Full Guide on the Most Important Video Aspect Ratio

Full Guide on the Most Important Video Aspect Ratio

As a video creator, you probably know the video editing basics, and you've likely heard about the different aspect ratios that are available for your videos. But if you're new to this world, it can be really confusing. 

In this article, we'll go over all of these aspect ratios so that you know exactly what to use when producing your next project.


What Is a Video Aspect Ratio?

The aspect ratio of a picture or video frame is defined as its width in relation to its height.

It is, in essence, your content asset's proportion—or, to put it another way, its final shape: horizontal, vertical, or square.

The aspect ratio of a square image, for example, is 1:1. The aspect ratio will always be 1:1, regardless of whether the image resolution is 500 x 500, 800 x 800, or 1200 x 1200. As a result, a small image with the same aspect ratio as a large one is possible. Consider the difference between a Facebook profile photo and an Instagram feed; one is lower in resolution, but they both have the same 1:1 aspect ratio and square shape.

The dimensions in which your video is originally altered to fit different screens are called OAR (original aspect ratio) and MAR (modified aspect ratio). In contrast, resolution only refers to the total number of pixels.


Why Is a Video’s Aspect Ratio Important?

The aspect ratio is essential because it influences how your pictures and videos will appear when shared on various platforms. Knowing the different aspect ratios will make it easier to share on various social media sites. It will also improve the visibility of your content. Here are a few key advantages to using the appropriate aspect ratio for your content.


Impacts Video Distortion

When displaying a specific item or subject, it is critical to understand the aspect ratio. Have you ever searched a photo site for a specific theme or topic and found the perfect image, only to discover that when you shared it on a specific platform, such as Instagram, the image didn't fit? When we want a specific image or shot centered or in the background, the aspect ratio also affects how we showcase our subject material.

The same applies for the video format. If you want to share a video on YouTube, it would make no sense to have a recorded video with the ratio of an Instagram Reel.


Influences the Design

Aspect ratio and design are inextricably linked. The aspect ratio will influence how and where you add text to a video or captions to a photo. When it comes to creating content for social media, it makes a big difference. 

When you want to edit YouTube videos, you already know where the subtitles will be placed, therefore, recording a portrait video and resizing it might impact the final design in a negative manner.


Most Important Video Aspect Ratios

When it comes to video aspect ratios, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Aspect ratios are usually selected based on where the video will be posted, how it will be viewed, and what purpose it will serve.

Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the most common aspect ratios: 


1:1 Aspect Ratio

The 1:1 aspect ratio, also known as the square aspect ratio, is the traditional standard-definition television (SDTV) format. The 1:1 aspect ratio is now much less common. It's most likely to be found on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.

Even though it is not the most popular aspect ratio, many cameras still have a square setting.


16:9 Aspect Ratio

The 16:9 aspect ratio is the default setting on most video capture devices, both professional and consumer. It is also the most common size for video players.

There are several reasons why 16:9 has become the norm. Screens of this size have a higher resolution than those with 16:10 aspect ratios, which were once considered the international standard.

It is also less expensive to create screens that are compatible with this ratio than their predecessors. The standardization of both televisions and computer monitors saved producers time and money in the research arena.


21:9 Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio of 21:9 serves a specific purpose. It is also known as ultra-widescreen or cinematic widescreen. It is commonly used in anamorphic films. Anamorphic video formats are used to create an optical illusion of a 360-degree view.

Videos with this aspect ratio are likely to be found in special theaters, museums, theme parks, and the like. They are intended to provide viewers with more immersive experiences.

The illusion created by these-dimension screens is intended to make you feel like you're in the video rather than watching it.


35:1 Aspect Ratio

35:1 is a wide aspect ratio, used in movies and TV shows. The name comes from the original 1953 CinemaScope movies that used this ratio: "2" for two-to-one anamorphic stretch, and "3" for three times as long as it's tall. This means that 2.35:1 images are twice as wide as they are tall, or about 30% wider than standard 16:9 HDTV.

