How to BLUR ANYTHING in DaVinci Resolve (Explained!)

blur in resolve featured

Do you want to achieve a cool looking blur background for your videos and photos?


Do you want to blur a certain part of the video like face, object, etc.?

You’re in the right place.

Today, we’ll see how to blur different things, as per your needs.

Let’s get started!

Why Do You Need to Blur?

Blurring is usually done for various reasons like:

  • To achieve an out-of-focus background which results in a shallow depth of field. This is usually done in-camera, but if you couldn’t do so because of the unavailability of a large aperture lens or zoom lens, then you could fake it in Resolve.
  • To hide a face or personal information like your address or other sensitive information before sharing.
  • To produce a motion blur.
  • And other reasons as well.

The Basics of Blurring in DaVinci Resolve

  • First identify what needs to be blurred – background, face, license plate, address, or any part of the video.
  • Then draw a power window over it (and use a qualifier if needed) to isolate it.
  • Track the window, if the object is a moving one. (Still images don’t need tracking).
  • Then drop a gaussian blur or mosaic blur and adjust the settings to your taste.

Let’s breakdown the above into actionable steps so that you can quickly achieve your blur!

(By the way, DaVinci Resolve has excellent and high-end tools to do the job!)

How to Blur the Background of a Photo or Video in DaVinci Resolve?

If you need to achieve a shallow depth of field effect, this is how you do:

#1. Isolate the desired object using Power Windows (and/or Qualifier tool if needed)

  • Import the desired video into “Media Pool” and place it on the timeline.
  • Go to the “Color” page.
  • Add a serial node (Under “Nodes“, right-click on the first node and select “Add Node” -> “Add Serial“).
  • Click on the “Window” button beneath the viewer.
  • Click on the “Curve” tool (which looks like a pen).
  • Draw an outline around your object patiently. The more accurately you draw, the accurate your results will be (but don’t sweat it out if you’re getting started).
  • Please note that you must touch the start and endpoint to close the drawing.
  • Click on the “Highlight” button (which looks like a wand) to clearly see the isolated areas.
  • For further fine-tuning, adjust the settings under “Softness” within the “Window” section, like “Inside”, “Outside”.
  • Make sure, you get the isolation right here.

If needed, click on “Qualifier” tool to isolate using hue, saturation and luminance (also called as HSL qualification).

HSL qualification is usually applied to isolate sky, ocean, green pasture, etc.

Use this tool, if needed for your purpose.

#2. Track the Windows for Moving Objects

  • Click on the “Tracker” button next to the “Window” button.
  • Make sure “Window” is selected from the dropdown.
  • Click on the forward button (and the backward button if needed) to track the entire video clip.
  • After tracking, make sure the object is properly covered using the window from start to finish.
  • If the automatic tracking doesn’t properly do the job, then click on “Frame” (next to “Clip” tab), and use left/right arrow keys to move frame by frame and re-adjust the window manually.
  • Every time you re-adjust the window in “Frame” mode, Resolve will place a keyframe (to record your change).
  • Re-adjust manually till you feel the window covers your object from start to finish.

#3. Add an Outside Node

What is an Outside Node in DaVinci Resolve?

Outside node contains information about everything else except the isolated object.

Create an outside node whenever you isolate an object, say a bird, using Window and Qualifier tools, but want to affect everything else but the bird.

It is basically inverting your key.

To add an outside node, you simply need to right-click on the second node and select “Add Node” -> “Add Outside”.

#4. Drop a Gaussian Blur on the Outside Node from “OpenFX” tab

  • Click on the “OpenFX” tab (next to the “Nodes”).
  • Under “Resolve FX Blur“, click on “Gaussian Blur“, then drag & drop it on the outside node.
  • The background is instantly blurred!
  • Under the “Settings” tab of the Gaussian blur, adjust the “Horizontal Strength” and “Vertical Strength” till you get the desired blur.
  • You can also select different options for the border under “Advanced Controls“.
  • Sometimes you might have a border. To remove it, select “Replicate” from “Border Type”.
  • Play with all the settings till your background is blurred to your taste.

Few Things to note:

  • If you feel that the blurred background is not as expected, you need to make sure the window isolation is accurately done. As already discussed, you need to fine-tune the “Softness” settings to cleanly isolate your subject from the background.
  • (If you used a “Qualifier” selection like HSL or 3d to isolate, make sure you fine-tune the selection under the “Matte Finesse” section.)
  • Also, make sure, the tracking is done perfectly. Use “Frame” if needed, to manually re-adjust the window so that it accurately covers the subject and isolates it perfectly.
  • With a little bit of trial and error, you should get better at it.

