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So I am using my camera to make vlogs for youtube and sometimes interview people. I have a background that doesn't move and I have a person in front of the camera who sometimes moves from left to right.

My camera already has a subtle depth-of-field, but I want to make it more noticeable. Now I know that photobooth in OS X has a trick where you step out of the frame for a moment and then when you step into the frame it can separate you from the background. I guess FCPX can probably do the same trick, but I haven't found that feature yet. Is it in there? Can I use it to create the effect that I want to create?

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migrated from Jan 2 '14 at 20:10

This question came from our site for power users of Apple hardware and software.

Your best bet is going to be to make the effect in camera by getting the camera as close as possible to you and moving the background as far away as possible. Shooting with the widest open aperture possible would also help. Adding a background blur in post is not the same and does not get good results as it does not understand the depth of the background. (Background blur from depth of field changes over depth and that is what gives it the soft, 3d feel.) Artificially doing it doesn't work well in photos and works even more poorly in video. – AJ Henderson Jan 2 '14 at 21:34

FCPX can't do this automatically (like Photo Booth) unless the background is a single colour.

As a workaround, if possible…

  1. Take a picture of the background.
  2. Film the vlog in front of a green screen.
  3. Key the background leaving the alpha channel.
  4. Place the picture behind the video layer.

There is a full guide in this Apple KB article:

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Is there another video editing app that can do this without the green screen workaround? – Evert Jan 2 '14 at 23:10
@Evert Not that I'm aware of – grgarside Aug 15 '14 at 22:42

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