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I've seen several posts regarding how to resize a video to have a 1:1 aspect ratio, but all of the posts show how to do it by making a Sequence in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and crop to 1080x1080 or 720x720. My video is 774x632, and I'd like to export it to 480x480. I tried importing a 480x480 image and overlaying it on the video, then cropping the video to fit that, but when I went to export it, the settings were stuck at 720x480 with black spacing on the sides of the video, and I couldn't change settings. Is there a good way to do this with Premiere or any other software? For what it's worth, I'm a DevOps engineer and not proficient in video editing so there may be an obvious solution I missed, and any advice would be appreciated!

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Downscaling video

By scaling down a video, you are essentially compressing an amount of pixels to a less amount, which per definition means quality loss. While modern techniques and algorithms are not bad at their job, scaling videos, especially to odd multiples, can give odd results. But if you are really sure that this is what you want, here's how you can do it in Premiere Pro:

Setting up the sequence

In Premiere, you first create a new sequence of the desired resolution for your video. In the New Sequence pop-up, under the Settings tab, select Editing Mode: Custom. Now fill in the Frame Size to 480 horizontal and 480 vertical. Fill in other values in the screen as desired and appropiate for the project.

New Sequence pop-up window

Resizing the video

Add your video to the just created sequence. Now we need to calculate the values at which we are going to scale the video:

480 / 774 ≈ .62 as vertical scale value
480 / 632 ≈ .76 as horizontal scale value

So then we simply fill in these values in the Effect Controls of the video. (Make sure the Uniform Scale option is not selected, otherwise you wont be able to set a different value for the width.)

Effect Controls window

And thats it! You can now export the sequence, Premiere Pro will automaticly take over the sequence settings.

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