Tip #632: Crop vs. Trim: What’s the Difference?

… for Visual Effects

Tip #632: Crop vs. Trim: What’s the Difference?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The difference is what happens to the original frame size.

The Crop vs. Trim options in Apple Final Cut Pro X.

Topic $TipTopic

It’s a simple thing that confuses a lot of people: What’s the difference between crop and trim?

Well, first, they have a lot in common:

  • Both remove portions of the image.
  • Both use rectangles to work their magic
  • Both allow us to concentrate the viewer’s eye on a certain part of the image.

The big difference is that crop always reduces the image size to match the cropped area, while trim does not alter the image size.


If you trim an image on the lowest layer, you’ll create black areas for the removed portions of the original image.

Generally, trimming is used for elements on higher layers/tracks, while cropping is used for the lowest layer/track/background.

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