Pixelation, from its root word “pixel”, is a video editing effect that makes the pixels, which are the single-colored little squares that compose a photo or video, visible or appear larger.
Pixelation is an important tool that comes in handy when editing. This effect is commonly used in compressing the file size of an image or video, or in concealing sensitive information in the photo or video such as a person’s face, a vehicle’s plate number, and many others.
This is often used in documentary films when a person’s identity is supposed to be protected for their safety.
There are several video editing apps that have pixelation feature. In this article, you will learn how to use this feature on the following apps: VideoPad by NCH Software, Movavi, Flixier, and Corel VideoStudio.
How To Pixelate A Video Using VideoPad (by NCH Software):
VideoPad (by NCH Software) is lightweight video-audio editing software that is easy to use, versatile, and simple. It features a wide range of effects and transitions including censoring through pixelation.
Firstly, of course, you have to load the video file on VideoPad. To do that, you have to click the Home Tab which is located in the upper left corner. Afterward, on the toolbar, click Add File(s).
There is another way to do it: drag the video file into the Video Files Bin.
Hover your mouse over the red timeline cursor and position it to where you want your edit to start.
Afterward, click on it, and click the scissors-looking button which is called Split All Tracks or you can just press the letter L on your keyboard.
Then position the red timeline cursor to the point where you want to end the edit of the clip and do the same thing.
- Click on the segment you created to activate it.
- From the Home toolbar, you will see Video Effects. Click on it.
- Then, you will have to scroll down into the Filters section and click Censor.
- A dialog box will appear. The censor is automatically enabled, however, if it is not, check on the box by clicking on it.
To manipulate the censor intensity, position, size, and shape of the censor, you have different options:
You can move the slider bar.
You can click on the numerical value boxes and change the number to your liking.
Or you can click on the censor itself, drag it to where you want to position it, resize by clicking on the censor dots and moving it.
To make the censor move with the subject that you want to pixelate, click the Show or hide the effect animation folder. Click on Add keyframe at the current position. You will add keyframes on the different parts of the video segment as the subject that you want to pixelate moves until the end of the clip. Make sure that the subject you want to hide is covered by the censor in all parts of the video.
Close the dialog box.
How To Pixelate A Video Online Using Flixier:
Flixier is an online video editing application that is great to use for its simplicity. It doesn’t have the widest range of tools, and that can be used for advantage when the editing is fast and doesn’t require too many tools to be utilized. Since Flixier is an online video editing application, it boasts its Collaborate in Real Time feature, which a lot of video editing applications don’t have.
First, you have to click Library. Afterward, you can record or import your video.
Now, you will drag the video file into the Timeline.
Then, you will click the Shapes Tab on the left side of the workspace. A panel will appear. You will click on the arrow beside the square shape and then click Square Mask.
A panel on the right will appear named “Rectangle Mask”. Go to Masks and click Pixelate.
Drag the mask to the part of the video that you want to conceal. You can modify the mask (adjust position, scale, resize) through the controls on the Rectangle Mask panel. You can also adjust the duration of the mask by dragging the start and end of the mask on the timeline.
For moving objects, you can add keyframes by moving the mask and right-clicking on it. Then click on Add Keyframe. Press the space button and press it again to where you want to add another keyframe. Do the same for the rest of the video.
How To Pixelate A Video Using Movavi:
Movavi is a video editing application that features versatility and wide-range ability in manipulating videos. If you are looking for quality video editing software that doesn’t cost too much, Movavi is a great choice.
To add a video file, click Add Files and select the video you want to edit. Another option is to drag the video file into the import section.
Drag the video that you chose from the Media Bin into the Timeline.
Click the More Tools tab located on the left side of the workspace. Located here are the enhancements and special effects you can apply to your video and audio.
On the Video Editing tab, scroll down to Highlight and Conceal. There you can find the masks that you would choose to conceal a part of your image. You can choose Pixelate Ellipse or Pixelate Rectangle, whichever suits your liking. Select a mask and adjust it by dragging the dots of the orange frame so that it would fit the part that you want to conceal.
In the Mask Properties, you can adjust the size of the pixels to your liking. You can also apply an Outline by checking the box. However, in concealing part of videos, outlines are rarely used. Click Apply once you are done.
Open the Motions Tab. Choose a tracking mode in order to track the movement of the subject that you want to conceal. Precise option is much more accurate than the Quick option but takes a lot more time. Once you are done, click Track. Wait for it to be finished.
Click the Play button in the Preview and see the results for yourself. If the results aren’t that accurate and you chose Quick option, you can try Precise and wait until the tracking is done.
How To Pixelate A Video Using Corel VideoStudio:
VideoStudio, developed by Corel isn’t a lightweight video editing software like Movavi and VideoPad. It has a wide variety of features such as green screen, masking, multi-camera video, stop motion animation, motion-tracking, filters, effects, and titles.
To add a video file, click on the Edit tab, then click on Import Media Files. Select the video that you want to edit. Click on Open.
Drag the video you selected to the Video track on the Timeline.
From the toolbar, click on the Track Motion icon, which is visualized by three overlapping circles.
What you will do is drag the red tracker to the area that you want to track.
Click on Apply/Hide mosaic, and then click on the arrow beside it. You can choose what type of mosaic you want, Rectangle or Circle. You can adjust the size of the mosaic by adjusting the nodes, or the dots in the mask. You can adjust the pixel size by clicking the arrow down and up beside the number. The lower the pixel size, the more pixelated the video will become.
Click the Track Motion and it will track the movement of the subject with the mosaic.
Click Okay and see the effect for yourself by pressing play.
The different apps featured certainly have their own ways of achieving pixelation. VideoPad and Flixier are applications that use manual adding of keyframes in order for the pixelation to stay on the preferred subject, while applications like Movavi and Corel VideoStudio have a motion-tracking feature that allows for a computer-detected pixelation of the subject.
Each of these applications has its own advantages and functions. The lightweight applications such as VideoPad and Movavi, and the online video editing application Flixier, shine in terms of easiness of usage and that it doesn’t require too many complexities with its tools and effects.
The simpler the interface, the more accessible it is for beginner editors and people with a knack for editing and filmmaking in general. However, applications like Corel VideoStudio, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve have their own perks too.
The more tools and effects, the more you can do with the video that you are editing. Although, that requires months and years of learning to fully understand these applications. These are mostly used for professional use.
These video editing applications are tools that can bring your creative imagination into reality through the medium of video. You just have to know what application is best suited for your needs, budget, and limitations. Once you know what are the strengths of these applications, you get to utilize them to the fullest to bring your wild imagination into life.