Cropping is a video editing tool which allows you to cut out parts of the video frame (effectively "zooming in" on the video). 

Note that cropping is different from trimming or splitting a clip, where you cut off parts of the beginning or end of the video, audio, or image clip to create a shorter clip.


This article shows you how to:

  1. crop videos and images in the Clipchamp Create editor to remove black bars (i.e. remove letterboxing)
  2. free-hand crop videos using Clipchamp Utilities

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1. How to crop videos in the Clipchamp Create video editor

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, add a video to your project and drag it to the timeline at the bottom.

Click on the clip in the timeline to ensure it is selected. A Transform menu will appear.

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:

Free-hand cropping: It is not yet possible to free-hand crop (i.e. select a different part of the video frame) in Create, or to add motion cropping, but we are working on adding these features. In the mean time, you can use Clipchamp Utilities to free-hand crop a video and then import it into Create. See below for instructions.

Try it out

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


2. How to Free-Hand Crop videos in Clipchamp Utilities

Free-hand cropping can be useful if you want to "zoom in" on a specific part of the video frame, or if there are small unwanted elements or lines at the edges of your video you'd like to cut out, which can happen when you convert a video from an analogue source such as an old Hi8 tape to a digital video format. 

1. Go to your Utilities dashboard and click on "convert my video".

2. Choose an input video from your computer. 

After a brief loading step, a preview image of the input video will appear.

3. Click on EDIT VIDEO beneath the preview to see all available editing options.



Options include: trim, crop, rotate, flip and adjust (colour, saturation, brightness).

4. Click the Crop tool, then drag the edges of the grid overlay to the frame size you'd like to keep.

If you'd like to achieve a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, select the corresponding option in the lower left of the window. 

If you'd like to crop to any size, keep FREE selected.

5. Click the check mark in the bottom right of the grid. 

IMPORTANT: To lock in the cropped area, you must click this check mark BEFORE hitting the Start button. Otherwise your video won't get cropped in the following processing step.



After clicking the check mark, the cropped frame area will fill in the entire preview window:


6. Once you're done, hit the Start button 

Hit the start button and wait for your video to be edited and processed.

7. When the video is finished processing, Save it to your computer.

Be sure to save the final video to your computer. If you click away without doing this you might not be able to recover the video and might have to go through the process again.

NOTE: If you'd like to work with your newly cropped video file in the Create editor, save it to your computer and then
add it to your Create project.

Try it out

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


How is cropping different to trimming and splitting?

Cropping changes what parts of the video frame are visible while it plays. Trimming and splitting are very different to cropping.

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

If you split a video clip, you divide it into two parts, e.g. the first half and the last half of the video. Then you can put other videos or titles between the divided parts. To learn how to split a clip in Create, see: splitting or cutting video and audio clips.


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