How to add motion blur in Premiere Pro

Creating motion blur in Premiere Pro helps to add realism to your project and can correct your movie in post-production. We look at how motion blur happens, how you can control motion blur and show you how to modify motion blur in Premiere Pro.

Let’s check it out!

What is motion blur?

Simply put. Motion blur is the streaking of moving objects within your shot visually. This produces streaking and smearing of the imagery of the result of movement. 

In general, if you move your eyes quick, you produce a visual blur. This includes that of moving objects. I.e. vehicles. 

A subtle motion blur in your film applied intentionally helps the audience subconsciously understand the movement. 

You can create a motion blur in a number of ways:

How to create motion blur 

Here are a few ways in which you can create motion blur:

  • On post-production. 
  • By the camera during exposure
  • By the movement of the subject during exposure
  • Or by slowing the shutter speed

It pairs perfectly with panning in film.

Motion blur in film

Motion blur occurs in most films. Blurring will happen naturally when shooting in 24fps. It is also easily captured in higher frame rates like 30fps and, as you well know, in real-time from the human eye. 

As humans, we subconsciously process the motion blurs, and when these do not occur in certain scenes we tend to process the picture or the scene as unnatural. 

This is when Premiere Pro (Or other video editing software) comes into play and you create an aesthetic motion blur. 

Also in video games and tv, motion blur is applied when a character does a certain action. For example, if the cameras panning quickly to follow the animated character running, intentional motion blur is added to create a naturalistic look.

Best Premiere Pro Export Settings

Why is motion blur used in post production? 

As touched upon above, if the footage has been shot at a very high shutter speed or on an automated shutter speed you may not get the motion blur you wanted. 

You’ll probably have stuttery, choppy footage that looks unnatural. If you add motion blur in post-production you’ll be able to make the footage much more natural.

Or, you may want to add motion blur to the credits in your video. This is sometimes used in commercials and YouTube videos. 

Whatever the reason is adding motion blur can be done in Premiere Pro to give your footage a smooth, naturalistic look to it.

Blur in Premiere Pro

How to Motion Blur in Premiere Pro

Here’s how to add motion blur in Premiere Pro. Follow these simple steps to ensure you add motion blur in Premiere Pro naturally. 

1. Add the Transform Effect

Add the Transform Effect

Open up Premiere Pro and import your footage into Premiere Pro.

Now go to Window > Effects panel. Then head to Video Effects > Distort subfolder. Now select the “Transform” effect and add it to your video clip in your Timeline.

2. You will need to animate the properties

You will need to animate the properties

By using the Transform effect it will give you the properties to keyframe. Here you can alter the X position. Alter the X position to move from either left to right, or right to left. 

Once animated you’ll be able to complete the last couple of steps by adding the motion blur.

3. Alter the shutter speed (Shutter angle) in Premiere Pro

You can activate the motion blur by deselecting “Use Composition’s Shutter Angle”. Then set the shutter angle to your preferred setting. 

180 degrees is the default setting. The higher you set it, the more blur you’re going to get. For this blur to work perfectly, you must animate the properties using the Transform Effect discussed above. 

Note: Do not add the motion blur in Premiere Pro via the “Motion Tab”.

4. Finally, create a Preset

By creating a preset in Premiere Pro it will allow you to apply motion blur much quicker in any upcoming edits or projects you have. This will make you a much more efficient editor as it speeds the process of motion blur up. 

You can also create other presets and shortcuts in Premiere pro to speed your overall editing workflow up. 

To create a preset, simply Right-Click on the Transform Effect in the Effects Control Panel and click on Save Preset. 

Finally, name the preset and add a memorable description and save it!

That’s it. That is how you add motion blur in Premiere Pro. For more information on creating presets in Premiere Pro, click our link down below: 

Creating Premiere Pro presets – all you need to know!

Free motion blur Premiere Pro downloads

Here are a couple of free-motion blur Premiere Pro downloads we highly recommend – they’re not just left to right. They’re pretty dynamic and ones that add decent production value:

Upwards Motion Transition

This free motion blur effect in Premiere Pro is perfect for commercials. The upward transition smoothly moves from one shot to another.

Easy to implement in Premiere Pro, follow our steps above, and you’ll have this smooth transition ready in no time.

Downwards Motion Transition

The downwards motion transition uses the blur effect similar to the free transition above. However, it’s inverted. It’s a smooth transition that effortlessly glides from scene to scene. One we’d see more in the commercial side of things, however, it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with this motion blur transition on a short or feature film. 

Have a play about with it. You could use it as a transition for a key point in the movie, maybe display something secretive with the audience to build terror or suspense. 

Check out our list of the best free transitions in Premiere Pro.

We hope this article on motion blur in Premiere Pro was useful. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments. We love to hear from you! Please let us know if there is something specific you wish to learn from us. We’re always happy to make a tutorial!

Happy editing!

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