    However, if I ever win the lottery, they will definitely get my business.

    Thanks for the suggestion, though.
  4. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    If you do get a compatible NLE, you can download the trial and it works free for 2 weeks. So maybe get all your videos ready and bang them all out during the trial. :p
  5. jwheeler, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011

    jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    Are you a student?

    Edit: This was a rubbish piece of software 4 years ago. Not sure if that's changed. But it's free. So see if you can do it with it?
  6. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    If you have After Effects, you can do this a number of ways as well. I don't know anything about iMovie, unfortunately.
  7. kreach macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
  8. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    You say this is a hobby, you also say these 'would be great' to put up on YouTube. Would they be as great with blurred faces in every scene? Who is your audience? Why the great need to upload these videos?

    I mean, what kind of videos are we talking about that you have this burning desire to upload with blurred faces and all?

    If it's for family, you can always just limit access to your YouTube account and not let the videos be searchable I believe. That might take the stigma of 'being all over the internet' away from your subjects.
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    There was in iMovie 6 (with a plugin from Gee Three, suggested to them by yours truly :D) but iMovie 8 and beyond don't take plugins.

    I use FCE/FCP and a nifty plugin called Andy's region blur which is (a) hella easier than the whole travelling mattes thing, (b) free and (c) here.

    Even with this it's a PITA to blur moving things ... all that keyframing :(

    I imagine that Motion can accomplish something similar but I don't have it at home.

    Having said that, I have to agree with mstrze. If people don't want to be all over the internet, are you sure they'd be happy with a face blurring? There is still distinctive voices, ways of dressing etc that can be used to identify them in ways that they may not want. Also, a video with half a dozen blurred faces risks looking like something from Cops or Cheaters (the twin pinnacles of American television:D) so it might be best to either distribute them locally (DVD), have a showing for the people in it or video people who want to be videoed.
  10. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    Well, if you do end up buying into Final Cut, keep in mind that Final Cut Pro X will be released in June for $299, $100 more than the current box version of Final Cut Express. No one knows yet how they will compare, but going with Pro X would bring you into the future of editing products.

    As has been mentioned, you can set privacy settings on YouTube videos. That might be a solution to get around this need for a blur. Then perhaps create a public hi-lights video with those scared people removed from the video. If they then complain they weren't included, then spell it out for them; too bad and too late as their concern was addressed.

    If for a public video you need one of these people in a scene for context, then I like the Cops & Cheaters thing. Make them look like a criminal, or one that does not belong. Hell, blur & block their whole body. Hi-lite their exclusion.

    The simplest solution is to simply not include scenes that these people are recognizable in. Think of how your story unfolds without those scenes and build that instead.

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