Adobe Premiere Pro CC - Essentials Training

What are aspect ratios how to set ratios in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

Download Exercise Files Download Completed Files



We’re awarding certificates for this course!

Check out the How to earn your certificate video for instructions on how to earn yours and click the available certificate levels below for more information.

You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up
Hi everyone, this video we're going to discuss something called an Aspect Ratio. It is a term that we need to understand before we can go on. It doesn't affect us as much when we're doing plain old video, but when we start getting into social media, where there's all these weird sizes, and they start giving us these things, you're like, "What the hang is that?" 4:5, 1:1, that is an Aspect Ratio, and we're going to discuss what it is, and how it works in terms of making the different sizes of our videos. 

The first thing to-- I guess the term is the shape. So, think aspect ratio, think what shape is it. That is what it means, it's not the physical size of it, it's the shape, so this is a square, it's always a square, doesn't matter what size it is, so it has the expect ratio of 1:1. So there is this side, measures 1, and this is equally 1, it's the exact same, because it's a square. 

So aspect ratio of 1:1 means, I am a square. A rectangle, so remember, replace aspect ratio of shape, so the shape of a rectangle is this, 16:9. So 16 across compared to 9 down, and it can get a little confusing, because you're like, "Isn't that just the height, is that 16 centimeters or inches, what is it doing?" It just means, the actual 16 made up units versus 9 made up units, and those units can be anything, because you can see here, this here is our HD footage, we've learned that it's 1080 high and it is 1920 wide, but it is an aspect ratio of 16 compared to 9, down the side, but UHD, the bigger version is exactly the same, I'm like, "How can that be?" because of this, watch this. 

I can scale this one up, and I can see that it's the exact same. It's 16 across by 9 down. The fact that it happens to be a whole bunch more pixels bigger doesn't really matter, and that's why people give us aspect ratios, rather than sizes because you'll find stuff, on, let's say here, this is an aspect ratio of 16 to 9, like this one here, either of these two, but they say, the optimal is going to be, pixels of 1920 by 1080, that's what we got here, well, why doesn't it want this? Because at the moment it doesn't like the really big sizes for social media. Too big, drags on data plans, and most social media platforms, I seen on a phone, and that phone can't actually display this really big size. That will change though, they'll still have the same aspect ratio, but they might want something slightly bigger, let's have a look. 

I show you, because the rectangular Facebook video-- I'm just looking at random websites, to give you a, I guess an idea of the confusing nature of it, and trying to tie it all together, because they say it's an aspect ratio of 16 to 9, which I'm doing, but they say the size is different, they say the size is 1280 by 720, whereas this other website says, Instagram wants 1920 by 1080, and you're like, "Hmm, they're the same aspect ratios but different numbers." They just want different quality. You'll also see minimum and maximum. You'll find, at the moment, I think the recommended size is this, but the minimum size, is a width of 600, whereas we can go up to this, and down to that. So let's work our way through a couple of actual aspect ratios into Premiere Pro. 

Let's start with the easiest, 1:1, it's going to be square. 1 across the top, is exactly the same as the height, so it ends up being a square. Now in this case the optimal size is 1080 by 1080, but it can be smaller-- whereas this-- so I'm looking on a completely different website. I guess I'm trying to mix you up through different dimensions to show you, people say the same thing in a different kind of way. On this website here it says, your square recommendation is 1:1, and it says the square size is 600 x 600, but this is the minimum. So you need to check, at your time of recording, not your time of recording, your time of being live, right now, is go and check, just say what is the square recommended pixel size, for a 1:1 on Instagram, or whatever new fan dangled social media is out, fan dangled makes me old. Reluctant social media person. Anyway, so 600, if I made it 600 x 600, that accept it, but at the moment they really want 1080 x 1080. In the future it might be more, depending on how things go. So let's look at putting this into Premiere Pro. 

So what you do is, in Premiere Pro, we're going to go to our Project Window, we're going to create a sequence, a brand new one, because we can't really get it from a video, unless you've got a video camera shooting in square. I don't know any that do, but I'm sure they're ones out there, but let's go to a new sequence. And how do you get started? Probably the best way for using any sort of social media, is to get started with this one called Digital DSLR. It's a really kind of just generic size. There's already a 1080 in there, which is good. We're going to use 25 frames/second. Now pretty much all social media will accept everything, they have maximums. I think Facebook at the moment won't accept anything higher than 30 frames/second for general videos, and is there a low one? I don't know, just stick to 25, nice and simple, and pretty consistent across the net at the moment. 

So we'd start with this, but before we click 'OK', we're going to go in here and click 'Settings', and we are going to leave all of it, except we're going to play around with the frame size, The cool thing about Premiere Pro is it actually tells you, you can see, at the moment we're using this 16 x 9, so if we were ready to make video for-- let's have a look, this one, 16 x 9, here we go, so for Instagram TV, I have to make a video for that, then, look, 16 x 9, I've got the right ratio, and the optimal at the moment is 1920. 1920 x 1080, so actually don't have to do anything. It's only when we get into the weird shapes of, let's have a look, square, square, square, 1 : 1, 1080 x 1080.

