MacMost Now 130: Blurring An Area In iMovie 08

Gary Rosenzweig attempts to using iMovie 08 to blur out an area in a video. You can use this to blur a license plate, face or something else you want to remove.

Comments: 31 Responses to “MacMost Now 130: Blurring An Area In iMovie 08”

    11 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial. It was a big help. Couldn’t agree more about Apple needing to open it for plug-ins.

    Leslie Anderson
    10 years ago

    Excellent tip… Doesn’t work in iMovie 09 though. Any idea how to get around this?

      10 years ago

      It does work in iMovie 09, but things are a little different. But the basic concept is the same. You can actually use Picture-in-picture to just grab a small blurry graphic and place it where you want over the video.

    ron gantt
    10 years ago

    i tried to do this in imovie 09, well the problem isn’t putting the blur in, its making the blur work PS cs4, i dont see the oval crop, and then when i try with a square crop, and i invert, you say hit delete when i do that nothing happens, and if i command x to cut it out, when i save it there is a WHITE background, and even if i open with a transparent window still the same, can you help me out???

      10 years ago

      It does take some Photoshop skills, yes. And explaining all the details of how to do this in Photoshop would take far more than a comment. Maybe find a friend that knows photoshop to help?

    HMastersen
    10 years ago

    Awesome clip Gary, you really helped me. I have enjoyed iMovie 08 but was amazed at the end when I couldn’t blur a few things. Great workaround. Here is my expanded actions for what Gary does:

    On my Mac, this is how it went:
    – image is created as Gary does, then saved as .tiff file
    – image must then be saved as JPEG for use in GIMP (image editor I use, which is free!!)
    – Open JPEG in GIMP, then use oval or square to select area to blur
    – Then select Filter/Blur as Gary does
    – Then hit “control I” to invert the selection
    – Then select Edit/Clear
    – Then select Layer/Transparency/Add Alpha Channel
    – Then select Edit/Clear again
    – Then Save As a png file
    – Then do the rest as per Gary’s vid

    I found absolutely nothing else on the web for blurring, Gary is the man

    PJae
    10 years ago

    Everything seems to work except for the whole dropping the inverted pic onto the clip. Our iMovie 08 only gives the option to REPLACE or INSERT the blur pic. Gary’s video shows the blur being superimposed…that’s not happening! Please help!

    Cory
    9 years ago

    Gary, you say it works in iMovie 09, but — as PJae notes — I can’t put the .png file “over” the clip. Any tips?

      9 years ago

      It sounds to me like you don’t have “show advanced tools” turned on in the iMovie prefs. Then, use the picture-in-picture option to do this in iMovie 09.

        Ryan
        9 years ago

        Gary, When I blur the face in photoshop like the video mentions and then drag it into imovie 09 with picture in picture I get a black ring around the image. My image is saved as a png but every way I have tried it it leaves this black ring around the edge of the image. Any ideas.

        THANKS

          9 years ago

          You’ve got to make sure you save it as a 32-bit png with an alpha channel. And you’ve got to make sure it is transparent (no background). Perhaps find a friend who is a Photoshop expert to help?

    Juangcastro
    9 years ago

    Gary, instead of the trimming procedure, you just can insert a White or Black miniclip before and after your main clip, so the blur will fade in/out during the blank clip.
    cheers.

      9 years ago

      You could, but then you would have that small blank spot in your video that you may not want.

    ...
    9 years ago

    i do everything but it wont let put the photo/picture in the movie… only before and sfter

      9 years ago

      Which version of iMovie? And have you turned on advanced tools?

    ...E
    9 years ago

    How can you do this if an object is moving? Say a license plate on a car that is driving? Your blur would stay stationary, but the object you want blurred moves.

    ...E
    9 years ago

    Looks great. Thanks for linking me there. One last question, though. How about blurring everything but the face in your tutorial vid (background). Can you do that with either iMovie or Premiere Elements?

      9 years ago

      I haven’t tried that. Same technique, just different overlay graphic. But some of the tools in Premiere might make it even easier.

    E...
    9 years ago

    So would you create many shapes and have multiple title slides, with each one only lasting a second or two (to account for movement of arms and feet, possibly)? Could you make a video for this? Thanks.

      9 years ago

      That would be painful. If it can’t be done with one overlay graphic, then I wouldn’t do it this way. I’d move to pro editing software, or perhaps animation software.

    E...
    9 years ago

    Thanks for the advice. I have been looking at editing software for a while and comparing their abilities. Do you have a suggestion about which one to get?

      9 years ago

      You should ask in some video editing forums. My experience is limited.

    Lincoln
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary! Thanks for the video!

    I have one question. I need blur a really small area, but even if a create a 10×10 pixel PNG file, iMovie (11) import the PIP with a bigger image. Do you know if there is any “minimum image size” for PIP?

    Regards…

      8 years ago

      You want to use an image that is the same size as the video (1280×720, for instance). And only put the blurred area in one spot of that.

        Lincoln
        8 years ago

        Gary,

        Thanks for the reply. I will try that!

        Regards!

    Hoto
    8 years ago

    Gary

    This worked like a charm, thank you very much. Took no time at all.

    Hoto

    Cameron
    8 years ago

    Does this blur effect work for Photoshop Elements?

    Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Instead of going through all that trouble, couldn’t you just put a 0.25 sec black slide at the beginning and end?

    Mikel Estes
    7 years ago

    Great, great stuff, but had to stop and think on an even easier way, in shorter time, to try and edit those bits at the beg/end. Here’s what I would try:

    Cropping those ‘unwanted bits’ to probably the smallest square possible, making it a close up of yourself(Gary), maybe even hold that crop for a better moment to begin or end on in the dialogue(so choose a longer clip, it’ll be fixed in a sec.).

    At the end of the cropped clip, it then goes to your wide shot again. If you want to back up or move your wide shot then just select that part, separate it(click “Split Clip”), then choose the main wide shot, click “Join” and it sucks it back into the mother ship…so to speak.
    If the crop didn’t look right,THEN export and all that info you provide in the video.
    Thanks again for a great idea!
    bonus prize: During the cropped parts, run a ‘title’ under the person name/position for 2-4 seconds.Even neater if you make it crosse over into a bit of the wide shot.This helps in “jump shots” a little as well.

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