13/11/2013 | by Nina Zietman | 7 comments
Most people have probably heard the term aspect ratio but might not properly know what it means. It’s essential to know what ratio your video is shot in so that you can edit it correctly without it getting squashed vertically or horizontally.
With most software, this is determined automatically at the start of a project so there’s not too much to worry about. If you start seeing ‘letterboxing’ (black bars at the edges of the screen) you should look into your settings again and make sure they match those of your camera.
Most cameras shoot at standard 16:9 ratio (for every 16 pixels horizontally, there are 9 vertically). This is handily the standard aspect of most computer monitors and TVs. If you want to get real tekkers, you can start playing around with widescreen formats, like this dryslope edit (below). You can crop out segments from the top and bottom by setting the vertical pixels of your composition to be less than that of your footage. Mostly it’s just important to make sure you’re not squeezing your shots. Oh, and if you ever find yourself shooting video in portrait, you’re now banned from using your camera again.