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Sebastian Taylor
Sebastian Taylor

Create a Letterbox Look with Black Bar PNGs in Premiere Pro


How to Download Black Bar for Your Videos




If you are a video creator, you might have noticed that some videos have black areas along the top and bottom of the screen, also known as letterboxing. These black bars are used to create a cinematic look for the videos, as they emulate the aspect ratio of ultra widescreen films. In this article, we will show you how to download black bar for your videos, how to use it to enhance your video production, and how to create a stunning cinematic effect with it.




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What are black bars and why are they used in videos




Black bars are the result of resizing a video that has a different aspect ratio than the display on which it is viewed. Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of an image or a screen. For example, most TVs and monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, which means that they are 16 units wide and 9 units tall. However, most movies are filmed in a wider aspect ratio, such as 2.35:1 or 21:9, also known as CinemaScope or anamorphic. This means that they are 2.35 or 21 units wide and 1 or 9 units tall.


When a movie with a wider aspect ratio is shown on a screen with a narrower aspect ratio, there are two options: either crop the sides of the movie to fit the screen, or reduce the size of the movie to fit the width of the screen and add black bars to fill in the empty space. The latter option is preferred by most filmmakers and viewers, as it preserves the original composition and vision of the movie without losing any details or information.


Black bars are not only used for movies, but also for other types of videos, such as documentaries, music videos, trailers, and even YouTube videos. By adding black bars to your videos, you can achieve several benefits, such as:


  • Creating a more immersive and dramatic viewing experience for your audience



  • Differentiating your videos from others and making them stand out



  • Emulating the style and feel of Hollywood movies and giving your videos a professional touch



  • Enhancing the focus and attention on your main subject or action



  • Adding more creative freedom and flexibility to your video editing



What are the different aspect ratios and how do they affect the black bars




As we mentioned before, aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of an image or a screen. There are many different aspect ratios that are used for various purposes and formats. Some of the most common ones are:


Aspect RatioDescriptionExamples


4:3This is an old standard that was used for TV broadcasts and computer monitors before widescreen became popular. It is also known as full screen.Classic films, old TV shows, retro games


16:9This is the current standard for most TVs, monitors, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and cameras. It is also known as widescreen.Modern films, TV shows, YouTube videos - Continuing the article: 1.85:1This is a common aspect ratio for American and British films. It is slightly wider than 16:9 and fills most of the screen.Marvel movies, Harry Potter movies, The Hunger Games movies


2.35:1 or 21:9This is a common aspect ratio for European and Asian films. It is much wider than 16:9 and creates black bars on the top and bottom of the screen.Star Wars movies, The Lord of the Rings movies, The Matrix movies


9:16This is a vertical aspect ratio that is used for mobile videos, such as Instagram stories, TikTok videos, and Snapchat videos. It fills the entire screen of a smartphone in portrait mode.Social media videos, short-form videos, vertical videos


The aspect ratio of your video determines how much black bar you will have on your screen. The wider the aspect ratio, the more black bar you will have. For example, if you have a 16:9 video and you want to add black bars to make it look like a 2.35:1 movie, you will have to reduce the height of your video by about 13%. If you have a 4:3 video and you want to add black bars to make it look like a 2.35:1 movie, you will have to reduce the height of your video by about 44%. You can use online calculators or tools to find out the exact dimensions and percentages for your desired aspect ratio.


How to download black bar for your videos using different methods




There are several ways to download black bar for your videos, depending on the software or platform you are using. Here are some of the most common methods:


Method 1: Change the aspect ratio and set the background color




This is the simplest and fastest way to add black bars to your videos. All you need to do is change the aspect ratio of your video project and set the background color to black. This will automatically create black bars on the top and bottom of your video. Here are the steps to follow:


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  • Open your video editing software and create a new project.



  • Import your video clip into the timeline.



  • Go to the project settings and change the aspect ratio to your desired one. For example, if you want a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you can choose 1920 x 816 pixels or 1280 x 544 pixels.



  • Go to the background settings and change the color to black.



  • Export your video and enjoy your black bars.



This method works for most video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.


Method 2: Add a black-bars PNG into the overlay track




This is another easy way to add black bars to your videos. All you need to do is download a black-bars PNG image from the internet and add it into the overlay track of your video project. This will create a transparent layer with black bars on top of your video. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Go to Google Images and search for "black bars png". You will find many images with different aspect ratios and sizes.



  • Download the image that matches your desired aspect ratio and resolution.



  • Open your video editing software and create a new project.



  • Import your video clip into the timeline.



  • Add a new video track above your video clip.



  • Import the black-bars PNG image into the new video track and adjust its position and duration to match your video clip.



  • Export your video and enjoy your black bars.



This method works for most video editing software that support overlay tracks, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.


Method 3: Lower and resize the frame to get black bars




This is another way to add black bars to your videos. All you need to do is lower and resize the frame of your video clip to create empty space on the top and bottom of your screen. This will create natural black bars without changing the aspect ratio or resolution of your video. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Open your video editing software and create a new project.



  • Import your video clip into the timeline.



  • Select your video clip and go to the transform or crop tool - Continuing the article: Lower the frame of your video clip by dragging it down until you see black bars on the top and bottom of your screen. You can also use the position or vertical offset slider to adjust the frame.



