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How to Make a Video Square

Lucas Killcoyne

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Square videos take up 78% more space in a social feed than landscape videos. What does 78% more space buy you? According to our friends over at Buffer, natively-uploaded square videos see a 70% increase in engagement and a 100% increase in views over their landscape counterparts.

Video Aspect Ratio

In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to do to create a square video from scratch, or modify an existing video to optimize it for social. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a square video, you’ve come to the right place.

How to create a square video

Step 1: Shoot for Square

We’ll start at square one (no pun intended, please believe us): shooting for square.

Center your subject, because whatever’s happening on the edges of the frame will be edited out when you crop your footage. That will also generally mean backing up or zooming out, as you’ll want to give your subject room to breathe on either side in the final video.

If you’re concerned that you’ll still wind up cutting out important content that you thought would stay in frame, we have a cutting edge technique for making sure that you stay within the boundaries of the 1:1 frame: tape.

We’ll explain. Take two pieces of tape and place them on your phone’s screen, blocking out a square frame. That way, there won’t be any mistaking what you’ll be able to include in your final video.

Step 2: Create a project in Animoto

If you’re creating a brand new video that you shot specifically for square, congratulations! The hardest work is already behind you.

If you start from a storyboard, we'll have pre-selected one of our aspect ratios, frequently square. But even if you choose a landscape storyboard, you can always switch over to square once you’re in the project. Check out our blog post on aspect ratio-switching to learn more.

Animoto square storyboards

If you start from scratch, you’ll be given the option to choose between the landscape and square aspect ratios once you select a style.

square aspect ratio

Upload your files and insert them into your video as you see fit. Regardless of how you shot your video clips, you can always click and drag to adjust their magnification and positioning in frame, using our editing tools.

Step 3: Select the Square aspect ratio

Convert any video created in Animoto Marketing from landscape to square—and back again—as many times as you’d like by clicking the "Ratio" option in the Animoto Marketing toolbar on the left, and clicking "Apply" on the square option.

square-aspect-ratio

When going from landscape to square, be sure to check everything over to adjust image placement, cropping, and text size.

Once you’re set up, the process is no different with square than it would be for a landscape video. Insert your text, modify colors to fit your brand, and add your logo.

When not to go square

Square is optimized for social, particularly Facebook and Instagram, so if you’re uploading your video elsewhere, don’t default to the 1:1 format. On YouTube, landscape videos are the norm, and many website platforms don’t accept non-landscape video, so your decision might ultimately be dictated by your page or blog.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.

It always helps to get a few extra sets of eyes on your work, which is where our Facebook group, the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community, comes in. Join to get access to a thriving group of video creators supporting one another with feedback, inspiration, and more, as well as advice and tips from our team, and alerts on Animoto product updates.

We’re looking forward to seeing a whole bunch of 1:1 videos in our news feeds!