It may be a bit late, but I will still say it: it’s okay to shoot vertical videos now for your video social strategy.
More than that, it is preferable to shoot vertically in some cases, like with videos for social media. They are much easier to watch on the go when you don’t have to turn your phone sideways every couple of minutes.
So let’s talk about how you can adapt your horizontal videos to a vertical aspect ratio — and do that in the most efficient way possible.
The issue with cropping videos from horizontal to vertical aspect ratio
Say you’re a business that is building a social media presence.
You got your accounts set up, with logos, bios, and everything.
Now it’s time to post some content!
Shooting videos is very straightforward: you have the freedom to choose the aspect ratio and shoot vertically, to begin with. But what if you need to promote some of your existing content? Say, put a bit of your podcast on TikTok, a movie trailer on TikTok, or recap last night’s ball game on Instagram Reels.
Those types of content are all filmed in landscape aspect ratio — so in order to fit them on vertically oriented social media, you have two options:
- Put black bars below and above the video. Think of the 21:9 widescreen movies you watch on your 16:9 laptop — they have black bars, right? Imagine those occupying around 60% of your screen. Not very immersive.
- Crop the footage to a vertical aspect ratio. A more fitting option would be cropping the video vertically so that it would take the entire screen. This way the viewers would feel much more immersed in the content.
The second option seems to have an obvious advantage, but it doesn’t mean it works for everything.
You see, people shooting in a certain aspect ratio make use of all the room they have. It means that a 16:9 video might have stuff happening in the center as well as on the sides of the shot.
The question here is: how do you crop a video to include the important parts? Cropping right at the center doesn’t work, since the point of focus might move throughout the scene.
Going from shot to shot and moving the frame accordingly is off the table for time-related reasons.
Automating production with video cropping software
A video cropping software powered by Artificial Intelligence algorithms can help with cropping footage from landscape to portrait aspect ratio.
Putting a frame of a video seems easy enough. But to make sure that all of the important things stay within that frame, the video cropping software has to recognize those important parts.
That is the hard part. And that is what AI helps with.
Instead of having a person spend hours upon hours in the editing software, you can have AI analyze the footage, pinpoint the most important section in each shot, and then move the frame accordingly.
You get the vertical clip that looks good on TikTok or any other social platform.
The clip is coherent and doesn’t omit important parts of the scene.
And you get to save time on production.
That’s a triple-win situation.
If the tech is right, of course.
The tech behind video cropping software
Any media company that has dabbled into AI has surely had issues regarding its effectiveness.
The majority of those issues are rooted in the incorrect understanding of AI as some sort of “know-it-all” technology that can do pretty much everything with enough training.
In reality, Artificial Intelligence is not a single piece of technology, like computer vision or neural network. AI is an umbrella term for technologies like computer vision, neural networks, deep learning, and others that are based on pattern recognition.
They can be used separately, or in combination to solve particular problems.
A combination of technologies provides you with better automation capabilities and yields more consistent results than a single technology. For example, you can work around video cropping with the help of object recognition: train the algorithm to focus on certain things in the frame as soon as it detects those things.
For instance, you can crop soccer clips by focusing on the ball.
But what if you have to use it for podcasts or TV shows? You have to re-configure and re-train the algorithm, which doesn’t sound like seamless automation.
On the other hand, Cognitive Computing includes a mix of algorithms that allows video cropping software to analyze any type and genre of footage, identify important parts in the scenes, and crop it accordingly.
Sophisticated technology allows the software to recognize the context of videos, which is why it wouldn’t need training to crop footage of sporting events, TV show snippets, or interviews.
Get the most out of your content with video cropping software
Apart from producing high-quality content, success on social media is achieved through consistent strategy.
It’s not enough to have good videos. You have to have a lot of it to post consistently.
And that may be hard to pull off with the content of high production value. It’s an organism that can’t move as quickly as you would like it to.
But it can and surely does benefit from implementing automated video cropping software.
Your creative team handles the content, and the software adapts it for social media. You use it to grow your brand presence online, connect with your existing customers and acquire some more. Everyone is happy.