How to Blur a Frame in iMovie

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The iMovie application makes it possible to create movies and videos with special effects and custom editing features. You can blur a single frame or extend the length of the frame to make the Cross Blur effect last longer. Blurring specific frames provides a way to remove sensitive information or gradually blur the beginning or end of a movie into the foreground or background. Blurred frames give a dramatic contrast to the film and blend the elements of the frame together.

1 Open the iMovie clip

Open the iMovie clip that you want to edit and highlight the movie in the Project browser.

2 Select the frame

Select the frame you want to edit. If your movie consists of one continuous strip, place the marker at the beginning of the frame. Then, select the "Modify" menu and select "Split Clip." Repeat this process for the end of the frame as well.

3 Click the Transitions option

Click the "Transitions" option in the sidebar.

4 Select the frame you want to blur

Select the frame you want to blur and double-click the "Cross Blur" option, or select another option from the list of choices. The Cross Zoom and Ripple effect also blur the images using the selected transition. For example, the Cross Zoom effect blurs the image and brings it into focus by zooming in on the image from both sides.

5 Right click the transition point symbol

Right-click the transition point symbol in the video timeline that identifies the start of the effect you created and select "Show Precision Editor." The Cross Blur effect displays as two in-facing arrows.

6 Hover your cursor

Hover your cursor over the circle at the end of the marker in the Precision Editor. When you see the cross-hairs display, drag the marker to extend it and increase the duration of the blur effect.

  • Information in this article applies to iMovie '11. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.