I realize I say "ten eighty", and not "one thousand and eighty", it's just, I don't know, the industry seems to say it like that, and if you want to be cool like everyone else you say ‘ten eighty’. You can see I changed that, you can see, look at that, gives me the ratio. It says I'm 1:1, you're like, "Jackpot," we're on the right track. Everything else I'm going to leave, I'm just going to give it a name. We can do it afterwards or now, I'm actually going to use this for the next project. So make sure you're following along with this one, and we're going to call this one, let's call it 'Instagram', Insta-gram, and call this '1:1'. I'm going to probably reuse this later on, and it's going to help us get the language right. I'm just going to write 'square', just in case, yeah, not sure what 1:1 is, so click 'OK', and we've got ourselves our first sequence, be adding video to. 

Let's have a look at this one, pretty common, and the reason you'd pick different sizes, can you see, a video post versus video stories, they're very different. You could use this, they call it screen real estate. On my little mobile phone, I can either have a video this big, or look at that, I can take up the whole screen with a video. So Instagram stories, at the moment you can use either of these sizes, but let's say it's just a generic post in Instagram, they want 4 to 5. You can kind of see the optimal size there, so I'm going to do that, what is it, 1350. So I'm going to go to a new sequence. I'm going to start with this one just because, but before I click 'OK', come into here, and I'm going to say, what was it, it was 4, so 1080 across the top, to 1350. Look at that, 4.5, and we're away. We'll give it a name, I'm not going to now because we don't need it, but the same thing is--

We'll do one more together to get the idea, so 9:16, which is basically the one that we've been dealing with throughout the course, 16:9, flipped up, portrait. So it's 1080 x 1920, so 1080 x 1920. Look at that, 9 x 16. Last one to hopefully drive it home is, just to recap, remember, the aspect ratio is the shape of it, not the size. Just how far across it is, by how far down it is. Let's have a little look at one of the Facebook ones now. You can see the recommended size is this, you're like, "It's a random size, "I wonder what aspect ratio is." Don't look down here. So I put it in this, 1280, it's going to here, it's 1280, and this one over here is what, 720, so 720. Look, it's 16 x 9, just a regular old horizontal movie, but it's just smaller, they just want smaller videos. 

So in here they want something about this sort of size. I'm using this program, Illustrator, just because it was easier to mock this all up in. So I'm going to copy and paste this one, I'm to make it blue, and I'm going to make it-- what did they say? I can't remember, let's have a look, it was 1280 x 720. So if I go 1280 here, x 720, you can see, it's like, what I've been working on, just slightly smaller. So I make a new sequence, I make it this size, and really, I could actually get any of these bits of footage, that I've worked for now, to work in this size, and even though they say, recommended size, I bet you they probably accept larger sizes. So do some testing, you might go, I've got this thing in 4K or UHD, do I have to shrink it down to export it?, because some website called Hootsuite decided that, they said it's optimal like this, probably not. They're pretty clearer in these days, where you can upload any old size, and it will convert it to the size that they need. Takes a bit of processing time but works fine. 

The other thing you can do is, let's have a look at Premiere Pro. Let's say that you are ready to export something to Facebook, and you were like, you want to use their 16 x 9. How do you check say some existing stuff, you're like, "Already made this thing." Great face. So I've got my earlier project open, my XD Intro sequence. With it selected down here in the Timeline I can go, 'Sequence', 'Sequence Settings', and you bring up this window, which you can change now, I could physically change my sequence size, but you can see it's the right aspect ratio, you're like, "Phew, but it's the wrong size, it's too big." 

Let's say you need to get it down to that, was it 1280? Can't remember. 1280, what you can do is instead of trying to shrink it here, and then shrink everything down, what you can do, during export, who remembers what the shortcut export was? That's right, 'Command M', 'Ctrl M' on a PC, and in here what you can do is actually say, I want to be this h.264, which is probably the most common to upload to social media, and under 'Video', I can say, I do not want to Match Source, I want you to shrink it for me, to that 720, because this is locked, if I click out, look at that, it's 1080 x 720, ready to go. You might do this-- it's going to-- I know it's going to accept the larger size, but let's say that you've got hundreds of them to do, you might want this to be smaller just to save on upload time, or you might be uploading them to your own platform, or website, or something.

So you can just export it, it won't change the original size, just the size on the export. I do this quite a bit when I'm editing in 4K, then I need to export it for HD, I can come into here and just say, scale it down, don't actually have to, change it in the settings, just hereby, export settings, either via the Media Encoder or just doing it here in Premiere Pro. 

All right, just a recap, remember, aspect ratio is another way of saying what is the shape, and 1:1 is another way of saying, it's the same height by the same width, so it's a square. The shape of this is 16 across x 9, which kind of looks like a rectangle. There's everything in between. So let's do a little for instance. Let's say you've been hired by somebody to help them with their Twitter accounts, and you want to do some video for them. The first thing you're going to do is go, 'Twitter video sizes'. You'll have a look, there'll be a bunch of aspect ratios. You decide on which is best for you. Sometimes it's hard to get away from this kind of rectangle format, because the footage you already have is recorded this way, but you can decide what aspect ratios you're going to do. 

The next thing you're going to do is you're going to work out what the optimal size for that aspect ratio is, and there'll be a height and a width, in pixels. You open up Premiere Pro, you go to 'New Sequence', and then you type them in. You'll also note here that I've put in 1:1, and I've done 16 : 9, I think that's the more official way of doing it, but I put times, 'x' in all the time. 

That my friends is aspect ratios. Hopefully we're going to start creating some aspect ratio videos now, to hopefully put it into a little bit more context. If you are a little confused, don't worry, aspect ratios are hard, and are a bit of a brain teaser. Hopefully that helped, on to the next video.