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Blur out face with Final Cut Pro

Here's a great Final Cut Pro video tutorial on how to hand-track a blur filter to cover up a person's face or object.

The particular effect is designed for a quick work-around for those who need to track a person's face, or perhaps a license plate of a car.  It's down and dirty, but yet does the job.  For automatic motion tracking, you can certainly use Apple Motion.  However, I think you'd find it's probably easier to create the effect manually within Final Cut Pro.

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Continue reading to view the entire transcript of this Final Cut Pro tutorial.....
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You can use Final Cut Pro to easily blur out a person's face or object that you need to conceal from a video clip.

In this example, let's blur out this kid's face.

Start by editing the clip to the timeline.

Next, navigate to the generators menu and choose the circle from the shapes category.

Superimpose the white circle over top of the clip on V1 by dragging the circle into the superimpose button within the canvas window.

Hold down the option + shift keys to make an exact copy of V1 onto V3 by dragging the clip straight up to the track.

Move over to the effects tab within the browser window.

Twirl down the disclosure triangle for video filters, and then the blur category.

Drag the gaussian blur filter onto the clip on V3.

Double click on the clip that is on V3.

This will load that particular clip into the viewer window.

Notice these sprockets. This means you'll be working on a clip that's in the timeline.

Click on the filters tab within the viewer window.  

Adjust the radius for the gaussian blur to the desired amount.

This makes the clip on V3 Blurry on top of the original clip without a blur.

Right click on the clip that's on V3, and choose composite mode, travel matte, luma.

This will place the blurry clip into the white area of the circle.

To adjust the location of the blur, we need to animate the circle.

Double click on V2, which will load the circle into the viewer window.

Even though this circle is in the Viewer window, you'll need to click on the video tab in order to see it.

Move over to the canvas window, and choose image and wireframe from the view pop-up menu.

Place your position indicator towards the beginning of the clip at the point where you want to blur out the kids face.

Scale and position the circle over the kids face.

Click on the add motion keyframe button located in the lower right corner of the canvas window.

Notice how the image and wireframe cross hairs have turned green.  This indicates that there are keyframes at this position.

If you click on the motion tab within the viewer window, you can see the keyframes that have been created for these parameters.

Move the position indicator forward a bit within the canvas window.  

Eventually you'll need to reposition your circle to match the location of the kids face.

Notice how Final Cut Pro automatically creates a linear path that follows to your new point.

Move the position indicator forward again until you feel that you need to reposition the circle.

Repeat these same steps for as many points as you find necessary.

For a clip like this one, be careful not to overdue the number of points.  It's probably not necessary.

Okay, that's it!  go ahead and play the clip.

For other great tips and tricks like this, or to enroll in a Final Cut Pro training course, visit GeniusDV.com
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Using the Title Crawl Function in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

P2 Flow Plug-In for Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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