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I have a video that has black bars on the top and bottom. I want to edit those bars out. Is there a way to edit the video so that only the actual video shows and not the bars on the top and bottom?

I have Adobe Premiere CS3, but I'm open to other software as long as it is free or inexpensive.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I am not familiar with Premiere but this is a basic video editing function I seen in all video editors. For example in Camtasia you would:

1) Import the video clip to a new project

2) Select the Zoom/Crop tool

3) Select the area you want to crop

4) Extend the timeline

5) Render as a new video - done

I found Adobe premier tutorial on YouTube - I think this is what you are asking about:

Adobe Premiere Crop video

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Thanks the video really helped. – VideoGuy Mar 30 '13 at 1:26

Premiere Pro

I'm not aware of any easy way to do that with Premiere Pro, but you should first find out what the target dimension is for the video. Then, create a new sequence from File » New » Sequence, and set this dimension. Make sure you use the same frame rate and pixel aspect ratio as the input sequence.

Then drag the video onto the sequence, and make sure you don't change the sequence settings:

Finally, in the clip's Motion settings, you can adjust it to move and scale it until the black bars disappear:


With FFmpeg, you can run the cropdetect filter to automatically detect the necessary area for cropping:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -filter:v cropdetect -f null -

This call will print out a line for every frame, but you can stop the process with CtrlC at any time. Look at where it says crop= and use these parameters for the crop filter. So, if the cropdetect filter prints out crop=1280:720:0:0, you just use that below:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -filter:v crop=1280:720:0:0 -c:a copy output.mp4

Naturally, this will re-encode the video, with a little quality loss. You should try setting a higher quality if you want to retain the visual impression:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c:v libx264 -crf 21 \
-filter:v crop=1280:720:0:0 -c:a copy output.mp4

The CRF is a quality setting for the x264 encoder, with sane values from 18 to 28. Lower means better, and default is 23. Vary the setting according to the quality you want, and check the x264 encoding guide for more info.

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Sorry but all this did was squish the video to fit in the new dimensions. – VideoGuy Mar 30 '13 at 1:26
All what did? I have you two solutions :) – slhck Mar 30 '13 at 7:05

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