11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2010 8:20 AM by Kevin Elmore

    How do you censor portions of a screen?

    Kevin Elmore Level 1

      I am working on some training videos, which contain sensitive information that needs to be blurred or blacked out (either is good, but blurring is preferable).

       

      I am working on the trial version of PrE to make sure this is the software we want to purchase.  There is a bit of a learning curve, but I've worked with similar programs, so I'm not doing too badly.

       

      Unfortunately, Adobe's new help file is...well, unhelpful...and I find myself unable to blur out just a portion of the screen.  I'm able to apply the Gaussian Blur on the whole screen, but when I try to resize the blur, it affects the entire screen.

       

      How can I select just a portion of the screen to apply the blur?  I figure I would just add a new video track, but even that does not work the way I think it should.

       

      Kevin

        • 1. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
          Kevin Elmore Level 1

          D'oh.  I was so focused on searching for "censor" that I missed a reference to this video:

          http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/videotutorial/tutdes_blurface.htm

           

          Sadly, not enough time today to check it out, but I do seem to have something to look at.  I'll report back if I need something more detailed.  Don't want to waste anyone's time.

           

          Kevin

          • 2. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Kevin,

             

            Curt's video tutorial is where I would send you first. Yes, it's written for Pr 6.5, IIRC. This ARTICLE will step you through the process. I believe that everything will translate to both PrE and to PrPro.

             

            Curt also has a good tutorial on Soften Skin Tones, that uses the same techniques.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
              Kevin Elmore Level 1

              That's a great tutorial.  I especially like the effort made to paint a picture for the learner.  Very nice.

               

              And I'm able to use that to create the blur filters I need.  Awesome!  I only have one little snag, though.

               

              I do not know how to add and remove these blurs.  I can understand the need to move them around, but I'm mostly interested in bringing in filters and then removing them (not necessarily simultaneously).

               

              I tried adding a keyframe, but when I add or remove a rectangle from one keyframe, it happens in the rest of the track.  I even tried splitting the track, but when I add or remove a rectangle from the first title, it happens in the second title.

               

              It would seem that my best solution is to create a track for each rectangle I'll be calling and dismissing.  I was hoping instead for the ability to just edit the shapes and make some nifty filters.

               

              For the sake of seeing where I'm trying to go, I have some screen recordings of some of our more complex applications.  These applications also display confidential information, which I want to mask.  It would not be unusual for me to have to mask up to 30 pieces of confidential information in one segment.  I believe PrE can hold up to 99 tracks, so I'm in no danger of running out of tracks, but it just strikes me as a not-very-efficient use of resources.

               

              Kevin

              • 4. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                If I follow correctly, that you wish to have the "rectangles" come in and go out, you can limit the Duration of the "dupe footage" to just the time that you want the rectangle to be on screen. If you wish to "ease-in/ease-out" you can either add a Cross-dissolve Transition to that "dupe footage," or can use the fixed Effect Opacity, which can be Keyframed also. Unless you really need the control, I'd just go with a Cross-dissolve on each end of the "dupe footage."

                 

                Now, if that is not what you wish to have happen, please tell me where I went wrong. There's bound to be a way to get your desired effect.

                 

                Where you have several items, you can "punch holes" in your Track Matte, so that the effect is applied to more than one place. If the need to blur different places also encompasses different movements for each, then things do get a bit more complicated. For that, where you say have two people, moving in different paths, and each needs independent censoring, I use AfterEffects, which is Adobe's compositing program.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                  Kevin Elmore Level 1

                  Unfortunately, I do need multiple blurs at different times.  I'm reluctant to try AfterEffects, as we just made management happy by convincing them that we won't need PrPro for what we need, saving us a lot of money.  I'd hate to go back on my word.

                   

                  I played around with having three title tracks with rectangles that come in and out at different times.  Unfortunately, I cannot have all three show at once.  I tried adding a track matte key for each shape on my video.  I tried an experiment where I would have Video 2's track matte key be applied to 3, which had a track matte key applied to 4, and so on.  That was interesting but not quite what I needed.

