I have a video with multiple moving people, from which I would like to remove one person. I know this is possible and that software exists to do it (see this paper), but I can't find any available to the general public.

  • 1
    Is the camera moving? A moving camera makes this problem significantly more difficult. Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


You could export the video to still frames, then the problem is reduced to removing the person from pictures.

You can use Gimp or any decent paint program with a clone tool to copy sections of a good image to the image that needs correcting. The clone tool is pretty quick to use. But yes, at 30 fps if your perpetrator is in the scene for 5s is a lot of frames to tinker with.

  • Yeah, I wouldn't recommend this... Very time consuming, even for just a second of footage. If the camera is pretty stationary, then this method is definitely not worth it... Even some pretty cheap or perhaps free software (Wax) could do this exact same thing much easier, as AJ Henderson hinted at. However, I'm not trying to disparage your answer... Thank you for it! This method is useful if the person in question was only visible for a very small number of frames... So your answer is very applicable, don't get me wrong! Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 4:58
  • Thanks for the feedback... since there was no answer for 4 hours I took a stab. I suspected there was a better way, and was also hoping to be out-answered :)
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 8:14
  • @Michael - If I had a rep for every time I posted an answer that I was hoping would be out answered but wanted there to be some kind of info for the asker to work from, I'd probably have double the rep, so I know what you mean. In fact, I'd say my answer to this one is still an example of that since I don't have enough direct experience doing this. I just know how the algorithms work that do it. :)
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 14:51
  • Hmm, maybe I'll take a stab at it... :) Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 15:57

Adobe After Effects has the ability to fill based on previous frames which works fairly well if the camera is stationary. Basically it pulls pixels from previous frames where the person isn't there and places them over the person. It can extract the person because it is easy to tell what pixels are changing and look for a group of them from frame to frame.

There are some major limits though. If there is anything else moving in front or behind the person, then there isn't an effective way to distinguish the person from the other object. Similarly, if the camera is moving at all, then both the background to fill in behind and the reference of what is stationary go out the window.

In cases where it can't be automatically processed, it would be necessary to rotoscope the person out frame by frame. After Effects is also capable of supporting rotoscoping pretty easily as well, though it is a time consuming process.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.