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Repurpose Horizontal Videos for IGTV (16:9 to 9:16 Vertical Video!)

– IGTV, or Instagram TV is out, and it brings portrait, or vertical, video even closer to the mainstream. So whether you like it, or whether you totally hate it, it’s here for now. But what does that mean for all your 16 by nine, or horizontal, videos? Well, the good news is, in this video, we’re gonna run through a few easy tricks and tips that you can use to repurpose your horizontal videos over for IGTV, and get those YouTube-friendly
16 by nine videos over to nine by 16 vertical video formats, and still get great results. (classy electronica) Hey, it’s Justin Brown,
here from Primal Video, where we help you amplify your business and brand with video. If you’re new here, make sure you click that subscribe button, and all the links to everything mentioned in this video you can find linked in the
description box, below. So let’s jump into it. So IGTV is the new content
platform on the block, and it brings with it the
portrait, nine by 16, video format that we’ve previously seen, really only on things like Instagram stories, Snapchat, and really short-form content. But with the new vertical format for long-form content, does that mean that you need to start from scratch with no way to reuse
your existing horizontal, or widescreen, content? Well, the answer is no. There are some easy
tricks that you can use to get that horizontal footage over into vertical format, in a
way that looks good, too. Now, I do wanna give you a little word of caution before we jump in, that you don’t necessarily wanna just push the same content
out across all platforms. The audience that you
have on each platform is there for something different. So a YouTube video won’t necessarily work on IGTV, but being able to reuse your horizontal footage,
and your video library, opens up a ton of doors that can save you re-shooting everything in vertical. So now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at how to do it. And while we’re going through it, I’d love to hear in the comments which IGTV creators have you seen use the vertical format the best? There’s a huge amount of creativity that’s forced in a new format like this, and it’s always interesting to see how people can take advantage of it. Now, the overall, or the number one, goal that you should always stick to with any type of content creation is that you wanna make your
videos a good experience for the people on that platform. So that, on the most simplest level, would mean that all your text that you’re using, all your titles, all your graphics, anything that you’re actually showing on there,
especially people talking, aren’t cut off, and that they are framed so that the viewer has a good
experience watching them. I’ve already seen a heap of people trying to repurpose footage
from, say, YouTube videos, over to IGTV, and they’re
cutting off things like titles. They’re literally
uploading the YouTube video as it is, without any adjustments. So you really wanna make sure that your videos are a good experience for your viewers on IGTV, or really, any other platform, as well, by making everything specific for that platform, making everything work, for that platform. So make sure your titles are visible. Make sure all your core
content is visible, and that it is pleasing and easy for your viewers to watch and consume. All right, so I’m now gonna jump over onto the computer, and I’m gonna take you through a heap of different ways to help you repurpose
your footage for IGTV. Okay, so I’m here, in Adobe Premiere Pro. Now, this is gonna work in pretty much any video editing software out there, so if you’re not using Adobe Premiere Pro, you can definitely still follow along, and replicate this in
your editing software. Obviously, where I’m clicking, and things, are gonna change up, depending on what software you’re using. But the principles are
gonna remain the same. Okay, so the first thing you wanna is to open up one of your existing videos that you wanna repurpose over
from widescreen to portrait. Now, you will wanna create a duplicate of your timeline, so that you’re not messing with the original. So create a new copy of your timeline, and then you wanna go up
to your timeline settings, or your project settings,
and change the aspect ratio from 16 by nine to nine by 16. And this is where we’re gonna flip it from widescreen to portrait. So in most cases, all you need to do is to swap your numbers around
for your video resolution, from 1920 by 1080 to 1080 by 1920. Now, if you’re using a
different resolution, 720p, or even 4K, for now, just
swap the two numbers around, so that you’re changing that aspect ratio. Now, the first thing you wanna do is to play through, or scrub through, your entire video, and
just reposition everything so that they fit in this new format. So if you need to scale up or scale down your actual video content,
then you can do that here. You might need to slide or reposition it to the left or right,
so that it fits centered on the screen, and
likewise, with any titles, or graphics, or animations, that you’ve got in your video,
you wanna reposition, and even rescale, or resize, those so that they fit in this
new format, as well. Now, keep in mind that your video, here, doesn’t need to be identical, and look exactly the same
as your widescreen version. You could have the titles bigger, you could have them in
a different position. Try to get a little creative with this, and don’t just try to replicate what you did for the widescreen version. Now, as you’re going through, and you’re repositioning, and
you’re resizing things, obviously, some things
aren’t going to fit, so this is what we’re
gonna cover in this video, six ways that you can make your footage still look good as you’re