Related Articles:

How to Add Motion Blur in DaVinci Resolve (Read This First!)

How to Crop in DaVinci Resolve (In Less Than 2 minutes!)

How to Blur Background to Fill up the Frame in DaVinci Resolve?

If you shot your video vertically using a smartphone, then chances are you might need to fill the empty black background.

This is how you blur your background to fill up the frame:

  • Under the “Edit” or “Cut” page, click on the “Effects Library“.
  • Click on “OpenFX” from the left.
  • Scroll down, under “Resolve FX Stylize” -> click on “Blanking Fill“. (Alternatively, you can also search using the search box at the top).
  • Drag & drop it onto the desired clip in your timeline.
  • You get the blurred background for the whole video or photo instantly.
  • Click on “Inspector” tab -> click on “Effects” tab -> “Open FX” tab.
  • There are various settings like zoom, blend edges, blur backgrounds, drop shadow, etc. Adjust them till you get the desired look!

How to Blur Face in DaVinci Resolve?

  • Under the “Edit” tab, Import the video into “Media Pool” and drop it onto the timeline.
  • Go to the “Color” page.
  • Under “Nodes“, right-click on the first node and select “Add Node” -> “Add Serial“.
  • Click on the “Window” button beneath the viewer.
  • Click on the “Circle” or “Curve” tool (which looks like a pen) to draw the outline of the face.
  • Track the face under the “Tracker” tool.
  • The face is now isolated and tracked.
  • Click on the “Open FX” tab.
  • Click on “Mosaic Blur“, drag & drop it onto the second node which contains the window and tracking data.
  • The face is now blurred.
  • Adjust the “Pixel Frequency” and “Smooth Strength” to get the blur of your taste.

Blur Transition in DaVinci Resolve

The in-built blur transition in Resolve is “Blur Dissolve“.

Here is how to add blur transition to clips in DaVinci Resolve:

  • Under the “Edit” page, make sure you have 2 video clips placed end to end.
  • Click on “Effects Library” -> click on “Video Transitions” under “Toolbox“.
  • Under “Dissolve“, drag & drop “Blur Dissolve” onto the boundaries of the 2 clips. (Alternatively, you can search for “blur” in the search box).
  • Under “Inspector”, click on the “Transition” tab to reveal settings for further fine-tuning.
  • Adjust duration, horizontal/vertical strength, ease in, ease out, etc, till you get the desired blur transition.

How to Blur Text in DaVinci Resolve?

The basic idea is to convert the text into a clip before adding a blur effect.

  • Go to the “Edit” page.
  • Click on “Effects Library” -> click on “Titles”.
  • Click on “Text” under the “Titles” section.
  • Drag & drop it onto the timeline.
  • Right-click on the text and select “New Compound Clip”.
  • Enter any name for the compound clip and click “Create“.
  • The text is now converted into a clip.
  • Click on “Open FX” from the left side.
  • Drag & drop any blur effect like “Directional Blur” onto the clip.
  • Click on “Inspector” tab -> “Effects”.
  • Adjust “Blur Strength”, “Blur Angle“, etc, to get the text blurred to your taste!

How to Remove Blur in DaVinci Resolve?

How to Remove Blur Effect like Zoom Blur in Edit Page?

  • Click on the clip which has the blur effect applied in the timeline.
  • Go to “Inspector” tab -> “Effects” -> “OpenFX” tab.
  • Click on the toggle button of Zoom blur to turn it off.
  • The blur is now removed.

How to Remove Blur Transition in “Edit” Page?

  • Click on the blur transition, say “Blur Dissolve”, which is placed on the boundaries of 2 clips, in the timeline.
  • Press “Backspace” to delete it.

How to Remove Blur Effect in “Color” Page?

  • Go to the “Color” page.
  • Select the clip which has a blur effect, like “Gaussian Blur”.
  • Click on “Settings” under “Open FX” tab (next to “Nodes”).
  • Click on the toggle button to turn it off.
  • The blur is removed!

You may be also interested in the below posts:

Quickly Reverse / Rewind in DaVinci Resolve (Important Tips)

Zoom Techniques in DaVinci Resolve (Each Under 2 Minutes!)

Quickly Edit Images in DaVinci Resolve (Step-by-Step Guide)

Still Images in DaVinci Resolve (9 Things You Should Know)

Does DaVinci Resolve Have Free Music? (Read This First!)

Change Aspect Ratio in DaVinci Resolve: (Cinematic Look)

Does DaVinci Resolve Support Gif? (Here’s How to Work With Them)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.