Premier Pro CC: How to Create a Blurred Background for Vertical Videos

software Aug 22, 2021
How to create a blurred background in Premier Pro CC

Listen, we've all been there. You accidentally shoot a video vertically and completely forget about those horrible black spaces that appear on the sides, right? You've probably seen people get creative and turn vertical videos horizontal (well, somewhat) by creating a blurred background. Ever wanted to try it out? I'm here to show you how! It's really quick and easy, and all you'll need is Premier Pro CC.



Prefer watching the walkthrough instead?



Step 1: Create a Sequence

First things first, let's create your sequence. Go to File > New > Sequence. From there, go to Settings and check your video height and width. Make sure that Horizontal is wider than Vertical to give you the correct screen proportions. I'm using 1920 x 1080, which is the standard size. Click OK and you're ready to move on to the next step!




Step 2: Drop Your Video In

Now, drop and drag your video into the Sequence section on the bottom. You'll get a warning message come up saying there's a mismatch between the settings of the video and the sequence. You'll have two options: either change the sequence or keep it as we've set it up in step 1 - that's the one you want to go for!

Your video will now appear (see that negative space on the sides? URGH) and you'll see the full file in the sequence. Right click on that and select Set to Frame Size.



That will ensure everything that was in the frame when you filmed the video still stays there and that nothing gets cropped out. 



Step 3: Disconnect Audio and Video

Right click on the video output track and select Unlink. This way, when you make a copy of the video, you won't mess up the sound. Pretty neat huh?




Step 4: Create a Copy of the Video

I'm sure you know how to duplicate the video (on a Mac, press Option on the video and pull it up) and drag it upwards (don't copy-paste!), but here's what you want the files to look like:




Step 5: Change the Scale of the Second Video

Keep the top video file the way it is and let's adjust the scale of the 2nd one. Go to the Video panel on the left hand side of the interface and you'll see the Scale option there. Click and drag to the right until you see the video filling the entire frame so that there's no more negative space left. 




Step 6: Create a Blur

Here's the fun part - creating a beautiful soft blur! Go to Effects (on the bottom left side of your panel, you will see >> - that's where Effects are hiding). You'll have a neat little search bar come up - type in Gaussian Blur to find the effect quicker. Click on it, drag and drop it onto the video you scaled up (so the 2nd one in my case). Now, in the top left menu you'll see that Gaussian Blur has been added as an option. What you're looking for there is Blurriness. Increase it as much as you want! 



Step 7: Export!

Aaaand you're done! Easy huh? 



I hope that's been helpful and if you're looking for more editing tips but for your artwork, check out how to edit photos on your phone and grab some Pigeon Presets for Lightroom while you're at it. It'll make the entire process sooooo much easier for you!



Pin for later! You won't regret it.