repurposing it for portrait. So the first option you’ve got, and again, this is really dependent on the type of video that you’re actually creating, here, but you can actually stack your videos on top of each other, so that you’ve got one on the top half of the screen, and another piece of footage on the bottom half of the screen. So this would work really well if you’re talking about a product, and you’re showing the product. You could have you talking about it, in the bottom half, and in the top half, you could have some B-roll, or overlay, footage shown at that time. Now, if you don’t have two different shots that you can use, here, one of you talking, and one of, say, a product, then you could use the same one twice, and maybe put a different effect on it. So at the top, the clip could
be playing through forward, and on the bottom one, it could be playing through backwards. Well, one of them could be a wider shot, and the other one could
be a much more zoomed in version of the same video. So that’s your first option, splitting your vertical video into two, so that we got a top and a bottom. The next option is to split it into three. Now, three works really, really well, because it’s almost to the exact size of three widescreen videos stacked on top of each other, and scaled so that you can see the full
width of the original footage. Three of them are gonna
line up pretty close. And again, this method, or this style, is gonna work really, really well if you’ve got, again, someone talking, maybe in the middle shot, and then the top one, and the bottom
one, could be some B-roll, or overlay, footage that you would normally show to a company
that, or to help tell, or describe, what you’re
talking about at that time. It could also be that all three shots are exactly the same, and there’s some sort of effect on the top
on and the bottom one, and the one in the middle is
just left in its original form. So the top two could
even be black and white, and maybe a little bit out of focus, a little bit blurry, and the bottom one could be just the original video. The third option is to scale down your original widescreen footage, so that most of it, or all of it, is shown inside that portrait space. And you can add text or titles to the top and bottom of that frame. So at the top, you might have the title of the video, and at the bottom, you could have things like subtitles, or text, coming up, as they’re said, or as they’re mentioned in the video. Option number four is to move your content around, back and forth, if you need to, so that’s just fitting in the frame. So an example of an interview, you could actually slide the
original widescreen video left and right, as the
different people speak in the interview. Where your original
widescreen video would’ve had one person on the left,
and one on the right, you’re scaling this up so you’re just seeing one person at a time, and then you’re animating, or sliding, or cutting, and jumping across, back and forth, to the
two different people as they’re speaking in the interview. The fifth option you’ve got is to scale down the full widescreen video so that it fits inside the vertical video, in the middle, duplicate
that exact same clip, and scale it up, drop a blur effect on, Gaussian blur is a
good one, or fast blur, and crank the blurriness right up. Now, I’ll probably say this is my least favorite one of all of them, because if you’re picturing viewing this on a mobile phone,
then the actual piece of content that you’re watching, the moving piece, is gonna be
pretty small on the screen. But with all of these options, I’d say it’s actually a really great idea to try and have a
combination of all of them, or mix them up, and don’t just stick to one method for your entire video. The whole idea, here, is to
create a great experience for your viewers watching your content. You don’t want it to be annoying or hard for them to see, but you want it to be engaging, and
changing up a little bit, to mix it up, to keep them
engaged while they’re watching. So I think the key,
really, is to understand what’s possible, get creative, play around with it, and mix up some
of these different options inside your portrait video, is because it will make them so much more engaging and interesting to watch. But the biggest thing that
I can’t stress enough is to make sure that all of your text, or all of the critical parts of your video that your viewer will
expect to see, make sure that they can actually see them, and not be cutting off text,
or important pieces of content. Now, if you are posting
your portrait videos to IGTV, it’s a good idea to open up your phone, and have a
look at the IGTV interface, and see where there’s overlays onscreen, ’cause if you’ve got critical information that you want, titles, and things you want people to read,
you wanna make sure that they’re not gonna be covered up by any of that interface. So for example, on IGTV, you’ve got your browse video feature down the bottom, which can take up a big
chunk of your screen. So if you’ve got some critical information on your video that you want your viewers to see, then wherever possible, try to make sure that that’s not covered up by that browse videos
feature, down the bottom. Also be aware, that at least for now, when someone first clicks on your video, some of these overlays, and things, can stay up for around five seconds. So if you’ve got a heap of text onscreen, immediately, maybe the
title of the video coming up, straightaway, then you
will wanna allow for this, and maybe keep the titles
onscreen a little bit longer. Now, in saying that, because IGTV is still new, they will
have different iterations of this interface, and I’m sure this will change over
time, but it’s a good idea to check on your phone, first, before you start creating videos, and before you start creating templates, take a look at what
the interface is doing, and how your videos will look when they’re played back in there. All right, so that’s how easy it is to repurpose your 16 by
nine, or widescreen, videos over to the new portrait,
or vertical, video format. Now, if you are looking to shoot, and edit, vertical video,
right from your phone, then check out the video
linked onscreen, now, showing you how to make professional-looking
Instagram stories. I’ll see you soon.


