Shadowing out a figure/interview to keep privacy technique??

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Miscellaneous Techniques Shadowing out a figure/interview to keep privacy technique??

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #37088

      Hi Guys.
      I’d like to interview someone in my comedy skit and shadow them out, like in those cop shows where you’re not supposed to see them or know what they look like. Any suggestions? I am a NOVICE! I have FCE.


      Ellen 😕

    • #164416

      Hmm… I have Premiere, but it might also work with FCE. You will want the original footage on the bottom layer. Above that, duplicate the footage, and use a garbage matte to cut out everything but the general outline of the face. Feather this if possible, then apply a blur effect to the top clip. Don’t forget to keyframe the matte, so that it follows the face.

      Now you should have a bottom layer that is untouched, and a top layer with the same video, except that everything but the face is cut out, with a blur or pixelated effect applied.

    • #164417

      When videotaping, make the background brighter than your subject. With a manual iris you could adjust the exposure to correctly light your subject and create this effect.

      The iris is used to adjust the aperture of the camera’s lens. Opening the iris lets in more light, to increase the exposure, or brightness, of the image. Closing the iris creates a darker image.

      If you already have the footage use the 4 or 8-Point Matte Filter in FCE. Put identical clips on top of each other, apply the blur (or darken up) to the lower clip, and use the Garbage Matte to reveal only the area you want to blur or darken on the upper clip. You could also try the free iSilhouette plugin:

      There’s a blur technique you can use too…this is a tutorial for premiere and final cut:

    • #164418

      What DVShow said was right on. Essentially, the principle to get the silhouette shot is to underexpose your shot so the subject is black. Putting a bright background behind them is the easiest way to pull this off.

      However, let’s say you want a dark silhouette AND a dark background. How do you do that? Glad you asked! 😀

      To do this, you’ll need to be in a darker room. No windows (or heavy curtains) helps.

      Your talent should sit on a backless chair or stool for this to work properly, but you can use a chair with a back if it’s very small and can’t be remotely seen.

      On a tripod set up a few feet behind your talent, set up a light source, positioned very low, probably the same level as your talent’s lower back. If you’ve got barn doors to direct the light, it helps. (No barn doors? MacGyver something. I know you have cardboard and duct tape someplace in your home!)

      When the light is on and properly aimed, it makes the silhouette of the figure well lit, but leaves the face and the front side dark. Adjust your iris settings to taste. Chill and serve. 😀

    • #164419

      Thanks for your great advice!!


Viewing 4 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Miscellaneous Techniques’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide