Crop Videos in <a data-lasso-id="453243" href="">Premiere Pro</a>: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cropping a video in Premiere Pro can transform your footage from amateur to professional with just a few clicks.

It’s an essential skill for any video editor looking to frame their shots perfectly and focus the audience’s attention exactly where it’s needed.

Today, we’re diving into the simple steps that’ll have you cropping videos like a pro in no time.

Whether you’re aiming to eliminate distractions from the edges, change the aspect ratio, or create a dynamic split-screen effect, Premiere Pro offers a powerful set of tools to achieve your vision.

Stick with us as we guide you through the process, ensuring your next video project has the polished look it deserves.

Step 1: Importing The Video Clip

Before we jump into the intricacies of cropping, we need to get our footage into Premiere Pro.

We’ll start by opening the software and selecting the ‘Import’ option from the ‘File’ menu.

This straightforward process is the bedrock from which our editing journey begins.

Navigating through our directories, we find the video clip we plan to edit.

Whether it’s a scene from Casablanca or a clip from our recent vlog, it’s crucial that we import it correctly to maintain the integrity of the file.

Once the desired video file is selected, we hit ‘Open’ to add it to our project.

Presto, our clip now appears in the ‘Project’ panel.

It’s here we see the raw material with which we’ll craft our visual narrative.

Our next move is to drag the clip onto the timeline – the canvas for our editing masterpiece.


With the video clip on the timeline, we’re set up for success and ready to unveil the full potential of our footage.

To ensure a smooth workflow, remember to:

  • Check the clip properties to match the project settings,
  • Organize multiple clips in bins for better project management,
  • Save the project routinely to avoid any heartache from technical hiccups.

As we bypass the hurdles of mundane footage, we’re on the verge of transforming our clip into a compelling story that captivates our audience and stands out amidst a sea of content.

We’re now perfectly positioned to proceed to the meat of the matter – the art of cropping.

Step 2: Creating A New Sequence

Once we’ve imported our clips and organized our project, it’s time to create a new sequence.

A new sequence in Premiere Pro is essentially the canvas where our video will take shape.

To get started, we’ll go to the File menu and select New > Sequence, or use the shortcut Ctrl+N.

This will bring up the New Sequence window where we can choose from a variety of presets that match common output formats.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the choices we have:

  • Digital SLR > 1080p > DSLR 1080p24,
  • AVCHD > 1080p > AVCHD 1080p24,
  • Mobile & Devices > Various resolution and framerate combinations.

When creating a new sequence, we want our settings to match the properties of our raw footage.

This ensures that our video will export with the best quality possible.

In case of custom settings, we go to the Settings tab and manually input our desired sequence parameters.

Once we’ve named our sequence and adjusted the settings, it’s time click OK.

The fresh sequence appears in the Timeline panel, ready for us to start dragging in clips.

As our project progresses, maintaining a well-organized Timeline is crucial for efficient editing workflow.


Adjusting the sequence settings is easy if we ever need to change our project parameters later on.

We’ll just right-click on the sequence in the Project panel and select Sequence Settings.

Remember, the sequence settings can deeply impact the final product.

It’s important to take the time to ensure they’re set correctly from the outset.

This attention to detail is what sets professional-looking videos apart from the rest.

Let’s keep our workflow streamlined and error-free by regularly checking our sequence settings against our clip properties.

This practice will save us time and prevent potential issues down the line.

Step 3: Adding The Video Clip To The Timeline

Once you’ve created your sequence in Premiere Pro, it’s time to add your video clip to the timeline.

This is where the visual component of your project will begin to take shape.

Our clips need to be carefully placed on the timeline to ensure that our final product is polished and visually engaging.


To add a clip to the timeline, we’ll start by importing our raw footage into the project.

We do this by navigating to the ‘File’ menu and selecting ‘Import’, or by simply dragging and dropping the files directly into the project panel.

When our footage is within reach, we’re one step closer to achieving our vision.

Now we must locate the particular clip we intend to crop.

By simply clicking and dragging the clip from the project panel to the sequence timeline, we position it into our workspace.

Here, we manipulate the video by adjusting its duration, layering effects, and finally, cropping it to perfection.

The timeline isn’t just a space for adding clips; it’s where the meticulous process of editing unfolds:

  • Organizing clips into layers – Synchronizing audio with visuals – Adjusting clip length and transitions.

