How to Blur the Edges of a Picture in After Effects

Updated February 21, 2017

The edge blur on a picture can help make it blend in with other animation elements within Adobe After Effects. Instead of importing and exporting through Adobe Photoshop to create the blur, you can use the built-in After Effects tools to instantly apply the blur. Once applied, tweak the blur or set animations to it that will change the effect and how it looks on a picture. The blur tool is compatible with full frame pictures or translucent edgeless pictures.

Import the video or image file that you want to add blur to. Right-click in the project window and select the "Import" option to load the explorer window and select a file.

Right-click in the "Timeline" window and select "New Composition." Choose your settings for length and size on the project. Select "OK" and the composition will load a black window in the "Preview Monitor."

Drag the media file into the "Timeline" window to add it to the project.

Right-click in the "Timeline" window, select "New" and click "Adjustment Layer." An adjustment layer will appear above the media file.

Click on the yellow "Mask" icon at the top of the screen. Click on the "Monitor" window and create a rectangle around the object. Cover everything except for the edges that you want to blur.

Click on "Effect," "Blur" and select "Gaussian Blur." This will automatically blur everything in the centre of the picture. Click on the "Add" drop-down menu under the "Adjustment Layer" and select "Subtract." Now the edges will have blur.

Expand the "Mask" sub-menu under the "Adjustment Layer" by clicking on the arrow. Go to the "Mask Feather" section. Click and drag the "0.0" until it reaches around 200. Look at the blending in the "Monitor" window and adjust the feathering as needed.

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Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.