One of the best apps you can use to change the aspect ratio of a video file is iMovie, a video editing app designed for macOS and iOS devices. Once you use iMovie to change the aspect ratio of a video, you can upload it to various social media platforms. This is essential because if you don't change the aspect ratio of a video, the platform you're posting the video to may automatically crop or stretch it incorrectly.
In this article, we will show you how to change the aspect ratio using iMovie on different devices. We'll also see which aspect ratio works best for particular social media platforms.
For example, TikTok requires videos in 9:16 aspect ratio, and for YouTube it is 16:9. In fact, the standard aspect ratio for videos is actually 16:9, also known as widescreen aspect ratio. Most of the video content you see on television, as well as on computers and mobile devices, is displayed in this aspect ratio.
The aspect ratio depends on the default settings of your recording device, whether it's your phone, tablet, laptop camera or digital camera. While some mobile devices give you the option to change the aspect ratio before taking a photo, you can also use a video editing app to change it afterwards.
Although social media applications impose certain limitations in terms of dimensions, they will allow you to upload your content without resizing it. However, not only will this automatically crop your video in the wrong places, but it may also lower the quality of the video. Skipping this step can also cause the platform to stretch your video to fit the whole screen, thus distorting it.
That's why to control the final product, it's better to change the aspect ratio of the video before uploading it. And while there are various programs and apps you can use to edit your video, iPhone, Mac, or iPad users will find the best software to use is iMovie.
How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie on iPhone
Due to its small screen, using iMovie on your iPhone may be more difficult than on other devices. However, the process of adjusting the aspect ratio of your video in iMovie on your iPhone only requires a few steps.
If you haven't installed the app on your iPhone yet, you can Download from App Store.
The only problem with using iMovie to change the aspect ratio of a video is that there are no auto-suggested options for you to choose from. Instead, you'll have to change the aspect ratio manually by cropping the video.
To change the aspect ratio of a video in iMovie on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Open iMovie on your iPhone.
- Go to the “+ Create a project” option on your homepage.
- Select "Movie" in the "New Project" window.
- Import a video file from your device.
- Tap your video in the timeline.
- Go to the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your screen.
- Zoom your video by pinching the timeline. To reduce the dimensions of the video, pinch towards the center of the screen. To enlarge the video, swipe your fingers to the outer edges of your screen.
- When you're done, select "Done" in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Go to the "Share" button.
- Choose "Save Video".
The video will be saved to your iPhone camera roll. You can share the video to iCloud Drive, Mail and Messages directly from the app. You can also use the AirDrop feature to share it with other devices.
As for the aspect ratio you choose, it depends on the platform you plan to share the video on. It may be difficult to crop the video precisely with your fingers and you may need to go back to the app to adjust the dimensions again. That's why it might be easier to edit on a Mac and work on a bigger screen.
How to Change the Aspect Ratio in iMovie on a Mac
If you don't have iMovie on your Mac, you can download it here. To change the aspect ratio of a video in iMovie on your Mac, follow these steps:
- Open the iMovie program on your Mac.
- Click on the “+” button in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Select "Movie" from the drop-down menu.
- Upload a video from your Mac.
Notes: You can also drag and drop video clips from the browser directly to the iMovie timeline.
- Click the "Crop" icon on the top toolbar.
- Drag the edges of the cropped window over your video.
- When you're done, click the blue checkmark icon in the upper right corner of your video.
- Select the "Share" icon in the upper right corner.
- Save the video to your device.
The iMovie app only lets you choose between the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio for HD videos and the standard 4:3 aspect ratio for SD videos. To adjust which part of your video will stay in the frame, click on its edge and drag it around the screen.
Another way to choose the aspect ratio of the video is to upload your video and then click on the "File" tab at the top of your screen. From there, go to “Project properties”. You can choose between widescreen and standard aspect ratio.
However, this method may not work for all iMovie versions, but it's worth a try.
How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie on iPad
The process of changing the aspect ratio of a video in iMovie on your iPad is similar to how you would on your iPhone. Since you're working on a bigger screen, it might be even easier. You can download the app from App Store and start editing right away. Here's what you need to do:
- Launch iMovie on your iPad.
- Select the “+ Create a project” option.
- Press the "Movie" button in the new window.
- Download the video from your iPad camera roll.
- Tap the video timeline.
- Select the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner of your screen.
- Pinch the video to zoom in. To zoom out, use your fingers to drag the frame of the video to the outer edges of the screen.
- Select "Done".
- Go to the "Share" button to save your video.
That's all we can say about it. You will find the edited video in your iPad's Camera Roll.
How to change aspect ratio in iMovie for IGTV?
If you want to create an Instagram IGTV video, it should have dimensions of 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16. This is the same aspect ratio required for Instagram stories and TikTok videos. It is basically meant to cover the entire screen of your smartphone.
Before posting an IGTV, you will get a preview. This preview video has an aspect ratio of 4:5, so don't be confused when you see it. The dimensions will be adjusted once you post it on Instagram.
If you want to use iMovie to change the aspect ratio of your video, you should choose the 16:9 aspect ratio. Since this is the opposite of 9:16, a common practice is to use the opposite aspect ratio to upload the video horizontally. Viewers may have to rotate their phone to see the video more clearly, but the quality will be worth it.
You can use the iMovie app on your Mac to create an IGTV video and then send it to your iPhone. Here's how it's done:
- Open iMovie on your Mac.
- Click on the “+” icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Select “Movie”.
- Upload your IGTV video to iMovie.
- Click on the "File" tab in the top menu.
- Select "Project Properties" from the drop-down menu.
- Select widescreen aspect ratio.
- Choose the Share button in the upper right corner of your screen.
- Send the video to your iPhone.
You can either use iCloud to transfer the video or send it with the AirDrop feature. Once the video is on your phone, you can immediately upload it to Instagram. IGTV will automatically adjust the video to fit your phone screen.
This method is much better than rotating the video which would make it smaller and hard to see.
Change the dimensions of your video to your liking
Although it's not required, changing the aspect ratio of your video will make it fit whatever device or app you use to upload it. Although iMovie doesn't offer specific aspect ratio options, you can use it to change the dimensions manually. This will allow you to crop your video as desired.
Have you ever changed the aspect ratio of a video with iMovie? Did you use the same methods described in this article? Let us know in the comments section below.