August 24, 2018 at 10:26AM


Aspect Ratio letterboxes

This is a comment I left on the NFS article "Want to Edit a Blockbuster? Stay Organized with This Free Premiere Pro Timeline Template"
I thought it might have a better chance of being responded to here. My question:

I've always been curious about letterboxing the aspect ratio. What's the best way to do it?

I've heard that you should work in a timeline that has the desired aspect ratio set in the sequence settings.

Although I imagine that this restricts you from changing the aspect ratio at different parts of your film if you desire to do so (i.e. cutting to IMAX footage).

Is overlaying a letterbox really a good way to do it? I've heard that overlaying a letterbox affects your video if you want to play it on a screen with a native 2.40 aspect ratio, where it's not sized and formatted correctly. Also there's a chance of artifacts showing up on the black bars.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

1 Comment

Honestly it really depends on how you want your film to be perceived. Some like the letterboxing because the black brings your eyes into the image.
For me it depends on the program I am using. I'm a premiere and resolve editor. If I am in premiere then I set my sequence settings to the desired aspect ratio to make my master file. If I am in resolve, I use the black bars because they will automatically calculate your timeline settings and add the proper bars to give you the exact aspect ratio. My workflow these days is to edit in premiere and master everything in resolve.

All in all I think the final resolution for your master should match your desired AR.

If you want multiple AR's in your video then you should definitely use matte bars.

August 24, 2018 at 1:46PM, Edited August 24, 1:46PM

Alex Alva

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