Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Blur logos and faces, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110.
- [Narrator] It's common to need to obscure people's identities, and you may also need to obscure logos or particular pieces of information in an environment. This is really easy to do in Media Composer. Let's take a look at how to combine a Blur Effect with some tracking. I've got a sequence here called "Blur a face." I'm going to duplicate this, Command + D, or Control + D on Windows, and make a complete version. Let's work on that one, so you can compare.
I've got a clip right here in the middle of the sequence, I've put a marker, so it's easier to find, where we have a subject whose identity we need to obscure. The process is pretty straightforward. Over in my Effects Window, my palette here, I've got a Blur Image effect. I just searched for it in the Quick Find box. I'm going to drag this onto the clip. If I go into my Effect Editor, not much is happening right now because I haven't specified what I'm blurring. But I'm going to begin, in fact, with creating a tracker that the Blur Effect can use.
Over on the right here, I've got the tracking tool. I should mention, by the way, my Video One track is selected, so our clip is highlighted. I'm going to click this button to bring up the regular tracking tool, and notice that my playhead is at the beginning of the clip. In the Tracking Window, I've already got T1, Tracker One, ready to go, but I need to begin by repositioning this Point of Interest box in the Composer window. I'm going to grab this, and just move it to our subject's face.
The inner box here is the area of interest, and the outer box is the search area. If you're working on very complex media, you might find you get better or worse results by increasing or decreasing the size of these boxes to exclude or include fast moving or slow moving content in the picture. If that sounds vague, well it is. You just have to experiment with this to get the best results. For content like this, the default settings are fine. In the Tracking Window, without really changing anything, I'm ready to begin tracking.
I'm going to click here, Start Tracking, and now you can see we have a motion path set up for our tracker. This is our T1 Tracking Point A. Now, I can close the Tracking Window, and back in the Effect Editor, if I expand the tracking controls, no tracker's selected, and if I try to turn one on, I get a warning message saying there's no shape selected, and that's because I need to create a shape into which the Blur Effect is going to be applied, and the shape itself is going to follow the tracker.
I'll say OK, jump back to the beginning of this Preview Window, and then back in my Effect Editor, I'm going to click here to select the Oval tool. I'm going to draw around our subject's face, just like so, and now back in my Effect Editor, I can turn on Tracking, and you can see T1 Point A is ready to use. And that's it, really. If I play through, we can see that the oval I created is going to follow our subject's face.
Well, I should say more accurately, it's following the path of the tracker, and back in my Effect Editor, if I want to, I can expand the Feathering controls, and maybe just soften the edge a little. You'll find very often, if you're shooting a scene with somebody in the middle distance, when you feather in the way that I have here, and apply a Blur Effect, audiences will just tend not to notice that they're soft in this way. I'm going to click back to the timeline, so we lose that oval outline, and let's play through again.
Great. Obscuring somebody's identity in this way is pretty straightforward, I'm just going to go back into the Effect Editor here, but you do need to know the order of events. You can apply the Blur Effect to anything and contain the effect within a shape. You've got a rectangle and an oval tool. And you combine that shape with a specific tracker. Notice that now I've got the Effect Editor up, there's nothing really to indicate where that oval is, unless I click into it. Right now, it's fairly easy to see because well, it's an obvious, blurred-out face.
But sometimes it can be a little difficult to locate somewhere in the preview monitor the effect that you've so subtly added to the content. Notice as well, we've got some options here to modify the shape that we've created. You can change the angle of it and so on. We can modify the shape to make it more exactly what we need. But these are pretty standard controls you're probably familiar with in other design applications. So that's blurring a face and tracking a face in Avid Media Composer.
- Importing and transcoding media
- Creating a group clip
- Syncing picture and sound clips
- Making quick edits such as stringouts
- Recutting a scene
- Creating subsequences
- Pacing a scene with Media Composer's trim tools
- Mixing sequence audio
- Working with high-res media
- Retiming video
- Nesting effects
- Keying video
- Animating titles and graphics
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 10/13/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Media Composer 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9.