Anamorphic Chop Shop – Cropping in Post

March 20, 2016

Continuing the Chop Shop series on post-processing, I’ll explain how to properly crop your footage and do digital pans in case you have resolution to spare!


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Tito Ferradans here for another post-processing Chop Shop. I received some questions about cropping in post – which is a necessary tool if your camera only shoots 16:9 and you want full control over your final aspect ratio. I’ll go over After Effects and Premiere, which are the ones I use on my daily life, but I’m pretty sure the idea translates over to any other editing/compositing software.

Building up on the previous video (aspect ratio), load up After Effects, import your footage and apply the proper stretch – check the tutorial if you’re not sure how to do that. Then create your composition with the desired aspect ratio – to find the proper height, divide the horizontal resolution by the aspect ratio.

Now drag the footage over to the composition, right click its layer and select “Fit to Comp Height” and voila! The coolest thing about this method is you can use the horizontal position attribute and keyframes to create digital pans and adjust the framing as you please!

In Premiere, the process is quite similar but with a few more steps. Import your footage, apply the stretch and then drag it to a new sequence. Now right click the sequence on the Project tab and select “Sequence Settings”. Here you’ll change both the height based on your project’s output. As I’m doing HD, I’ll just input 1920 by 800. Now the clip is too tall, so right click on it in the sequence and select “Set to Frame Size”. That will adjust the dimension of the clip so it fits properly, now move back to the Project tab and right click on the Sequence again, since it’s still super wide. On the Pixel Aspect Ratio dropdown, select Square Pixels (1.0).

You can do the digital pan in Premiere too, but it’s a less friendly process. On the Effects tab, under Motion, adjust the horizontal position to the initial point, create a keyframe by clicking on the little stopwatch, then move on the timeline to the point when you want the pan to end, and adjust the horizontal position to its final… position and Premiere automatically creates a keyframe there.

There you go, a few simple steps to control your final aspect ratio. I hope you found this tutorial useful, let me know what you think in the comments section. Subscribe to the channel for the upcoming videos and head on to the blog for the Anamorphic on a Budget guide and lots of cool stuff such as the Anamorphic Calculator and the pitch for the Anamorphic Cookbook! I also have an awesome t-shirt in the works, so grab yours now before the stock runs out. Ferradans out.

  • TFerradans. · Buying Your First Anamorphic Lens August 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

    […] The bad news are these adapters are heavier and bigger than the other lenses mentioned so far, requiring lens support. If you haven’t got a single focus attachment this is a double-focus setup (you got to focus your taking lens AND the anamorphic at the same distance to get sharp images). The resulting image is also a 3.56:1 stripe against a black background, so you’ll get better results shooting 4:3 or cropping the sides in post. […]