Suppose you’ve filmed your footage vertically and now want to turn your video horizontal in the editing suite. In that case, you may be wondering if your video will retain the same dimensions or aspect ratio.
To understand this, it’s important first to recognize that aspect ratio and rotation are two different features.
Rotating your video simply changes the orientation of the shot. For example, if you rotate a vertical video of a person standing ninety degrees, you will turn the image on its side. You will also turn the person within the shot on their side since you cannot separate the frame of the shot from the image content itself.
Now that we understand what rotation does, how does this relate to aspect ratio? Let’s begin by taking a deeper look at the specifics of aspect ratio. The aspect ratio of your image is determined during the filming process. Your footage already comes with a particular aspect ratio when it arrives at our editing suite. Common aspect ratios include
- 4:3, commonly known as full screen
- 16:9, which is also called wide screen
What does it mean to have a 16:9 aspect ratio when filming? This means that the camera will capture the amount of image data that fits into a 16:9 box, vertical or horizontal. Anything outside of this aspect ratio is not recorded by the camera.
So, when you change the aspect ratio of a video during the editing process, you’re not creating new image data. Instead, you’re working with a set number of pixels already in existence. You can choose a new aspect ratio for your project, but this will usually result in cropping the video to fit the adjusted dimensions.
What does this have to do with rotating your video file? Depending on the degree to which you rotate your project, you’ll lose some of your original image data. To mitigate this loss, you may decide to choose a different aspect ratio that better fits your rotated video.
The most drastic rotations, however, can result in some loss of quality. Say, for example, that you want to rotate a 16:9 vertical phone video ninety degrees into a 16:9 horizontal widescreen video. In the process, you may have to crop a large part of the original footage for it to fit the new aspect ratio. The remaining pixels left in the uncropped area, however, will not increase, which will, in turn, decrease the resolution of your video when it’s shown on larger screens.
For this reason, it’s easiest and best to film in the aspect ratio and orientation you want your final video to appear.
That said, you can easily adjust the aspect ratio for smaller rotations, tweaking the footage to remove technical imperfections. Rotating a crooked clip by twenty degrees and changing the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3, for example, may not substantially change the viewing experience.
Interested in tweaking the aspect ratio or orientation of your next project? Our all-in-one editor makes it easy. Runway magic means you can experiment with different fixes and enhancements faster than you thought possible. Register today and give our powerful, AI-based editing suite a shot.