  1. Communication Coach Alex Lyon Author

    Very helpful. I'm not on Instagram but these tips were vey helpful anyway because I'm sure I'll have to edit at some point for the vertical view.

  2. Vicky Gacha Author

    Justin, could you make a video about how to add a thumbnail to a video???
    You already made a video about how to make it but not how to add it.
    Oh and I'm talking about Pixelab in Android.
    Thank you.

    – Vicky LPS 👌

  3. TheAdkFlyer10 Author

    What? They're embracing it??
    When will a "smart phone" be smart enough to record video horizontally no matter which way the phone is held?

  4. The Bicycle Engine Author

    Make it stop!!!! Video should never be shot portrait!!!! We don't need to learn how to do it. We need to discourage it. Apps like Instagram and SnapChat caused this idiocy, we should be demanding them to change their format or going elsewhere!!!! #eliminateverticalvideo

  5. Tara Wagner Coaching Author

    Thank you!! I’ve been looking for a tutorial on this. Quick question…you mentioned using templates in Adobe Premiere. Do you have a video on how you create or use templates, especially to save time in editing?

  6. Mark Pritchard Author

    Hi Justin, love your video's, they are very helpful.
    I make guitar videos for Instagram, I was wondering if I am able to upload in stereo? I have an iPhone and imac. Every time I upload it changes it to mono which is very annoying.


  7. Matt V Author

    Seems easy enough, but here's my question. If you shoot video in 1920×1080, then crop it to fit 1080×1920, aren't you cutting down the quality by a huge amount? You're then stretching 1080 pixels to fit the vertical 1920. that's like a 50% digital zoom, how do you get it to not look terrible???

  8. Cambs Digital Author

    Some great tips there Justin, inspiring me to get editing! Just curious how we get footage up to IGTV? I know the answer is up there in the www I'm just thinking aloud.

  9. Olivier Parfumerie Author

    super conseil! j'avais déjà commencé à travailler sur mon compte insta de cette manière mais les tips que tu propose sont vraiement très intéréssants! merci encore!

  10. MetaDevGirl Author

    This is awesome. I was trying to figure out if I need to try to make duplicate recordings for some of the widescreen content, but this is really helpful for alternate edits of the same footage. I guess I'll be subscribing and moving on to that IG stories video next!

  11. sx x Author

    Thank you for these suggestions! Very helpful. So many videos about switching from horizontal to vertical are just changing the resolution and rotating the video.

  12. Arthur Sempebwa Author

    Hi Justin, I used to do it the same way in premiere-pro, but when you have a lot of videos to do it's just really time-consuming. The fastest way to do it is by using SmartCrop at It's unique AI technology does the hard work for you! I work as a film editor/product specialist there. Would be great to get your thoughts on it. – Arthur

  13. Victor Jorda Romero Author

    Vídeo en horizontal siempre, sin importar en qué red social expones el vídeo, este hecho es por coherente lógica, y quienes siguen haciendo vídeos con el smartphone en vertical o empresas, no comprenden la razón y pierden valor, no son profesionales, se dejan convencer y son conformistas, demuestran que no tienen conocimientos y son fáciles de manipular en las redes sociales.

  14. Dan Harris Author

    Loved your point about why repurposing same content to different platforms (different audiences) doesn't always work. I preach that to my clients that viewers are visiting for different reasons depending on the channel


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