Rotating video recorded with cellphone while keeping the aspect ratio

Posted on 2012-08-30
Last Modified: 2012-09-09

I recorded a video using my cellphone in mov format, but it came out horizontally and I need to rotate it to vertical position. This is easy enough but the problem is once rotated it leaves very wide black margins (dont know the technical term for those black borders) and the video itself is very thin, much more than when it was horizontal.

how can I rotate the video and perhaps not completely remove the black borders but make them a lot thinner and the video itself wider without looking distorted?  I receive several videos with this issue every week so Id like a system to automate as much as possible the conversion.

thanks for any help
Question by:carpanta
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Did you consider using VLC and/or Windows Live Movie Maker. I've used the first one when converting videos from cellphone.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Unfortunately that's how it is, just like when you take a photo on side then rotate it the picture becomes high and long instead of wide.
    I dont think re-authoring the video with a different aspect ratio is what you have time for or looking for?.
    However there is a work around, change the aspect ratio within the media player
    Like Media Player classic Home Cinema preferred
    but VLC will also do this.
    Same with Windows Media Player
    Just about any media player should offer this somewhere

    Or simply drag the edges of the player out a bit from the bottom corner instead of using full screen..then use the Zoom.
    Here's how to for MPCHC and VLC.
    Change the aspect ratio MPCHCChange the aspect ratio VLC
    By the way this is for windows 7 right not the cell phone?
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    What video processing software do you already own?

    Windows Live Movie Maker doesn't have the capabilities to do what you want to accomplish.

    It would help to know what video ratio (1920x1080 or 720x480) you are using, also the format (mp4, .mov, .mts .avi). Below is not necessarily my suggested answer. It is just some suggestions given the limited information provided.

    If you're working with high def video (1920x1080), there is an inexpensive piece of software called Power Director that will do some basic editing such as stretching the video to cover more screen space. It does have limitations. To do advanced editing with High Def video, you are looking at spending $600 or more on a program.

    There is a free alternative VirtualDub. VirtualDub has more video editing options then Power Director, however VirtualDub is not designed to edit HD video. So there is a whole process of converting video to use in VirtualDub and then converting after you are finished editing. Plus most free open source software lacks in the user friendly department. So if you choose VirtualDub, you need to be committed to learning a new set of skills. However, they are very useful skills these days.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    If you can live with the width of your video, there is a simple process to eliminate the black border. You just need to re-encode the video.

    Handbrake is a safe free video converter. There is no hidden malware or adware. You can download here.

    Once installed & the program is opened. Be sure to set the preset on the right hand side to "Normal." Top left is where you load your video using the Source > Video File (Folder is used for converting DVDs).
    Step 1Once the file is loaded and you have set the destination. Take notice of the size information on the bottom right. You do not want to make any adjustments here. Handbrake has scanned your video and has located the constant black border. It then sets the encoding size to eliminate the border. Leave the Anamorphic and Crop settings alone.
    Step 2Under the "Video Filters" tab, change Decomb to Default. This will eliminate any interlacing in the video.
    Step 3Under the "Video" tab. Check Constant Quality and lower to "RF:17.5". This will make certain the new encoded file is of the same quality as the original. Video Codec should be set on H.264 and Framerate set Same as source.
    Step 4Under the "Audio" tab. From what you described of the video you recieve, I don't believe surround sound is embedded in your video files. So leave the Source, Audio Codec and Mixdown alone. Change the Samplerate to 48 and Bitrate to 256.
    Step 5
    Now you're finished setting up the encoding. Simple press start.

     It is important for me to clarify that when you playback the new video, the black strips may still be there. For example, if you followed all my steps, then you uploaded to youtube, youtube has to add the black border for the video to playback properly in their flash player. It does this for the exact same reason wide screen video is letterboxed (black border on top & bottom) to fit inside a 4 by 3 playback format (Your old 20th century tube T.V.).

    But you can confirm the Black borders has been removed if you playback using the VLC Player. The VLC player plays back exactly what it is given. VLC player is an free open source video player. It has no malware or adware. You can download it here.

    If you have several video clips to do, after pressing start on the first video, simply repeat the process (ignore that the video clip is encoding in the bottom of the screen.) and then when finished press the Add to Queue button which is right beside Start. You can repeat this process with as many files as you like. When I have a lot of files to convert, I wait just before bedtime and set them to convert overnight.
    Step 6Hope that helps.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I should clarify that in my last post I said youtube will add the black sides back. This is true if you watch it on youtube, however if you embed the video into a website, you can adjust the width and height of the embed so that the black sides would not appear.

    Author Comment

    thanks guys for the helpful answers. I have given up on changing the aspect ratio of the video, and gone with the initial rotated image. However, Ive bookmarked your solutions and when I have enough time will try one of them.

    thanks again

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