How to blur the background of a video in iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by 50shadesoftrey, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. 50shadesoftrey macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    How do I blur the background of a video in iMovie without blurring my face?
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Simple answer to a simple question: you can't I'm afraid.
  3. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY
    You can't. You would need for example, adobe premiere pro or apple's Final Cut Pro.
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Even those would be a stretch. You could do a sort-of-ok job at it, but this really is a task better suited for After Effects.

    The point, OP, is that this is something that's not for any video editing software, really, but for video compositing software.
  5. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    That is video compositing.

    Basically you would have to create a mask. Imagine having your face in a picture and cut it with a scissor, and having the background with blur. You would have to do that but in digital, frame by frame almost.
  6. capuzino macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2013
    You probably can't do that with iMovie, but it's possible with DaVinci Resolve Lite.
  7. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    Correct answer. And even with that, you need to understand motion tracking and masking. Not a quick or easy process.
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Is the face always about the same spot in the frame? If so you may use one of the spot blur filters.. this will blur everything except the spot you define. That may be adequate for your needs (its not a mask). Dunno if any are available for iMovie. If your face is all over the place... well thats a lot of work.
  9. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    And the more your the face moves in the foreground, the more difficult it becomes to achieve the desired effect.

    Most editors achieve this effect by shooting the subject in front of a green screen to do a chroma key, where they can then slap a background behind it. It's a billion times easier that way...
  10. ChrisA, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    People here are saying "you can't do that". That is true if you have already shot the video. But you don't say.

    You CAN blur the background on your NEXT video. Simply shoot with a wide aperture (small f-number) on a longer lens. The effect is created by using a shallow depth of field. It is easy to do if you shoot using an SLR and a fast prime lens. Depending on the light, you might need a neutral density filter to allow opening the lens up all that way

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