How Can I Redact (Blur or Pixelate) a Video With Amped Replay?

Dear friends, welcome to a brand new issue of the How Do I Do This? Series! Privacy protection has become a hot and sensitive point nowadays. The European GDPR, for example, puts severe limitations on publishing someone’s picture without having explicit consent. This situation calls for effective and easy-to-use video redaction tools, especially if you’re considering handing out something to the media. Today we’ll see how you can quickly redact your video evidence with Amped Replay.

In Amped Replay, go to the Annotate tab and click on the Hide tool. Just drag over the frame to cover the object/subject that needs redaction. You can then customize the redaction aspect from the right panel. Done!

Let’s work with a sample case to keep things clear. Say we have a video of our suspect while she’s getting into her car. We drag the file into Amped Replay, which will convert it if needed (Replay can deal with hundreds of proprietary CCTV formats). And we have this:

We can’t just crop all the surrounding pixels since we don’t want to lose the context. However, we need to redact the license plates of all cars in the video, except the suspect’s one, of course, and the passerby’s face located in the background.

With Amped Replay, that couldn’t be easier! We just need to activate the Hide tool by clicking on the “drop” icon and drag a redacting object, e.g., starting from the leftmost license plate:

We can choose between two redaction effects, “Pixelation” and “Blur,” and between two possible shapes, “Ellipse” and “Rectangle” (remember that holding the SHIFT key will generate a circle or square, respectively). We can also customize the intensity of the pixelation and blur effects. Take a look at the gallery below to see some of the possible results:

Once we’ve found our favorite settings, we just need to keep drawing more elements to cover all the license plates. The latest configuration of the tool will be reused for all of them, so we’ll end up with a consistent result! In the picture below, we’re also enabling a red border for all shapes to facilitate seeing the redaction areas – though this is something you would typically avoid in a real case.

I guess what you’re thinking now is, “Okay, that works for a still frame, but what if the camera or the subjects to be redacted move?”. Of course, we also cover that case, and widely. Indeed, Amped Replay’s annotations tracking is so powerful that we’ll dedicate a single post to it soon 😉 Be patient, and stay tuned!

That’s all for today! We hope you’ve found this issue of the “Amped Replay Tutorials: How do I do this?” series interesting and useful! Stay tuned and don’t miss the next ones. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook: we’ll post a link to every new tutorial so you won’t miss any!