Beginner Tip: In order to add the Witness Protection (face blur) effect to a moving object, you first need to know to Make Composite Shots. I watched 3 How to Add Witness Protection videos and none of them pointed out that there’s a basic step BEFORE adding the Witness Protection effect. Below are 2 articles about manually adding a Make Composite Shot.
- Using Composite Shots In The Editor (text-based article)
- Creating Composite Shots (text-based article)
Witness Protection (face blur)
- On Editor tab: choose video clip (to add Witness Protection face blur to), right-click and choose “Make Composite Shot.”
- On Composite Shot tab: double-click on Media Layer. Then, at the right side of the Tracks Layer, click the little green round “+” button to Insert Tracker. A Tracker sub-layer should now be right below the Tracks layer.
- (Move playhead to first frame where tracking will start): The Tracker has 2 boxes (outer green box; inner red box) and a center mark. Click on inner red box and drag Tracker to face. Adjust inner red box size to cover area to be blurred. Then adjust outer green box to cover the overall area that the face + head will move within throughout the whole clip.
- Track Tab (if this isn’t visible: main menu > View > Panels > Track): Section “STEP 1 : Track your points” (Type: Single Point (Position Only); Method: Optical Flow) > Track Controls > Click the Track forward arrow button and let HitFilm Express track the face. This could take a while depending on how long the clip is.
- (After tracking is complete) On Composite Shot tab > Click “New Layer” (next to little green round “+” button), choose “Point” (Layer), then click on newly-created Point Layer, right-click, choose Rename and name it “Face Track” (it should now read “Face Track [Point]).
- On Composite Shot tab: double-click on Media Layer, double-click on Tracker; and in the separate Track tab, in the “STEP 2 : Apply to layer” section, the following: Purpose: Transform; Layer: choose Face Track; Make sure X-position and Y-position boxes are ticked; then click Apply.
- On Composite Shot tab: Click “New Layer” (next to little green round “+” button), choose “Grade” (Layer), then click on newly-created Grade Layer, right-click, choose Rename and name it “Witness Protection” (it should now read “Witness Protection [Grade]).
- Double-click the “Witness Protection [Grade] Layer: Effects > little green round “+” button > Distort > choose Witness Protection.
- Again on Witness Protection [Grade] Layer: Double-click Effects > double-click Witness Protection > double-click Position > Use Layer: Face Track.