I need a software which can blur a scene from a video file. I have thought about VirtualDub and Adobe Premiere but I am not sure if they provide the desired functionality.

My requirement is to blur a some-seconds scene for example blur the scene from 10:12 to 10:45 in a video file.

3 Answers 3


You can use ffmpeg, and you currently have a choice of four video filters that can blur: boxblur, sab, smartblur and unsharp. These filters can use the enable option for timeline support, so you can apply the blurring effect to a certain duration if desired. You can view what filters have timeline support with ffmpeg -filters.


original image boxblur

This example will apply the blur from 22-113 seconds, then again from 275-286 seconds:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vf "boxblur=enable='between(t,22,113)',boxblur=enable='between(t,(60*4)+35,286)" -codec:a copy output.avi
  • You can enter seconds or have it calculate seconds for you as shown in the example.

  • Expression evaluation is not my best area. You may find a method to declare the filter just once.

  • Note that, since you only want to modify the video, the audio can be stream copied from the input to the output without re-encoding. This is faster than re-encoding and will preserve the quality. This is something most editors, such as Premiere, do not support without additional shenanigans.


If you have ffplay you can get a preview instead of encoding, watching, re-encoding...

ffplay -i input -vf smartblur

Getting ffmpeg

Builds are available for Windows, Linux, and OS X users. See the FFmpeg Download page, but of course you can always compile ffmpeg too.

  • For which filters is timeline supported? I would like to use "setpts" and "atempo" (to speed up certaing fragments in a video), but it doesn't work for me (@No option name near '2'@). Do I have an old version, am not passing the parameters correctly or the timeline is not supported? Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 8:29
  • 1
    @Janis Neither of those filters have timeline support. See ffmpeg -filters.
    – llogan
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 17:04
  • audio can be stream copied, so video can't be stream copied? Even though we only want to modify a tiny fraction of the video? Guess I'll better cut it out, blur, then join back.
    – Klesun
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 19:55
  • 1
    @Klesun You can't filter and stream copy the same stream, but what you can do is cut out a section exactly on key frames, filter that section, and concatenate with the concat demuxer. See Cut a video in between key frames without re-encoding the full video using ffpmeg? for an example.
    – llogan
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 18:43
  • Important missing part: to change the blur level, you have to replace boxblur= with for example boxblur=10: (found in this answer: superuser.com/questions/1088062/…)
    – baptx
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 15:35

Premiere can certainly do what you need. You could either cut the clip into sub-clips and apply a blur filter or you could apply a filter and keyframe the level of blur. Note that this would be if you are trying to blur the entire frame. If you want to blur only a portion of the frame, you would probably want something like motion tracking in After Effects that could follow the thing you want to blur and limit the blur to only the area impacted by a mask that follows the motion.

  • I want to blur the entire screen, not just a single object. Is it possible Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 8:29
  • @user1451111 - yes, then just use the filter in Premiere like I suggested. I was just mentioning that if you wanted to be more targeted than the whole frame, it would need more advanced software. Blurring the whole frame is trivial.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 13:25
  • Let's say I have a 5 minute video and I want to blur the following two segments within it. 00:00:22 - 00:01:53 and 00:04:35 - 00:04:46 How to proceed? Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 8:42
  • You can either break them in to two subclips using the razor tool (looks like a little razor blade) and apply filters to each of the subclips you want to blur or you can apply blur to the whole thing and then use keyframes on the parameters of the effect to adjust the amount of blur to be 0 during the time you don't want blur.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 13:34

I fulfilled my requirement in Adobe Premiere Pro by following the below procedure:

  1. Load the complete video in Timeline panel.

  2. Using 'Razor' tool cut the section which I need to blur. When we cut using 'Razor' tool, Adobe Premiere Pro marks it as a logical separate clip.

  3. Drag the Video → Blur effect on the desired clip and set the Gaussian blur settings.

  4. Repeat the above steps for all other sections of the original video which I need to blur.

  5. In the end, Export the complete sequence.

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