How to Mask a Video in Adobe Premiere Pro

How To 6 min
Learning how to edit specific video elements through masking techniques is valuable for enhancing the effectiveness, clarity and quality of video content. 

Masking videos can serve many purposes. For example, you can use masking in a defined area in a clip to conceal a person’s face to protect their identity. Remember, any masking effects must be made in accordance with current imagery ethics policy and the DoD Instruction 5040.02.

Watch this tutorial by Premiere Gal and follow along with the steps below to learn how to mask a video with rounded corners, scale proportionally and soften edges with feathering in Adobe Premiere Pro.

  1. In the Effect Controls Panel, click Opacity.
  2. Click Rectangular mask or Create a 4-point polygon mask.
  3. Hover over a corner of the video until you see the rotational symbol.
  4. Click the rotational symbol and press the shift key until a straight double arrow appears.
  5. Click the double arrow and drag to scale up (or down) while maintaining proportions.

  1. Click Mask Expansion, located under Mask in the Effect Controls panel, and adjust the value to achieve the desired rounded corners.
  2. Increase the expansion for more pronounced rounding.

  1. Select Mask to access transform tools.
  2. Lasso and select two of the corners and drag them until both corners on the side you want to expand are solid blue.
  3. Click the corner, drag and expand the desired side.
  4. Press shift to lock the image and maintain symmetry, then continue expanding the desired side. 
  5. To expand other sides, repeat these steps on the side you want to expand. 

  1. Click Mask Feather under Mask in the Effect Controls panel. Adjust the Mask Feather slider to increase or decrease intensity.
  2. Increase Feather for a softer transition, which is suitable for blending, or decrease Feather for sharper edges, which is ideal for precise masking.

Adobe product screen shots reprinted with permission from Adobe Inc.

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