What does it mean to crop a video in Premiere Pro?
Being a video editor is all about controlling what your audience sees. Cropping a video clip essentially zooms in on a smaller segment of the frame, focusing the viewer’s attention on what you want them to look at.
There are plenty of reasons to crop video in Premiere Pro. You can create a split-screen by cropping two videos to fit next to one another. If you’re trying to composite a special effect into your video clip, you can use the Mask tool to constrain the effect to just a portion of the frame. Or you can use a cropped video as part of a scene transition.
What about changing my aspect ratio?
Although they’re functionally similar, cropping a video and altering a video’s aspect ratio are two different things. Cropping a video shrinks the space around the edges of the frame, while adjusting the aspect ratio changes the relationship between the width and height of the frame.
For example, suppose you have a video filmed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio (a frame 2.35 units wide by 1 unit high). This aspect ratio is perfect for a film shown on a movie screen, but if you want to show your video on a TV screen that uses the narrower 16:9 aspect ratio, you’ll need to make modifications so that none of the action gets cut off at the sides. One simple way to do this is letterboxing your video — adding black bars at the top and bottom of the screen to create a smaller but wider frame that can encompass your entire image.
If you want your video to fit the tighter aspect ratios in use on popular social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, try the Premiere Pro Auto Reframe function. Auto Reframe uses artificial intelligence to identify the important actions and regions in a video clip and ensures that they stay at the center of the frame as it trims the aspect ratio to your specifications.
A guide to social media aspect ratios.
- YouTube Shorts: 9:16 (vertical)
- Regular YouTube: 16:9 (widescreen)
- Instagram Reels: 9:16 (vertical)
- Instagram in-feed: 4:5 (portrait) or 1:1 (square)
- TikTok: 9:16 (vertical)
- Facebook in-feed: 1:1 (square) or 4:5 (portrait)
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