Video Editing terms

Aspect Ratio

The width-to-height ratio of a video frame (e.g., 16:9, 4:3).

What is an aspect ratio in video editing?

Aspect ratio in video editing refers to the proportional relationship between the width and the height of the video frame. It is expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, such as 4:3 or 16:9. The first number represents the width of the video, and the second number represents the height.

The aspect ratio is an important factor in video editing because it can affect how the video is displayed on different screens. For example, a video with a 4:3 aspect ratio will appear with black bars on the sides when viewed on a widescreen display. On the other hand, a video with a 16:9 aspect ratio will fill the entire screen on a widescreen display, but may appear with black bars at the top and bottom when viewed on a standard display. Therefore, video editors must consider the aspect ratio when creating and editing videos to ensure that the final product is displayed correctly on all types of screens.

How does aspect ratio affect video editing?

Aspect ratio significantly impacts video editing as it determines the width and height of the video frame, which directly influences how the content is viewed. The choice of aspect ratio can affect the composition, framing, and overall aesthetic of the video. For instance, a wider aspect ratio like 16:9 can provide a more cinematic feel, while a 1:1 ratio is often used for social media platforms like Instagram.

In video editing, it's crucial to maintain consistency in aspect ratio. If the aspect ratio changes during the video, it can lead to black bars appearing on the sides or top and bottom of the frame, or even cause the video to be stretched or squashed, which can distract the viewer and appear unprofessional. Therefore, video editors need to decide on the appropriate aspect ratio based on the intended platform and audience before starting the editing process.

What is the best aspect ratio for video editing?

The best aspect ratio for video editing largely depends on the platform where the video will be displayed. For traditional television and online platforms like YouTube, the standard aspect ratio is 16:9, which is considered the international standard for HDTV and non-HD digital television. This ratio provides a wide, cinematic look, making it ideal for a variety of content, including films, TV shows, and online videos.

However, for social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook, a 1:1 (square) or 4:5 (vertical) aspect ratio is often more suitable as these formats are more optimized for mobile viewing. In recent years, the 9:16 (vertical) aspect ratio has also gained popularity for mobile device usage, especially for platforms like Snapchat and TikTok. Ultimately, the best aspect ratio for video editing should align with your specific project requirements and the viewing habits of your target audience.

How to change aspect ratio in video editing?

Changing the aspect ratio in video editing can be done through various video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or iMovie. The process may vary slightly depending on the software, but the general steps are similar. First, you need to open your video editing software and import the video file you want to edit. Then, locate the sequence or project settings, often found in the 'File' or 'Edit' menu.

In the sequence or project settings, you should find an option for 'Aspect Ratio' or 'Resolution'. Here, you can change the aspect ratio to your desired setting. Common aspect ratios include 16:9 for widescreen and 4:3 for traditional television formats. After changing the aspect ratio, you may need to adjust your video clips in the timeline to ensure they fit the new format. Once you're satisfied with the changes, you can export your video with the new aspect ratio. Always remember to save your work frequently to avoid losing any changes.

If you create and edit videos...

You should try - a screen recorder that doesn't compromise on speed or creativity.

Tella simplifies video creation: record, customize, and share in one place; combine separate clips and quickly remove mistakes; apply beautiful backgrounds, layouts, and effects with just a few clicks; share the video link or export in 4K.

With Tella, create product demos, tutorial videos, and online courses that look amazing in minutes, not hours!

Tella screen recorder

< Back to Video Editing glossary

Try Tella today!

Screen recording for creators — simple and powerful.

7-day free trial — no credit card required