The term Aspect Ratio refers to the relationship between the width and height of a video, which is expressed normally in the form of "width: height", for example, 4:3 or 16:9, and it is irrelevant to the actual physical size of the image.
The most common video aspect ratios are 4:3 (1.3:1) and 16:9 (1.78:1). The former is the standard TV format, while the latter is the latest widescreen TV format. Besides these two, 1:1 and 9:16 are getting popular on social media sharing nowadays.
To change the aspect ratio permanently, you need a video editor or converter. Here I humbly recommend a remarkable aspect ratio changer - Wondershare Filmora video editor, which lets you create both 4:3, 16:9, 9:16, and 1:1 aspect ratio videos easily. You can share the created videos on Apple TV, YouTube, Vimeo, and mobile devices conveniently.
Note: Since this video is made with the previous Filmora version, I’ve updated the latest steps of the changing aspect ratio in Filmora below.
Part 2: How to Change Aspect Ratio in Filmora
Method 1: Change aspect ratio at the Starting interface
The Filmora allows you to change the project aspect ratio after launching the video editor program. Click the drop-down menu and you will see the commonly used 16:9, 1:1, 9:16, 4:3, and 21:9 aspect ratios.
Method 2: Change Aspect Ratio under Project Settings
If you like, you could choose a target aspect ratio at the beginning after entering the main editing interface by clicking the Project Settings. It depends on the aspect ratio of your media source.
If most of your media source files are in the 4:3 aspect ratio, you should select the 4:3 standard aspect ratio. For you've selected an aspect ratio, then the media files that are in 16:9 or other aspect ratios will be converted with a black bar, and be stretched if necessary. This is the solution when aspect ratio discordance occurs. But if you just want to change the aspect ratio of one video file, simply choose an aspect ratio and go.
If you want to change the aspect ratio later, just select Project Settings to change it again.
Method 3: Change Aspect Ratio during Editing
After importing video files into the Filmora timeline, you can still change the aspect ratio at the Crop and Zoom tool.
Right-click on the clip in the timeline to select Crop and Zoom. Then a pop-up window will appear. By clicking manually, 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, and 9:16 at the bottom, you can change the aspect ratio with these presets or click Custom to enter the aspect ratio manually. After selecting, click OK. Then you will find aspect ratio will change.
If you find a black bar after changing the aspect ratio, you can add some background blur effects to enhance the video. Optionally, you can edit and enhance your video with plenty of filters, overlays, visual effects, titles.
Method 4: Change Video Aspect Ratio with Auto-Reframe
If you’re running Filmora V10.5 and later versions, you will find the Auto-Reframe is a big helper in changing the video aspect ratio. Besides cropping, it will detect the object in any video, and then automatically crop it based on your need.
Follow the steps below to change the video aspect ratio with Auto-Reframe.
After importing the video to the Media library, right-click it and then select the Auto-Reframe menu.
Now, you will see the Auto-Reframe too window. You can replace the video file with a new one, and change the aspect ratio and motion speed of the video. In Auto-Reframe, you can change the aspect ratio to fit most social media platforms, since it provides presets including 9:16, 1:1, 16:9, 4:3, 4:5 and 21:9.
After selecting the aspect ratio, click the Analyze button to continue, and Filmora will reframe the video automatically. When the converting process is completed, you will see the result in the preview window. If you want to adjust the frame, you can drag the box up or down to adjust it to keep the object in the frame. The content outside the box will be removed.
After the adjustment and reframing are completed, click the Export button to save the video. Rename the video and choose the location to save the video, click Export again to save.
You can then import the video to Filmora to do further editings such as adding texts and effects.
Method 5: Change Aspect Ratio at Exporting
Depending on your needs, you can either save your videos to a computer for a media player or mobile device, directly upload them to YouTube, or burn them to DVD for watching on standard or widescreen TV. To do so, click the "Export" button when you are happy with your video.
Change aspect ratio for the local computer
The first tab is "Local", in which you can save the video in a specified aspect ratio to the computer. Once a format is selected, all resolutions with different aspect ratios are available. Depending on the resolution, the output video aspect ratio is different. For example, 1280x720 is a 16:9 video, but 640x480 is a 4:3 video. Or input 480x480 to customize 1:1 video. You could calculate the aspect ratio yourself. Always change the aspect ratio to the same as your choice at the beginning. Otherwise, black bars may be added.
Change aspect ratio for a device
Switch to the "Device" tab to save your video in formats that are compatible with all popular devices, including iPhone, iPod, iPad, PSP, etc. When you've chosen a device, all resolutions with an optional aspect ratio will be given. Simply choose your favorite resolution from the list. The higher, the better video quality, but also larger file size.
Change aspect ratio for YouTube
Go to the "YouTube" tab and type in your information before clicking the "Export" button. There is no need to select an aspect ratio for a second time. Your videos will be directly uploaded to YouTube depending on your selection at the beginning.
Change aspect ratio for DVD TV
It's easy to switch aspect ratio for TV between 4:3 and 16:9. When you're in the "DVD" tab, you'll see an aspect ratio option. Simply choose what you want depending on your TV's screen.
Part 3: Why aspect ratio is important for video editing?
The aspect ratio is an ideal value to obtain excellent resolution for images and videos. If you take a deeper note on aspect ratio in video editing you will find out there are multiple aspect ratio options are available for you to select as per your needs. The aspect ratio takes the control of the height, width, and resolution attributes of a video and image.
Part 4: What is the right aspect ratio for different social media platforms?
Every social media platform carries a unique aspect ratio to position the videos and images perfectly within the screen. If you are making use of social media platforms then you must learn about the aspect ratios of these platforms for optimum usage.
The right aspect ratio for different social media platforms respectively
The ideal aspect ratio of YouTube is 16:9 Even if you upload videos with different aspect ratios, the YouTube environment has a built-in setting to convert the uploaded videos into the standard aspect ratio automatically.
Facebook follows the aspect ratio of 16:9. The images take this aspect ratio automatically when you post the videos in this environment.
Instagram (including IGTV)
You can upload files on Instagram with an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5
Here, Twitter accepts the aspect ratio between 2.1 and 1.1
The standard aspect ratio is 16:9 but it gives the option for filmmakers to upload files with 4:3 ratios.
Above are the ways that I figured out on changing aspect ratio in Filmora. Whether you are changing the aspect ratio for a different social media platform or something else, Filmora is undoubtedly your first choice.
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.