                   

                  I wonder if I'm making it too convoluted by trying to have all the blurred rectangles share the same spot on the timeline.  Maybe I should add multiple rectangles on Video 3.  Then, when I need to add more rectangles, I just end Video 3 and begin Video 4, which happens to have the same shapes plus some others.  I really don't like that idea, but I'll do it, if I must.

                   

                  Kevin

                  • 6. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Kevin,

                     

                    With Track Matte Keying, you can have multiple rectangles in that Track Matte. Using another, with say four, will get you what you need, so long as those multiple rectangles do not need to move independently. If they do, then AE is be best solution. Otherwise, one could do one move, and then Export/Share, bringing in the DV-AVI with that rectangle, and then do Track Matte Keying for the other rectangle, independent of what you had in that first DV-AVI. That is a lot of work, unfortunately.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                      Kevin Elmore Level 1

                      I may have found the solution that works for what I need.  I was inspired by this suggestion:

                      http://www.mediacollege.com/video/special-effects/blur/

                       

                      Cliff's Notes of that site is that a blur be applied to a copy of the movie and then cropped to the needed dimensions.  In fact, this can be done at 100% or 200% (to go back to another question I had posted on here).

                       

                      And, when I tried it out, it looks pretty good. In fact, I was able to make two copies of the track and give them differentBefore I go into celebration mode, a part of me started casting doubts.  I realized a potential problem: I need multiple rectangles, and that requires pasting the same video several times--possibly as often as 30 times.  What on earth is that going to do to my processing speed?  One of my videos is even 1.5 GB in size.  I cringe at the thought of copying that several times.

                       

                      I'm hoping that the pain on my computer would be mitigated by the fact that each track would be cropped, and I could really just cut out the portions that don't need to be blurred.  Does that sound like a workable plan?  I suppose I could just try it out and see if my computer explodes, but I could stand to hear some testimony.

                       

                      Kevin

                      • 8. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Though for CS3, this ARTICLE might be of help with multiple images on the screen.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                          nealeh Level 5

                          PRE never touches your source video. As you edit it logs what actions you want and applies these when rendering. Because of this, when you duplicate your footage in the project, you do not create a new copy of the footage. So your 1.5GB file is only used the once no matter how many tracks you duplicate it on.

                           

                          Cheers,
                          --
                          Neale
                          Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                            Ed.Macke Level 3
                            One of my videos is even 1.5 GB in size

                             

                            In the video world, 1.5 GB isn't that big. My typical home movie usually ends up with about 20-30GB of clips, and that's just for one project. I have a 500GB drive dedicated to just video storage, and I don't really consider myself a "power user".


                            But, as Neale pointed out, PRE doesn't make copies, it just has pointers to the video files.


                            For example, let's say you put video1.avi on Track 1, and you use the first minute. Under the covers, PRE just says "use video1.avi, start at position = 00;00;00, end at position 00;01;00).


                            Then let's say you put video1.avi on Track 2, and use the second minute. Again, PRE just saves instructions to say "use video1.avi, start at position = 00;01;01, end at postion 00;02;00). In other words, it uses the same file, just a different segment of that file.


                            So, your video1.avi clip on Track 1 and Track 2 are using the exact same video1.avi file on your computer, just with references to different starting and ending points within that video. Does that help?

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How do you censor portions of a screen?
                              Kevin Elmore Level 1

                              So, your video1.avi clip on Track 1 and Track 2 are using the exact same video1.avi file on your computer, just with references to different starting and ending points within that video. Does that help?

                               

                              It does help. Thanks, Ed and Neale.  I knew that, but I always forget that important bit when it comes to software of this sort.  I normally am reminded about it when I move the project and forget to move the source files.  At least this reminder is more pleasing.

                               

                              Kevin