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How to Crop Videos with iMovie?

How to Crop Videos with iMovie?

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Cropping a video in iMovie allows you to essentially zoom in on a movie, either to crop out unnecessary elements, to reframe the video to put emphasis on something else, or to zoom into what you’d rather the video highlight. The following part will show you how to easily crop the video in iMovie to get what you really want.

Steps to crop video in iMovie on Mac

Step 1: Open your iMovie project and drop the video in the timeline.

Import video into the application

Step 2: To show the cropping controls, click the Cropping button above the preview window, then you’ll see three styles to crop videos. Here we need to choose “Crop to Fill”, and an adjustable frame appears on top of the clip in the viewer.

Note: For other two options, “Fit” is used to restore a clip’s original aspect ratio when it comes with a 4:3 frame. “Ken Burns” is used to apply ken burns effect.

Crop to fill

Step 3: Move and resize the frame until you are satisfied with the cropping result, then click “Apply” button, and you can get the cropped video from iMovie.

Step 4: When you crop a video clip in the timeline, the frame is constrained to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Alternatively, you can also crop the source clip in the event browser before adding it to your movie. The steps are quite similar, you can try on your own.

Use best iMovie alternative to crop video on Windows and Mac

For Mac users, iMovie can be a good companion to crop videos with ease. However, you may be disappointed to find that you can only crop video with iMovie on Mac platform, in addition, even when you try to crop video with iMovie on Mac, you may be disappointed to find that some formats aren’t supported by the software. When in that condition, it would be ideal for you to find a iMovie alternative to crop video.

Here, I recommend you Pavtube Video Converter to you, which is available for both Windows and Mac platform (get Mac version). The program has full importing support for 4K/2K/HD/SD videos shot with various different cameras, camcorders, smartphones, tablets or downloaded from online sites in various different file formats such as AVI(Divx, Xvid), WMV/VC-1, MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, 3GP, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264, H.265, etc. Thanks for its batch processing function, you can load multiple video into the application for conversion at one time.

Related article: Import MXF to iMovie | Top 5 iMovie Video Converter | Import Phantom 4 4K to iMovie

Crop video with best iMovie alternative

The program offers 2 different ways for you to crop video: crop video by dragging and dropping the green frame to the desired position or make precise cropping by customize the crop values in either “Simple Mode” or “Advanced Mode”. In “Simple Mode”, you can customize values in the box of “Left”, “Top” and “Crop Size”, while when you switch to “Advanced Mode”, you can customize value in “Left”, “Top”, “Width” and “Height”.

Adjust output video aspect ratio

Apart from cropping video black edges or unwanted size area, you can also choose to keep the original aspect ratio by setting both the “Display Aspect ratio” and the “Size(pix)” in “Settings” as “Original”. If you want to change the aspect ratio, the program offers several aspect ratio including 16:10, 16:9, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, and 2:1 for you to choose from. After choosing your desired aspect ratio, set the video “Size(pix)” in “Settings” section as the same ratio as display aspect ratio.

Step by Step to Crop Video to iMovie Alternative

Step 1: Load video into the application.

Download the free trial version of the program. Launch it on your computer. Click “File” menu and select “Add Video/Audio” or click the “Add Video” button on the top tool bar to import source video files into the program.

Load source video into the application

Step 2: Define output file format.

Clicking the Format bar, from its drop-down list, select one of your desired output file formats such as “H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)” under “HD Video” main category.

Choose output file format

Step 3: Crop video.

Crop video black bars or unwanted size

A: Crop video by dragging and dropping the crop frame. Simply move your mouse cursor to drag and adjust the green frame to desired position.
B: Crop video by setting values. There are “Simple Mode” and “Advanced Mode” under Crop feature.

In “Simple Mode”, you can customize values in the box of “Left”, “Top” and “Crop Size” to make your crop decision. Under “Advanced Mode”, there are four value fields: Left, Top, Width and Height. You can either type in specific values to the fields or adjust sliders to crop the source file.

crop video frame

Adjust output video aspect ratio

To keep original aspect ratio, users need make sure the “Display aspect ratio” and the “Size (pix)” in “Settings” option are all set as “Original”.

If you want to keep the cropped aspect ratio, there are several aspect ratios for you to choose from, including 16:10, 16:9, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, and 2:1. Once you select a “Display aspect ratio”, the “green crop frame” will keep this ratio to crop video and you are able to preview the final effect in real time. If you want to keep the same aspect ratio in your final output files, do remember to set the Video “Size (pix)” in “Settings” section as the same ratio as display aspect ratio. 

Adjust output video aspect ratio

Step 4: Begin the final conversion process.

After all setting is completed, hit the “Convert” button at the right bottom of the main interface to begin the video cropping process.

When the conversion is finished, click “Open Output Folder” icon on the main interface to open the folder with generated files with only your unwanted size area or desired aspect ratio.


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