Motion blur can be a powerful technique when used correctly. Learn how to use and apply motion blurring to your project with these After Effects tutorials.

Cover image via Shutterstock

Motion blurring has been a part of film and video since the first film cameras began arranging pictures in sequential order to create the illusion of movement. When done digitally, it is often intended to replicate the blur that usually comes from traditional filmmaking techniques. You often see it used artificially in animated projects and high-end special effects.

As a tool, it can convey speed and fast motion. Without it, footage can look unnatural and fake. No matter how you intend to use it, here are some tutorials to help you master some of the different aspects of the art of motion blurring in After Effects.

Simply Enable Motion Blur

At a base level, After Effects is built for adding effects like motion blur. In fact, it’s built right into your default comp panel. If you’re looking to add motion blur to a single moving object, simply turn it on and select it as the YouTuber AR Arts demonstrates in the simple video above.

Add Motion Blur Using Built-In Plugins

Again, After Effects is one of the best programs for adding motion blur and has many resources and functionalities built in to help you easily apply it to your footage. In TunnelvizionTV‘s tutorial, you simply select motion blur and work with it manually. As he shows in the video, it may be necessary to duplicate your composition to mask out the parts you want to remain static.

Add Pixel Motion Blur to Your Footage

In the above video by VideoFort, you can see how to add motion blur in After Effects by using the Pixel Motion Blur effect from the effects panel and simply dragging and dropping to your footage. You can usually work pretty well with the default settings in Pixel Motion Blur, but it also allows you the option to zoom in and add shutter samples to parts that may appear a little too smooth the blur out.

Use CC Force Motion Blur on Your Animation

Similar to Pixel Motion Blur, CC Force Motion Blur is another After Effects effect option. You can dive into a whole Lynda course on what makes the two effects different, but it may just depend on which one works best with your compositionIgnace Aleya shows you (in the video above) how to enable and render out using the latter of the two techniques.


How do you prefer to add motion blur to your projects in After Effects? Let us know in the comments.

Need After Effects Templates?