User request: How can I crop a video?

We have just received a request from one of our users, who asked: “I have two black lines on the sides of my clip. I can resize it but I can not crop the video. Is it possible to remove the black area but leave the rest of the video untouched?”

Crop you video?

You can not crop your video  in Adobe Premire or Final Cut Pro or other video editors you can only resize it. Make the size of it smaller or bigger, but those black frames would still be there. What you need to do is to cut off those black areas but not change anything else. Do not mistaken this with trimming. which affects the length of the clip. Cropping changes the proportion of the clip, so the length or the resolution will remain the same, but you will change the width (or height) by cutting off unnessessary parts. In your case the black frames.

This is how you cut the black parts off of your video

The trick is actually pretty easy, and what is more, totally free. The software we are going to use is a great tool, called Handbrake and it is an open source French software available for Windows, Mac and Linux. With this tool you will be able to crop your video and this is how you do it:

  1. Download and install the program
  2. Open it and load your clip
  3. Go to the dimensions tab and set the cropping options to Custom
  4. Type in pixel numbers to crop (in our example we crop 100 pixels both from left and right side of the clip)
  5. Hit Start

And that’s about it, your video has been cropped.
You may want to experience with the numbers to perfectly remove the black line, it is hard to know how many pixels those lines are so just change the numbers until you have the correct size.

Bonus: How can I trim my clip?

If you want to change the length of the clip (for example remove a few seconds from the beginning and the end) you can do that in any video editing app. But, of course,  you can also do it in Handbrake.
Look at the top of the application, where it says Range: Chapters, change that to Seconds and type in the new beginning and the new ending of the clip. It will be trimmed (shortened) accordingly.