Tip #1225: Create the Illusion of Speed

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1225: Create the Illusion of Speed

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

A Directional Blur creates a blur that reinforces the direction of movement.

Jet-powered fish with a Directional Blur applied.

Topic $TipTopic

You are editing an action scene, but elements in it don’t seem to be moving fast enough. Here’s filter that can help.

  • Apply Effects > Blurs > Directional Blur.
  • Then, set the Angle to match the direction of movement, and the Amount to emphasize the speed of movement.

This is similar to creating motion blur in the camera to show the audience just how fast something is moving.

There are no “magic settings” to this effect. Simply apply the filter, then tweak until things look good to you.

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2 replies
  1. Loren
    Loren says:

    Well, forgive me, I’m going to be contrarian here. The effect you describe certainly works well for STILLS. But when I look at it applied to MOVING objects, I’m getting the Six Million Dollar Man slo-mo effect, which with electrorazzy score made Lee Majors jump in slo-mo but we were supposed to translate that into Flash-like action. Never worked for me. Looked like Lee Majors jumping in slo-mo to weird score.

    Now, the Flash (Netflix) has real speed nailed- light streaks following the figure. How do we do such light trails in Premiere- or perhaps After Effects and Motion– is what I’m curious about.

    Best, as always,

    • Larry Jordan
      Larry Jordan says:


      Nothing wrong with being contrarian. It’s how we all learn.

      FCP X has a “Trails” effect that will give you that effect. We’d need to use After Effects to create something similar on the Adobe side.



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