Take the 2-minute tour ×
Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am new to video editing so if my terminology is wrong, I apologize. I am making a video with output settings : 720p and dimensions 640 x 480. I am inserting a series of video clips but their dimensions are smaller than 640 x 480. Instead of the video clip slide expanding up to 640 x 480, I want it to remain the same size but have a black cinema box or border box around the video clip. How can this be accomplished with a video editor?

Smaller video clip expands to fill container size

Cinema box around smaller video clip

share|improve this question
There's a disconnect here between "720p" and "640x480". These refer to different formats. This doesn't affect the answer (which AJ provided) but it could impact what comes out at the end of your process. –  Jim Mack Aug 8 '13 at 23:11
add comment

1 Answer

Just import the video and don't scale it. Any decent NLE should support using clips at their original resolution and placing them within a larger format either scaled or unscaled. Without knowing your intended NLE, I can't really offer any more advice than that. Premiere Pro would certainly meet your needs.

share|improve this answer
Thanks AJ. I am using Windows Movie Maker (not an NLE?), but I will try Premiere. I solved my question by creating a 640 x 480 document in Photoshop with a black background, importing the video clip as a layer, then exported it as an mp4. This gave me what I needed. –  Briggs Aug 9 '13 at 0:07
@Briggs - Windows movie maker is technically an NLE, but it is not a decent one. :) The problem you may run into is that a lot of consumer level stuff is going to auto-scale for you because they don't expect consumers to understand things like resolution. You might find one that doesn't, but it'll be more or less default behavior to not auto-scale on any professional level NLEs like Premiere or Final Cut (at least the older versions), though if you are on Windows, Final Cut isn't an option. –  AJ Henderson Aug 9 '13 at 0:09
+1 for identifying consumer vs. pro NLE issues. –  filzilla Aug 9 '13 at 22:01
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.