Use Gaussian blur to bring your vision into focus

For a long time, there's been this misconception that a blurred image is a low-quality image and has poor pixel value. But there are certain cases when the blur filter is necessary for the video or image. Add visual interest to your project by incorporating Gaussian blur into your video. With easy-to-use filters and intuitive AI tools, Runway empowers you to create a smoother, more sophisticated final product—and sharpen your creative process.

The smoothest editing process

Looking to reduce background noise or create depth within a moving image? Apply a Gaussian blur effect to smooth over uneven pixels, censor for privacy, and express your signature aesthetic. With countless tools, filters, and effects at your disposal in our all-in-one suite, it’s never been easier to bring your creative vision into focus.
Open Runway Editor

How to Use Our Gaussian Blur Effect

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Browser UI
Import
Upload your video file directly to the cloud and never worry about computer storage again. From MP4 to ProRes, we've got you covered.
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Browser UI
Add Blur
Find our “Gaussian Blur” effect in the right-hand panel, under “Effects and Filters.” Once it’s applied, you’ll find a small slider that can be used for adjusting the intensity.
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Browser UI
Export
Once you’re satisfied with how the Gaussian Blur looks, you can continue editing or export your finished creation in a variety of resolution and formatting options.

Benefits

With endless applications, Gaussian blur can help you effectively tell your story and flex your editing muscles. Heighten visual interest, hush image noise, and control the scene with Runway’s easy-to-use blurring effect.

Clarify focus

Use Gaussian blur to create a shallow depth of field that lets your subject shine. Forget about the background—direct your audience’s attention to what matters.

Convey movement

Apply a blur effect to give your image a sense of speed and direction and evoke the unmistakable feeling of zooming down a highway.

Obscure vision

Making a surrealist feature or shielding a face from public view? Experiment with Gaussian blur to make your shot appear intentionally out-of-focus or to conceal sensitive images.

Why Runway?

Take your vision to the next level with Runway’s streamlined editing suite and turn your video into a dynamic work of art. With lightning-fast, in-browser capabilities and intelligent tools such as Green Screen and Inpaint, your post-production process will be a beautiful blur.

Edit from anywhere

Thanks to Runway’s all-in-one web-based video editing software, you can edit your projects from any device without stressing about storage. Say goodbye to external hard drives and juggling multiple software. With all of your progress saved to the cloud, you can feel free to roam—and work from—wherever your story takes you.

Create a community

Source real-time feedback on your film with Runway’s simultaneous collaboration capabilities. Share, view, or edit projects together with just a simple email invite. Send a link and then link up with your trusted co-creators in our engaging editing suite; no downloading required.

