Do you want to share a video online while preserving the anonymity of certain people or hiding sensitive elements? YouTube offers a tool specially designed for this purpose and very easy to use.
When sharing videos online, it is better to be careful not to let certain elements appear. These may be faces (particularly those of children), characteristic signs of a person (a tattoo, for example), license plate or any other decorative element which could make it possible to identify a place that the we wish to keep secret. Not to mention that the right to the image in force in France specifies that everyone can refuse the publication and demand the withdrawal of a photo or video on which it appears.
One way to ensure good confidentiality and a minimum of anonymity is to blur specific areas of a video that contain details that you do not want to reveal. A practice that is often encountered on television during reports where the faces of protagonists, brands or even logos are hidden. Previously, this process required expensive video editing software and a powerful computer. Indeed, blurring an element of a video turns out to be much more difficult than processing a simple photo (read our practical sheet to find out how to blur details of a shot), since the blurring must be applied to a moving element. .
But there is no longer any need to have heavy and complex equipment to achieve this today. The YouTube platform provides an online video editor: YouTube Studio. It relies on Google’s algorithms to follow the movement in the image of the elements you have designated throughout the sequence in order to hide them. Simple to handle, it is rather effective. However, if you want even more precise results, you can turn to free (but more complex) editing software like HitFilm Express Or DaVinci Resolve (see our selection).
The YouTube platform includes many tools for anyone who publishes videos online. Its editor thus makes it possible to create a montage and apply effects and tricks without requiring any special knowledge. But before that, you obviously have to import the file to be modified on the platform and to do so identify yourself with a Google account.
► Go to the YouTube space designed to make the montages: YouTubeStudio. Log in using your Google Account and associated password. If you’ve never used YouTube Studio, click the button Create a channel in order to access the tools then click on Continue in the welcome panel.
► The YouTube Studio dashboard is displayed. This is where the sequences that you will publish – or not – on YouTube will be grouped together. Click on the button Import videos.
► Drag the video file you want to edit into the main window or click the button Select files to search for it in your storage space on your computer.
► You must then indicate some information about your video. You must give it a title, then indicate a comment (optional) and specify whether it is suitable for children in case you want to publish it on YouTube. Check at the top of the window that the status of the sequence is good Save as private video (which will limit its visibility on the platform to you and only the people you invite) and click on Following.
► YouTube then offers options for adding subtitles, credits or even cards. Click on Following.
► YouTube will now perform a quick scan to verify that your video is not copyright infringing. Click on Following.
► Finally, the last panel summarizes the options chosen for the visibility of the video on the platform. Retain Value Private retained by default for the moment (you can return to this choice later) and click on Register. Your video file is then sent to YouTube’s servers.
The YouTube video editor is quite easy to handle. Above all, the algorithms put in place by Google make it possible to save precious time in managing the tracking (monitoring of the movement) of the elements in the image.
► The YouTube Studio dashboard is displayed again. Click on the tab Content in the left column. The video you just imported appears as a thumbnail. Click on it.
► The information you specified when importing the file is now displayed. Click on the tab Assembly in the left column.
► A video editing tool interface is displayed. Your clip is displayed in the center of the window with, below, a timeline of the images that compose it. In this one, on the penultimate line, is the button Blur. Click on the button + to see the blurring options.
► YouTube Studio gives you two options: Blur faces Or Custom Blur.
► With the first option, Google’s algorithms will work for you. They will analyze the image and automatically detect the faces present to apply a masking filter to them. Choose this option. The analysis starts automatically.
► At the end of the scan, the tool presents the faces it has detected in the sequence. Click on those you want to blur and confirm with Apply.
► YouTube Studio shows you the result. Launch the playback of the sequence by clicking on the play button to check that everything went well. If the follow-up experiences some hiccups, click the button Break and readjust the masking block to where it should be by dragging it with the mouse.
► Several adjustments are sometimes necessary for the tracking to fit perfectly with the movements in the image. Feel free to move the frame on the image and adjust its size using the handles. When you are satisfied, click Save Changes.
Blur other elements
► YouTube Studio allows you to choose the elements you want to blur yourself such as the license plate of a vehicle or a decorative element. So choose the option Custom Blur.
► Then choose the shape of the blur mask: a rectangle or an oval. Also determine whether the mask should remain stationary in the image (handy if it’s a static shot) or have Google track movement if the element moves across the field.
► Finally move the mask over the object you want to blur and adjust its size.
► Start playing the video to appreciate the effectiveness of the tracking. You can see that the size of the mask automatically adapts according to the size of the element in the image.
► If the object to be blurred disappears from the field, delete the blur mask. To do this, in the timeline, adjust the length of the blue line corresponding to the effect by moving its left end to the point where the effect should disappear.
► When you are satisfied, click on Register. Video processing may take several minutes.
► When your editing is done, the video is ready to be published. You can also choose to repatriate the file. Click on menu Channel contentat the top left to return to the dashboard and then to the tab Content in the left column. Check the box corresponding to your video then pull down the menu Other actions and choose Download.
► You recover a file in .mp4 format that you can share on any platform or play with multimedia software like VLC.