How To Remove Unwanted Items From Background of Video Premiere Pro Tutorial

How to remove unwanted items, things and imperfections from the background of your videos in Adobe Premiere Pro. This tutorial will show you one simple and easy way to remove things using masking from your video.

So there’s few things more frustrating than finishing filming and getting footage into your editing software, only to realise there’s some unwanted items in the background or just general imperfections. Now ordinarily this could spell disaster for the whole thing, you’d have to reshoot everything you’ve done, but thankfully there is some very simple ways to fix this problem. 

Here we finished our filming but in the background of our video we’ve got these unwanted items, we’ve got two plug sockets in the background. They’re just generally quite ugly to look at and distracting from the final video. We could reshoot this whole thing and reframe it so they aren’t there, but we don’t have time to do that so let’s look at how we can fix it. 

We could literally just scale up this footage and reposition it, but wed be losing some quality by doing that. To crop in by 38% is just generally a bit ugly. It’s not how I wanted it to look in the first place

Now I’m going to show you the technique which is called masking. We’re going to use masking to duplicate a couple of layers of footage and take a section of them and literally use that to mask out the issue. 

To get started on this we want to have our original video footage on layer 1 or the bottom most Video layer. That’s because we’re going to place our duplicated masked out layers on top of it, so the original footage needs to be on the bottom most layer. 

First of all we take our video footage, duplicate it and place it on top, so now we have the exact duplication on video layer two.

We’re gonna use the opacity tool to draw a mask over the top of that plug. You can use the square polygon which will just drop a four-point mask on top, or you can use the free draw tool to go for fine adjustments. For this I’m just going to use the four point tool, just for ease and what we’re gonna do is create a small square that is the same size of that plug and place it on top of the plug. 

You want to be careful here to make sure that we’re not overlapping with any objects that are important to the shot, for example if Pete’s arm moves, we don’t wanna be masking out there. So I’m just being careful to make it as small as possible whilst covering a whole object that needs to be removed and once you’ve got that roughly in place. 

We’re going to take that mask and we’re just going to move it up to an area that we can ‘copy and paste’ over that so I’m gonna hold shift and I’m going to move it to a section of background that’s clear of any obstructions. 

Now we’ve not actually achieved anything yet apart from drawing a mask, but once we’ve got video Layer Two selected we can take the position control and move that y-axis down so it covers up the plug. Just drag that down and that plug is covered.

Now if you look carefully you can see some slight imperfections and this is the point in which we can go in a little bit tighter and kind of tidy that mask up. By selecting Video Layer 2 and effecting the masks settings.

Obviously this isn’t a perfect fix, ideally you’d get it right in filming, but this simple technique will hopefully save you some blushes in the future!


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4 comments
  1. Brilliant tutorial and great use of creativity to mask. I think Ive done that a couple times to hide logos, but only before I realized it was unneccesary! lol Can you show me how to make my skin look flawless on camera?

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