How to Add Blur to a Video Subject or Background

Blurring a video, GIF, or image can help preserve the anonymity of those featured in it or add a certain mystery to your video. It can also help create a uniform look if you are editing multiple videos together for an advertisement and some of them are blurry. Here's how to add a blur!

How to Add Blur to a Video Subject or Background

Blurring a video, GIF, or image can help preserve the anonymity of those featured in it or add a certain mystery to your video. If you're a teacher or reporter, blur can help you protect the privacy of the people in a video. For example, you can add a blur effect to a face, phone number, or license plate. It's also useful for social media publishers who want to avoid the bullying or targeting of individuals in their videos.

In this article I’ll show you how to blur a video in three easy steps, without downloading any new software. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll be using Kapwing — an online video editing tool that can be used to blur video in a few different ways.

Step 1: Upload your video

Start by going to Kapwing.com or trying out Kapwing's Blur Video tool.

Upload your video from your device (Kapwing works on mobile or desktop). You can also import a video from YouTube, Google Drive, Giphy, Vimeo, or other websites. Kapwing accepts all standard video and image files including MP4, MOV, jpeg, GIF, and PNG.

Step 2: Add Blur to Your Video

How to Blur the Whole Video

Once your video preview loads, click on the “Adjust” tab in the editing panel and find the Blur setting. You can also adjust opacity, brightness, contrast, and saturation in this panel.

The Adjust menu gives you multiple filtering and visual editing options

Move the slider to the right to increase the effect and to the left to decrease it. You can always press “reset” to go back to the original video. Click create once you’ve decided on the effect.

How to Blur Just Part of the Video

To blur just part of a video — like the subject or confidential, identifying information (like an address on a package) — you can create a smaller video layer overlaid on the first video.

First, duplicate your original video to create an overlay. Make sure both copies of the video are lined up.

Select your video and click the Duplicate button under the Layer tab on the right side of the scree

Crop the second overlaid video to the area you want to blur. Drag the blue circles in the corner. You can reset it if you want to go back to the original.

Crop the duplicate layer down to the section of the video you want to blur

Once you are done, click Done Cropping. Then click adjust on the video to select your level of blur.

You can adjust the blur from slight to extreme in the adjust menu

Watch the preview to make sure it looks correct.

Make sure the blurred video overlay lines up with the layer underneath

How to Blur the Background of a Video

If you're taking video in a public place and want to protect the privacy of the people around you who aren't involved in your project, blurring the background is the perfect option. Used in smaller doses, background blur can also add the same polished "depth of field" effect

To do that in Kapwing, make sure the video is selected then click into the Effects menu.

You'll see a button labeled "Blur Background" under Video Effects. Clicking on it will automatically isolate the subject of the video and add blur to the background.

Use the Blur slider to adjust how blurry you want the background. Slide it left for less blur, right for more.

Step 3: Download and share

When you’re happy with your video, click the Export Project button in the top right. You'll see format, resolution, and compression options for your download. Choose the settings you want, then hit Export again.

Kapwing will process your blurred video and return the final MP4. You can share the video's URL or download it and share directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, you'll be prompted to sign in to remove the watermark.

Click "Download file" to save the burred video on your device.

And that's it! Now you know how to add blur to your next video — whether you want to blur the whole thing, just the background, or a specific part of the video. For more video creation tips and tools, check out the Kapwing Resource Library.


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