We must be vigilant in keeping our timeline ordered and coherent.

An organized timeline is essential for efficient editing and simplifies the process of locating any clip swiftly.

In our timeline, we must also match the video and audio tracks to their corresponding layers.

Each layer has its purpose and arranging our clips accurately is crucial for creating a harmonious final piece.

An aligned timeline is the backbone of our video project, setting the stage for an exceptional viewing experience.

Once we’ve structured our timeline, checked our audio alignment, and layered our video tracks, we’re prepared for the nitty-gritty of video cropping.

With our clip in place, we can move forward to refining our visual story.

Step 4: Selecting The Crop Tool

After arranging our timeline meticulously, we’re ready to focus on the crop tool.

Premiere Pro offers a robust set of options for refining our clips, and the crop tool is a feature that can drastically alter our visual storytelling.

It’s easy to locate the crop tool.

We can simply go to the Effects panel and type “crop” in the search bar to find it quickly.

The crop effect is nestled right under the Transform folder, always at our fingertips for rapid access.

We drag the effect onto our chosen clip on the timeline.

This act activates the tool, allowing us to manipulate our footage further.

By clicking on the Effect Controls panel, we reveal the properties of the crop tool.

Our adjustments are made through sliders that control each edge of our video –

  • Top,
  • Bottom,
  • Left,
  • Right.

As we adjust the sliders, we see our image dynamically resize in the Program Monitor.

This real-time feedback is crucial for achieving the desired framing.

Remember, cropping is an art; subtle changes can have a significant impact on our narrative.

While cropping, we make sure to keep an eye on our video’s aspect ratio.

Whether we’re aiming for the widescreen allure of The Grand Budapest Hotel or the square format that’s become a signature on Instagram, maintaining the correct ratio is essential.

We can also keyframe our crops to add motion.

This technique can guide our audience’s eyes and emphasize specific story elements throughout the scene.

Keyframing allows us to choreograph our visual elements precisely to our narrative’s rhythm.

Adjusting to the perfect crop might take a few tries.

We encourage experimentation with different levels of cropping to find the right balance.

It’s not just about what we show but also about what we choose to conceal that shapes our story’s impact.

Step 5: Modifying The Crop Boundaries

Once you’ve got the crop tool active on your clip, you’ll notice the crop effect’s parameters in the Effect Controls panel.

Here you can refine the crop boundaries to frame your subject just right.

Adjusting these parameters is straightforward – drag the sliders for Top, Bottom, Left, and Right to tweak the crop area.

It’s essential to keep an eye on the Program Monitor as these changes will immediately affect your video’s frame.

Precision is key in adjusting the boundaries.

If you’re finding the sliders too sensitive, you can manually input the percentage of crop you’re after.

This level of control ensures your final crop is exactly as intended.

Remember, cropping can be used creatively!

Here are some ways to modify boundaries for effect:

  • Isolate a Subject: By cropping closely around your subject, you draw the viewer’s attention directly to them.
  • Create Split Screens: Cropping different clips differently can help you create a split-screen effect within the same frame.
  • Frame within a Frame: Cropping can also be used to create a ‘picture in picture’ effect, where one video plays within another.

When modifying the crop boundaries, it’s also crucial to maintain the video’s aspect ratio, especially if you’re producing content for specific platforms.

For instance, Instagram prefers a 1:1 ratio for posts and a 9:16 ratio for stories.

Keep these standards in mind to avoid awkwardly cropped videos on social platforms.

If you’re working on a project that requires multiple clips to be cropped identically, consider copying and pasting the crop effect between clips.

It’ll save time and help maintain consistency across your video.

By being mindful of these techniques and practices, you’re on your way to masterfully crafting the visual narrative of your project.

Whether you’re working on a feature film like The Shawshank Redemption or a short video for YouTube, the power of cropping can significantly enhance your storytelling.

Step 6: Previewing The Cropped Video

After refining the crop boundaries, it’s crucial to preview our work.

This ensures that our adjustments align with the creative vision for the piece.

We use the Program Monitor in Premiere Pro to view our video with its new boundaries.

Check from various perspectives and playback speeds to catch any inconsistencies.

Previewing is more than a single glance.

