Adobe Premiere: Bug Eye Effect

Adobe Premiere: Bug Eye Effect

For some people, the bug eye effect is useful for film projects, while for others, it’s just fun or even both! This effect makes the talent’s eyes appear large and buggy in a seamless manner. Meticulous key-framing (or not, depending on your style preference) is the most difficult part, but that being said, even that is quite easy. It’s important to know for this specific bug eye technique that the talent’s head must face forward (mostly) during the entire clip. That said, the person’s head can move from side to side as much as you/they want, it will just be more work for, you, the editor.

With that said, let’s get into the steps to achieve the bug eye effect:

  1. First, put your clip into your timeline on Adobe Premiere Pro.
  2. Then find the ‘Spherize’ effect in the Distortion folder where all the effects are listed and drag it onto your clip in the timeline.
  3. Afterwards you’ll see that the ‘Spherize’ effect in your Effects Control panel, move your curser to click on Spherize, this will make the center point of the effect appear on your displayed clip.
  4. Move the center point to the center of the eye (to make it easier zoom in a bit).
  5. Proceed to click ‘Center of Sphere’ in the Effects Control panel which will make a keyframe appear to the right (make sure you’re at the beginning of the clip when you do this).
  6. Now slowly go through a few frames at a time, adjusting the center point on the eye if there is any movement, adding a new keyframe as you go. This will help keep the effect solely focused on the area of the face/frame that you want, making it more realistic.
  7. Once completed, do the same to the next eye by adding the ‘Spherize’ effect again to the clip and repeating the previous steps.
  8. When both centre points on the eyes are keyframed, proceed to adjust the ‘Radius’ of the Spherize effect within the Effects Control panel.
  9. When you’ve achieved your desired eye size, go to one of your Spherize effects in your Effects Control panel and create an ellipse mask.
  10. Adjust the size to one eye making it slightly bigger than the radius of the Spherize effect and use the ‘Mask Feather’ and ‘Mask Expansion’ to soften the border of the effect to make it seamless with the talents face.
  11. Proceed to create another ellipse mask for the other eye and make the same adjustments.
  12. Then you’re done!

I added a bit of colour correction to my final clip to make it a bit more surrealistic and fun, but you can truly use this effect on anything. You can even apply it to other facial features such as the nose mouth, or even ears if you’d like.

Have fun with it and use it to create any desired distortion!

For visual tutorial video on how to achieve the bug eye effect, look at the video below.