Finish films fast

Tap into user-friendly editing functions designed to quickly get your project off the ground. With video templates, editing tools, effects, and features at your fingertips, you can go from figuring out how Gaussian blur works to sharing finished content in no time. Become a Runway master, and move on to your next big thing.
FAQs
What is the Gaussian blur effect?
At times, the Gaussian blur is mistaken as the same as the Bokeh effect. While the Bokeh effect is the out-of-focus areas of an original image, the Gaussian blur is a blur effect of the entire image. Gaussian blur is a type of filter that reduces noise and softens details. Named after the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, this effect entails the application of a mathematical function that tamps down an image’s high-frequency components. When photographers or filmmakers apply a Gaussian blur to their images, the smoothed-over effect almost gives the impression of looking through a translucent screen. In addition to the soft, blurred effect, Gaussian blurring can also be used to give an image more dynamism. The mathematical function that powers the effect allows the pixels gathered around the central point of the image to remain more intact and vibrant. As the pixels get farther away from the central point, their opacity and potency decrease, leaving the edges of the image appearing gauzy or foggy.
What are the uses of Gaussian blur?
Gaussian blur can bring interest, focus, and motion to your video clips. Some excellent uses for the Gaussian blur include:
  • Privacy – Use Gaussian blur to protect the privacy of your subject or a person in the background of your shot. If you have a clip of someone’s face that you do not have permission to display, you can use a Gaussian blur effect to keep your clip intact while ensuring the privacy of individuals. This same use case applies to other privacy or trademark issues and can help obscure license plates, identification numbers, or business logos.
  • Reduce noise – Soften your surroundings with the help of Gaussian blur. With this effect, you can blur a busy background full of people, moving cars, or even grass swaying in the wind. Give your video a dream-like quality and focus on the critical aspects of your story simultaneously.
  • Convey movement – Gaussian function can significantly alter your video to give the impression of movement. Simply adjust the direction of your blur. For example, by choosing to blur horizontally, you can give the illusion of rapid movement from the left side of the screen to the right side (think of a character riding a bike). Similarly, a vertical blur can show motion from the top of the screen to the bottom (an apple falling from a tree). With the help of Gaussian blur, you can create supplemental momentum to help give your video a more lifelike, kinetic feel.
With its myriad uses, it’s no wonder this effect remains wildly popular among filmmakers and cinematographers. If you want to drive movement or draw attention to the foreground, Gaussian blur can positively impact your project. Add the effect to your toolkit today with Runway.
Can you create Gaussian blur when shooting?
Technically, no.
Gaussian blur is a specific blurring effect involving mathematical and spatial imaging strategies. You can only achieve this type of blur through digital editing.
Although achieving a Gaussian blur with a camera is technically impossible, you can achieve other blurring effects while shooting. Before setting up to film, consider the following to ensure filming goes smoothly:
  • Your depth of field – The best way to achieve a blurred background involves manipulating the depth of field. Set up your camera far away from your desired background, with your object of interest as close to the lens as possible to achieve precise focus.
  • Your camera – Opt for a manual camera and adjust the lens appropriately before shooting. Filming with an automatic camera can lead to the camera adjusting during filming and ruining your preset focus.
  • The physical logistics – If filming a scene that requires a lot of motion, mark the sequence with your crew before filming it. Doing a few test runs with the camera settings can help take pressure off of actual filming. Plus, you can look back at your rehearsal shots and identify room for improvement.
Even if you take all the right steps during filming, you might fall short of the captivating mix of clarity and blur that a Gaussian filter provides. Luckily, Runway’s digital studio makes adding this entrancing effect more effortless than ever. Just upload your raw footage to start experimenting with filters from right inside your browser—no ramp-up time, just instant fun.
What other types of blurs and filters are there?
Though the Gaussian blur remains one of the most popular filters given its simplicity, versatility, and efficacy, different blurring methods and atmospheric filters can benefit your videos. Some of our favorites include:
  • Radial blur – This incredible effect begins at a specific focal point and blurs inward or outward to create a dramatic, rotational feel—like you're staring at an object that’s spinning at lightning speed.
  • Lens distortion – Try this trippy filter to amplify the sense of distortion and unreality in your video. This powerful effect combines blurring techniques with chromatic aberration for a sense of surreal style.
  • Vignette – Reinforce the sense of drama and focus created by a Gaussian blur with a vignette effect, which plays with darkness and light to draw the audience’s attention to the center of the frame.
  • Sharpen – If you’re creating a hyperreal production that leans more toward grittiness than dreaminess, experiment with sharpening features, which forego Gaussian softness for increased clarity throughout the shot.
  • Lens flare – There’s nothing like the power of perfect lighting. But some raw material leaves much to be desired. Tap into captivating light tricks (in a flash) with effects like lens flare, mimicking the moment the light hits your lens.
  • VHS effect – Shift from a smooth Gaussian feel to a timeworn, retro vibe with a VHS effect. Add visual interest and texture with this stylized filter that adds lines, static, and a vivid sense of nostalgia.
With Runway, you can feel free to experiment with all of these features—and more—to your heart's content. Thanks to our diverse selection of visual editing features, filters, and effects, you can find the perfect blur for your project or discover a fine-tuned preset that speaks to your creative vision. With one-click ease, intuitive collaboration, and in-browser access, the path to creative success has never been clearer.
Want more help?
Write us at support@runwayml.com.
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