Although this aspect ratio is most often associated with film shots on 35 mm cameras (which produce images twice as wide and three times taller than 4K), it can also be created digitally through post-processing by cropping the image vertically and losing some of the information at the top and bottom of the frame without stretching the image horizontally.


4:3 Aspect Ratio

4:3 used to be known as "the universal" and "the standard," used to be the aspect ratio of most computer displays until a decade ago. This is why you've probably never noticed a 4:3 screen before—it was so common that we took it for granted.

Although it is no longer the preferred ratio due to the introduction of HD video and narrower mobile devices, the 4:3 ratio remains relevant when it comes to photography and competitive gaming.


3:2 Aspect Ratio

The 3:2 aspect ratio was first used in traditional 35 mm still photography. Some laptops, tablets, and handheld game consoles still use it as an image aspect ratio.

Many micro- to medium-sized cameras still have 3:2 aspect ratio settings, but broadcasters rarely use them today. Moreover, the 3:2 aspect ratio isn’t suitable for social media video content.


4:5 Aspect Ratio

The 4:5 aspect ratio is a more recent addition to the list of common video aspect ratios. 

The 4:5 ratio, espoused by Instagram's vertical video mode, is ideal for social media because it captures more screen space and demands more attention.


9:16 Aspect Ratio

Most vertical videos have a 9:16 aspect ratio. This aspect ratio has grown in popularity and has become mainstream since the widespread usage of smartphones and handheld devices with video capabilities.This makes sense given that the iPhone camera's video setting supports both 9:16 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

For example, the ideal size for an Instagram story is 1080 px by 1920 px, which equals a 9:16 ratio. The same is true for other popular apps with "story" features, such as Facebook and Snapchat. This type of aspect ratio is also commonly used for social media content such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.


What Is the Most Common Aspect Ratio?

While the aspect ratio in which you record your video depends on where it will be played, the most common aspect ratio in which videos are recorded is 16:9. 

Its popularity stems solely from the ability to record videos in the highest possible resolution. That is why it is a requirement on the majority of popular video streaming platforms.

It is important to note that while most social media platforms support a wide range of aspect ratios, not all of them perform well for different distributions. A Facebook banner ad, for example, has a different shape than a Facebook Story. The best practices for various content sizes and ratios for each platform are listed in each social media section of this article.

Using the proper aspect ratios ensures that your images are displayed as intended, with no distortion or loss of resolution.


How to Change the Aspect Ratio of a Video with Flixier

Not all the time the original aspect ratio of a video is also the best aspect ratio. Therefore, it is essential to resize it. To help you get to the correct aspect ratio, you can use our online video editor, Flixier. With the Flixier online video resizer you can create 1:1, 16:9, 9:16 or any other size that your platform requires.

To access the resizing features from any device, all you need is a computer browser; no other time-consuming software downloads or installations are required. Furthermore, our unique cloud-powered technology ensures that your videos are processed at lightning speed even on slow computers.

Here are the steps you need to take in order to resize videos with Flixier:


Upload Videos to Flixier

The first step in video resizing is to upload your videos to Flixier. You can upload them from your computer or import them directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, Zoom, and many other places to save time.


Resize Your Video

Drag and drop your video onto the Flixier timeline and select the desired size from the right side of the screen under Aspect Ratio; you can also enter a custom video size in size inputs. You can also drag from the corners of your video to make it fit the new size perfectly or to focus on a different part of the video.


Download and Publish Your Video

When you're satisfied with the outcome, simply click the Export button, and your video will be processed by our lightning-fast servers. You can upload your video to social media or cloud storage services directly, or simply download it to your computer.

After you resize a video in our tool, it is saved as an.MP4 file, which ensures compatibility with any device, operating system, or web browser. Furthermore, social media platforms advise you to upload your video as an.MP4 file.


Are You Ready to Start Your Video Creation Journey?

Now that you know more about each popular video aspect ratio, it is time to choose the one that suits best your type of content and start your video editing journey. Whether you want to resize, cut, trim, crop or use any other editing feature, there is no need to postpone it.

Get your free Flixier account and start editing videos online now! 

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