Cropping is an editing tool which allows you to choose what part of a video or image frame you want to be visible. It can be useful for cutting out unwanted elements or lines at the edges of a video, or fitting a video to a new aspect ratio.

This article shows you how to crop videos or images to remove black bars (i.e. remove letterboxing) in the Clipchamp editor.  It is not yet possible to free-hand crop (i.e. manually select part of the video frame), but we are working on adding this feature.

Please note that cropping is different to trimming, zooming, or changing the aspect ratio (dimensions) of a video.

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How to crop videos 

Cropping can be can be useful if you have a video or image with a different aspect ratio (dimensions) to your Create project, and want to resize it to remove the black bars that appear at the sides or the top, like this:

To do this, first start a Create project and add your video or image files to the project's media library, then:

1. Drag a video into the timeline

If it's not already there, drag and drop the video or image file from the media library into the timeline at the bottom of your project.

2. Click on the clip in the timeline to reveal the editing menu

The clip will be highlighted when selected and a menu will appear in the top left.

3. Change Auto Fit to Crop to Fill

In the Transform tab of the menu, under RESIZING, click the dropdown and change it from Auto Fit to Crop To Fill

The editor will zoom in on the centre of your video and the black bars will disappear.

As you can see in the example below, our portrait video has now been cropped to fit the square aspect ratio of the project:

NOTE: if you don't want to crop the clip, you can also use a blur fill effect to replace these black bars with a blurred extension of the video – see Adding Filters.

It is not yet possible to free-hand crop (i.e. manually select a part of the video frame) in the editor, but we are working on adding this feature. 

4. Save your final video

If you're finished editing and would like to save the video/s in your timeline to your computer, click the Export button in the top right.


How is cropping different to trimming and zooming?

Cropping changes what parts of the video frame are visible throughout the entire clip. Trimming and zooming are different:

If you trim a video clip you change the length it plays for, e.g. by trimming of a few seconds off of the end or start of the clip. To learn how to trim a clip in Create, see: trimming a video, audio or image clip.

If you zoom on a video clip, you add moving zoom-in or zoom-out effect, e.g. slowly zooming in on a video or still image as it plays. To learn how to add a slow zoom effect in Create, see: adding filters 


Try it out

Ready to get started? Head straight to Create to try it out for yourself:

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