How to Blur the Edges in Avid

Written by kylene arnold
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Blurring the edges of a video clip gives it a dreamy effect. Filmmakers often use the technique in flashbacks or dream sequences. Avid Media Composer provides tools to achieve this look, including the Blur and 3D Warp effects. The Blur effect gives the original clip a soft focus, while the 3D Warp effect crops and feathers the edges of a copy placed above the clip to produce the illusion of a single, soft-edged clip.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Select a clip and press "Ctrl" plus "C," then "Ctrl" plus "V" on the keyboard to paste a copy of the clip into the timeline.

  2. 2

    Click the red arrow, or "Segment Mode," icon at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to click and drag your clips.

  3. 3

    Hold down the "Shift" key and drag the clip to a higher video track. Position it directly above the original clip so that the heads and tails are aligned. Holding down the "Shift" key makes this process easier by causing the clip to snap to the head of the clip below it.

  4. 4

    Click on the Effects Palette, select "Image," then choose "Blur Effect." Drag this effect to your original clip.

  5. 5

    Place your position indicator over the effect, then click the "Effect Editor" button in the toolbar above or below the timeline to show the effect's parameters.

  6. 6

    Drag the "Horizontal" and "Vertical" sliders to adjust the amount of blur, then close the Effect Editor.

  7. 7

    Select "Blend" from the Effects Palette, then choose the "3D Warp" effect. Drag this effect to the copy of your clip.

  8. 8

    Click the "Effect Editor" button and expand the "Crop" category in the list of parameters.

  9. 9

    Adjust the sliders to crop and feather the edges of your image. Cropping reveals the edges of the blurred image beneath it, and feathering helps fade the sharp image into the fuzzy one.

Tips and warnings

  • Avid contains many effects that can be combined to create blurred edges, including those that create an alpha channel and the Boris, or BCC effects that come packaged with newer versions of Media Composer. Experiment with these effects to see which method works best for you.

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