Enhance the cinematic impact of your footage by applying a directional blur to areas that show rapid motion in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Modern, minimalist bathroom shows a waterfall scene on a wall-mounted TV above a large, free-standing bathtub


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Starting in the Editing workspace, open the Effects panel (Shift+7) and apply the Directional Blur effect to the clip in your sequence.

Adobe Premiere Pro shows the Directional Blur effect selected in the Effects panel and dragged to a clip in the Timeline panel

Once you’ve identified the area of movement that you’d like to improve by adding a slight amount of motion blurring, open the Effect Controls panel (Shift+5) and draw a Directional Blur mask around the subject in the Program Monitor, using whichever masking tool works best. It may help to increase the Zoom level of the Program Monitor. Leave the effect’s settings at their default values for now. If your shot is static, you can skip the next step.

In the Effect Controls panel, the Pen tool is selected and a Directional Blur mask is drawn in the Program Monitor

If the area of interest moves across the scene, track the mask to follow it accordingly. Click the Track Mask directional arrows, stopping as necessary to readjust the mask in case it drifts. Depending on whether your subject enters from offscreen, you may find it easier to start tracking in the middle of the clip and then go back and track in the opposite direction. Track one frame at a time to fine-tune mask tracking at the edge of the frame. Play the sequence to make sure the mask stays on target.

In the Effect Controls panel, Mask Path tracking buttons and options are shown. The Tracking progress dialog box also appears.

Adjust the Directional Blur values in the Effect Controls panel to suit the motion you’re blurring. Set the blur’s Direction to follow the action. Increase Mask Feathering if you need to soften the mask’s edge. Play the sequence, looping it so that you can fine-tune your adjustments and see the results in real time. You’ll find that a little Blur Length goes a long way.

Mask Feather, Direction, and Blur Length are changed in the Effect Controls panel, and Loop Playback is toggled on

Add more instances of the Directional Blur effect, or additional effect masks, as needed. Right-click to rename each one so you can identify them later.

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