  • Resize the frame of your video clip by dragging the corners or using the scale or zoom slider to fit the width of your screen.



  • Export your video and enjoy your black bars.



This method works for most video editing software that support transform or crop tools, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.


Method 4: Crop and resize the video




This is another way to add black bars to your videos. All you need to do is crop and resize the video to change its aspect ratio and resolution. This will create black bars on the top and bottom of your screen. However, this method will also reduce the quality and details of your video, as you will lose some parts of your original footage. Here are the steps to follow:


  • Open your video editing software and create a new project.



  • Import your video clip into the timeline.



  • Select your video clip and go to the crop tool.



  • Crop the sides of your video clip until you get your desired aspect ratio. For example, if you want a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you can crop about 13% from each side of your 16:9 video.



  • Go to the project settings and change the resolution to match your cropped video. For example, if you cropped your 1920 x 1080 video to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you can change the resolution to 1920 x 816 pixels or 1280 x 544 pixels.



  • Export your video and enjoy your black bars.



This method works for most video editing software that support crop tools, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.


How to use black bar for your videos to create a cinematic effect




Adding black bars to your videos is not enough to create a cinematic effect. You also need to consider other factors, such as lighting, color grading, sound design, camera movement, and editing techniques. Here are some tips and tricks to make your videos look more professional and engaging with black bars:


  • Use natural or artificial lighting to create contrast and depth in your scenes. Avoid overexposing or underexposing your footage.



  • Use color grading tools or presets to enhance the mood and tone of your videos. Choose colors that match your theme and genre.



  • Use sound effects, music, and voice-overs to create atmosphere and emotion in your videos. Avoid using copyrighted or low-quality sounds.



  • Use camera movement techniques, such as panning, tilting, zooming, tracking, or dolly shots, to create dynamic and smooth transitions between scenes. Avoid using shaky or static shots.



  • Use editing techniques, such as cutting, fading, dissolving, or wiping, to create rhythm and pace in your videos. Avoid using abrupt or random cuts.



Examples of videos that use black bars effectively




To inspire you and give you some ideas on how to use black bars for your videos, here are some examples of videos that use black bars effectively:


  • How To Make A Cinematic Video With Your Phone: This video shows you how to use black bars and other techniques to make a cinematic video with your phone.



  • How To Make A Cinematic Travel Video: This video shows you how to use black bars and other techniques to make a cinematic travel video.



  • How To Make A Cinematic Music Video: This video shows you how to use black bars and other techniques to make a cinematic music video.



Conclusion




In conclusion, black bars are a great way to add a cinematic look to your videos. They can help you create a more immersive and dramatic viewing experience for your audience, differentiate your videos from others and make them stand out, emulate the style and feel of Hollywood movies and give your videos a professional touch, enhance the focus and attention on your main subject or action, and add more creative freedom and flexibility to your video editing. You can download black bar for your videos using different methods, such as changing the aspect ratio and setting the background color, adding a black-bars PNG into the overlay track - Continuing the article: , lowering and resizing the frame to get black bars, or cropping and resizing the video. You can also use black bars for your videos to create a cinematic effect by following some tips and tricks, such as using lighting, color grading, sound design, camera movement, and editing techniques. You can also check out some examples of videos that use black bars effectively to inspire you and give you some ideas. We hope this article has helped you learn how to download black bar for your videos and how to use it to enhance your video production. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading and happy video making! FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about black bars and how to use them for your videos:


What is the best aspect ratio for black bars?




There is no definitive answer to this question, as different aspect ratios can create different effects and impressions for your videos. However, some of the most popular and widely used aspect ratios for black bars are 2.35:1 or 21:9, which are the standard aspect ratios for most movies, and 1.85:1, which is a common aspect ratio for American and British films. You can choose the aspect ratio that suits your video style, genre, and purpose.


How can I remove black bars from my video?




If you want to remove black bars from your video, you can use the opposite methods of adding them. For example, you can change the aspect ratio and background color of your video project, remove the black-bars PNG from the overlay track, raise and resize the frame of your video clip, or uncrop and resize the video. However, removing black bars from your video may also affect the quality and composition of your video, as you may lose some parts of your original footage or distort the image.


Can I add black bars to my video online?




Yes, you can add black bars to your video online using some online tools or websites that offer this service. For example, you can use Kapwing, Clideo, or Veed to add black bars to your video online. All you need to do is upload your video file, choose your desired aspect ratio and resolution, and download your video with black bars.


Do black bars affect the video quality?




No, black bars do not affect the video quality in terms of resolution or bitrate. Black bars are simply empty spaces that are added to fill in the gap between the video and the screen. They do not change the pixels or data of the video itself. However, adding black bars may affect the perceived quality of your video in terms of composition or aesthetics. Some viewers may prefer a full-screen view without any black bars, while others may appreciate the cinematic look that black bars create.


What are some alternatives to black bars?




If you do not want to use black bars for your videos, but still want to create a cinematic effect, there are some alternatives that you can try. For example, you can use blurred edges instead of black bars to create a similar effect without losing any screen space. You can also use color filters or vignettes to create a darker or softer tone for your videos. You can also experiment with different aspect ratios and resolutions to find the best fit for your videos.


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