Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blurring faces in videos

Yesterday, I had a ton of footage submitted with the request to blur all faces of the people in the videos. The videos were from a variety of surveillance sources; shaky pole cams, static cams, and hand-held cams. Each of the videos had multiple people moving around. So, I had my work cut out for me.

Thankfully, I can do this easily in FIVE.

Using the Hide Selection filter, you have many options for blurring regions of an image. Because of the multiple movement dimensions of each subject, I chose to use Manual Tracking. Then, I set up the blur for each person. Working one at a time, you can blur each face independently by simply using multiple instances of the Hide Selection filter. Because you're writing text instructions to the display and not actually rendering new pixels, the process is fast. The rendering happens when you write the final (new) file.

Best of all, if you need a report of what you've done, with FIVE, the steps are all recorded for you. The mask's coordinates, frame numbers, etc. are all on the report. For me, one 4 minute clip with five subjects all moving independently, and with the camera shaking ... the report was 35 pages long. But, it's all there and I didn't have to handwrite the report.


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