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Last Updated · January 02, 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to Video Aspect Ratio

We are in a generation where video content creation is reaching new heights. When you are into content creation, it is essential to understand video aspect ratios to achieve the desired visual impact. 

Some new content creators are unsure about this particular aspect. Well, for all of those we came up with this guide on video aspect ratio. In this guide, we will be providing you with a clear understanding of how aspect ratios influence the way we perceive and experience videos. Whether you're a seasoned videographer or a budding content creator, keep on reading till the end to learn about all of this in detail!

Part 1: What Is Aspect Ratio?

First of all, it is essential to understand about aspect ratio. Well, Aspect ratio refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image or screen. It is expressed as a ratio, indicating how much wider the image is compared to its height. In the context of videos and films, aspect ratio plays a significant role in determining the overall visual composition and presentation.

For example, a common video screen ratio for widescreen displays is 16:9, where the width is 16 units and the height is 9 units. This ratio has become a standard for many modern TVs, monitors, and online video platforms. 

Part 2: Common Aspect Ratios

Here are some common video aspect ratios that video content creators usually consider. These are as follows:


This one is a widescreen format that is widely used for HD (high-definition) video and is a standard for most modern televisions, monitors, and online video platforms. It provides a wide and cinematic viewing experience.


Once the standard for older television sets, this more square-shaped aspect ratio is now less common but can still be found in certain contexts. It has a more "boxed" appearance compared to widescreen formats.

2.39:1 (Cinemascope or Scope)

This one is commonly used in cinema; this ultra-wide aspect ratio creates a panoramic effect. It's often associated with epic and widescreen filmmaking, providing a grand and immersive visual experience.


With the rise of mobile devices and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the vertical 9:16 aspect ratio has become popular for creating content that fits well on mobile screens.


Commonly associated with still photography, this aspect ratio is used by some digital cameras. It has a slightly more square shape compared to 4:3.

Understanding these common aspect ratios is important for content creators and filmmakers, as the choice of aspect ratio can significantly impact the visual storytelling and presentation of a video or film. This will decide the quality of content they will deliver to the audience. 

Part 3: Aspect Ratio and Resolution

Some people are confused between aspect ratio and resolution and consider it to be the same. But in reality, these are not the same. These are as follows:

Aspect Ratio

If we specifically discuss about aspect ratio, it is the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image or screen. It is typically expressed as a ratio, such as 16:9 or 4:3. This is majorly in consideration because it influences the shape and visual composition of the content. Different aspect ratios can evoke different emotions and suit various display formats.


On the other hand, resolution refers to the number of pixels (individual colored dots) that make up an image or screen. It is usually expressed as the total number of pixels in width by height (e.g., 1920x1080).

Generally, it determines the level of detail and clarity in an image or video. Higher resolutions generally result in sharper and more detailed visuals.

Key Differences

1. Nature of Measurement

Aspect Ratio defines the relationship between the width and height of the image. On the other side, Resolution is a numerical measure of the number of pixels in an image, indicating the level of detail.

2. Units

Aspect Ratio is expressed as a ratio, such as 16:9, without specific units. But resolution is expressed in terms of pixels, such as 1920x1080, indicating the width and height in pixels.

3. Independence

Aspect Ratio can be changed without altering the number of pixels (resolution), leading to stretched or compressed visuals. However, resolution can be changed without altering the aspect ratio, affecting the level of detail but not the shape of the image.

Part 4: Best Aspect Ratios for Social Media Videos

When you are creating social media videos, it is a must to keep the video aspect ratio in mind. These are as follows:

Social Media Platform Recommended Resolution     Recommended Aspect Ratio
Facebook  1080x1080 - 1080x1920  1:1 (Square) or 9:16 (Vertical)
Instagram 1080x1080 - 1080x1920 1:1 (Square) or 4:5 (Vertical)
Twitter   1280x720 - 1920x1080 16:9 (Horizontal) or 1:1 (Square)
LinkedIn 1080x1080 - 1920x1080 1:1 (Square) or 16:9 (Horizontal)
TikTok    1080x1920 9:16 (Vertical)
YouTube 1920x1080 - 3840x2160 16:9 (Horizontal)
Pinterest 1080x1920  9:16 (Vertical) or 2:3 (Vertical)
Snapchat 1080x1920     9:16 (Vertical)

Keep in mind that these recommendations may evolve, and it's always a good idea to check the latest guidelines from each platform. Additionally, these platforms may support various aspect ratios and resolutions, but the ones listed are commonly used and well-supported across different devices.

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Key Features:

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  • Multi-port Connections
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Part 5: How to Change Aspect Ratio in Premiere Pro

Several steps are a must to follow when you need to know about Premiere Pro and how to change the aspect ratio.

Step 1: Start by launching Adobe Premiere Pro, where you can either open an existing project or create a new one. If you're beginning from scratch, import your footage into the project.

Step 2: Navigate to the "File" menu, then select "New," and further choose "Sequence." Alternatively, you can use the shortcut "Ctrl+N" (Windows) or "Command+N" (Mac).

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Step 3: In the ensuing window, you'll encounter a list of presets aligned with popular aspect ratios. Choose a preset that aligns with your requirements. For example, if you're crafting content for YouTube, you might opt for a preset under "Digital SLR" > "1080p" for a 16:9 aspect ratio.

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Step 4: If you require a specific aspect ratio not covered by presets, you can manually configure it. Click on the "Settings" tab in the same window, and input your desired width and height under "Frame Size."

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Step 5: Assign a name to your sequence and click "OK" to generate it.

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Step 6: Import your footage into the newly created sequence by dragging and dropping. If the clip dimensions don't match the sequence's settings, you'll receive a prompt asking if you want to retain or adjust the existing settings to match the clip. Opt for "Keep existing settings."

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Step 7: Should your footage not perfectly align with the new aspect ratio, adjustments can be made. Select the clip in the timeline, proceed to "Effect Controls," and under "Motion," tweak "Scale" to resize the clip and "Position" to reposition it.

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Step 8: Once satisfied with your video, navigate to "File," then select "Export," and choose "Media" to export your video with the new aspect ratio.

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Part 6: How to Change Aspect Ratio in iMovie

When you are using iMovie, please note that this method only works till the iMovie version 9. In iMovie 10 this function was removed. Here are the steps needed to follow to change the aspect ratio of iMovie 9.

Step 1: Begin by either opening an existing project in iMovie or creating a new one. It's advisable to adjust the video size at the outset before delving into any other editing tasks. Modifying video dimensions later in the process could potentially impact applied effects and editing procedures.

Step 2: Initiate the video resizing process by selecting “File” and then navigating to “Project Properties” on the drop-down list. This action triggers the appearance of a pop-up window.

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Step 3: Within the dialog that emerges, various options related to aspect ratio will be presented.

change aspect ratio in imovie(2)Step 4: Select the settings that align with your video requirements, and voilà! Your video will now be presented in the dimensions you've chosen.

Final Words

In conclusion, mastering video aspect ratios is important for creating visually compelling content and influencing composition and viewer experience. If you are someone who is looking forward to creating the best videos, it is high time for you to consider OBSBOT Tail Air.  This will help you to come up with a next-level video streaming experience with the industry-advanced AI Auto Tracking and excellent Multi-Cam setup, mastermind your every moment, and unleash your maximum creativity, right on Air.