We take the time to review the video in fullscreen mode as well.

It’s in this view that we sometimes notice elements we missed before.

Did the crop inadvertently cut off something important?

Is the subject now perfectly isolated?

These questions are pivotal during this step.

Here’s what we look for during previewing:

  • Subject focus – Is the subject still the main focus post-crop?
  • Edge distractions – Are there any unwanted elements creeping into the frame?
  • Aspect ratios – Are the dimensions correct for the intended platform?

If we find that further adjustments are necessary, it’s back to the Effect Controls panel we go.

Don’t forget that refining is often a cyclical process.

Agility here ensures that our video’s final output is polished and professional.

At this juncture, we may also consider the impact of the crop on the video’s quality.

High-resolution footage can typically withstand significant cropping without degradation.

Lower resolution videos, But, may present a pixelated or blurry image after cropping.

This evaluation prompts us to strike a balance between our creative desires and the technical limitations.

Remember, films like Mad Max: Fury Road showcase the dynamism that careful cropping can achieve.

By emulating such precise editing, we elevate our content from good to great.

Preview, refine, and review as needed to harness the full potential of cropping in Premiere Pro.

Step 7: Exporting The Cropped Video

After meticulously adjusting and reviewing our video’s crop, we’re ready to export it from Premiere Pro.

The export process is crucial as it solidifies all our creative decisions into a finalized product.

To start, we head to ‘File’ and select ‘Export’, then ‘Media’ to open the Export Settings dialog box.

We must ensure that all our settings match our project requirements to maintain the video’s quality and resolution.

Here are some key points we need to check before exporting –

  • Format: Usually H.264 is preferred for its balance of quality and file size,
  • Preset: We may choose a preset or customize one that suits our distribution platform, like YouTube or Vimeo,
  • Output Name: Clicking on the name allows us to rename our file and choose where to save it.

In the Video tab, double-check that the ‘Source’ and ‘Output’ dimensions match unless we intentionally want to export at a different size.

This is where we see the direct result of our cropping efforts during the editing process.

finally, we consider the bitrate settings.

They determine the video quality and file size; a higher bitrate means better quality but a larger file.

For online sharing, keeping a balance is key to ensure smooth playback for our audience.

We then hit ‘Export’ and wait for Premiere Pro to render our masterpiece.

During this time, it’s a good opportunity to prepare for our next project or simply take a well-deserved break.

After all, exporting can give us that small window of downtime before we jump into our next creative Try.

How To Crop A Video In Premiere Pro – Wrap Up

We’ve walked you through the steps to crop a video in Premiere Pro and now you’re ready to export with confidence.

Remember to keep an eye on format presets and output names to ensure your video looks exactly as you envisioned.

It’s crucial to verify those video dimensions one last time before you hit export.

With the bitrate adjusted for your audience, whether they’re on desktop or mobile, your video is set to make an impact.

All that’s left is to let Premiere Pro do its rendering magic and your masterpiece will be ready to share with the world.

Happy editing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Crop A Video In Premiere Pro?

To crop a video in Premiere Pro, select the clip you want to crop in the timeline, go to the Effects Control panel, and apply the ‘Crop’ effect.

Adjust the values for each side of the video until you achieve the desired framing.

What Should Be Checked Before Exporting A Cropped Video In Premiere Pro?

Before exporting a cropped video in Premiere Pro, check the format and preset, ensure the output name is correct, and double-check the dimensions in the Video tab to confirm they match your intended output resolution.

Why Is The Export Process Important In Premiere Pro?

The export process in Premiere Pro is important because it finalizes all creative decisions made during editing, maintains the video’s quality and resolution, and produces the finished product ready for distribution or sharing.

What Bitrate Settings Should Be Considered For Online Sharing?

When sharing videos online, consider using a high enough bitrate to ensure good video quality while also keeping the file size manageable.

The exact bitrate depends on the video resolution and platform requirements, but generally, a higher bitrate results in better quality.

How Long Should I Wait For Premiere Pro To Render My Video?

The rendering time in Premiere Pro can vary greatly depending on the video’s length, resolution, effects applied, and your computer’s processing power.

Be prepared to wait anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Always ensure your work is saved and that you have allocated enough time for rendering before you need the finished video.

How to Crop a Video in Premiere
How to Crop a Video in Premiere