Tip #316: Working with Vertical Phone Footage

… for Visual Effects

Tip #316: Working with Vertical Phone Footage

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Tips to coping with a 9:16 aspect ratio.

A vertical video example based on the settings in this Tip.

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A longer version of this article first appeared in PremiumBeat.com.

Shooting vertical phone footage is a cardinal sin in film-making. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be working with it in post. Here’s how.

The easiest thing to do is create two layers, zoom the bottom layer so it fills the screen, add some blur, and be done with it. The problem is that this doesn’t make the footage look very good.

Here’s a better technique:

  • Stack two copies of the same clip one above the other.
  • Using the Scale settings in your NLE, stretch the Y value, but leave the X (height) value alone.
  • Apply a Gaussian Blur and increase the amount a lot: say 70-100.
  • Lower the Opacity from 100% to 40-50%.

When you follow these steps, you end up with a more pleasing image, such as you see in this screen shot.

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