Bokeh effect/ blurry background to portrait type videos. How to guide?

Hello awesome people,

Let me start with the warning. 

I'm extremely new to video editing. I love the blurry background effect where only the subject is in focus and with a depth of field, the background is blurred or sort of out of focus. I did see the tutorial on how to add a camera and do it for text.

But I cannot do that for the full length human being in the centre.  I do not want a radial blur. Maybe something like a vertical tilt shift, where the horizontal wide angle background is blurred but the moving human subject is always in focus and absolutely clear?

Any help would be immensely appreciated! Thanks.


  • Well, if your subject isn't already seperated from the back ground (i.e. on a "different layer", because you filmed it in front of a green screen for example) you're going to have to use masks.

    I believe you will find a lot of usefull information in the "Color grading: the vibrance effect" tutorial (that's in 'Video Tutorials', 'Next Steps', 'Grading') about grading, masks and tracking. It will be simple to use these methods with a blur effect.

  • Its worth mentioning that this isn't an effect that is meant to be done in post; bokeh is created by the lens you choose, and the camera settings you use, when you film the shot. It can be done in post, if necessary, but its much easier and faster to shoot it that way to begin with. 

    To create the effect after the fact you have to isolate your subject, using masks, to get them on a separate layer, then apply a Lens Blur effect to the background layer.

  • Thanks. I'm using an S7 to record right now. I wonder if there's an additional lens that I can add. The smartphone lenses just come in wide angle, fish eye, etc.

  • Google "lens" and the name of your phone (or just "smartphone"), you'll find lots of lenses and kits that include zooms or telephoto lenses. I believe there's a special cover for the S7, but I'm sure you know that better than I do :)

    Since I don't believe you can fiddle with aperture on a phone (not on mine anyway), what you can do to get a shallower depth of field is to move away from your subjet and zoom in (optical zoom only).

  • There's something called Zoom blur in HE4. I'm a novice when it comes to these things.

    But in Da Vinci Resolve 12.5, there's an easy mask that tracks as per the subject moving and we can apply a blur to the rest of the world. Is there something like that in HE4?

    Even in post there should be some work around I guess.


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