How to create a Letterbox Effect | dgtl Workshop

Hello and welcome to another dgtl Workshop! For today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to create a Letterbox Effect within Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s very simple to do and will only take up a few minutes of your time. Once you’ve mastered creating this effect, you’ll be able to add it to any of your personal projects!

If you prefer video content, then feel free to watch the tutorial above instead! Though, if watching a video is not to your taste, then feel free to read onwards at your own pace.

Why and when to use the Letterbox Effect?

When it comes to professional videos, filmmakers use the Letterbox effect for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons may be to cut out parts of the footage that don’t look good; so that some of the footage can be salvaged and used within the video. Another reason may be to make your video look cinematic; the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen create more focus on what’s happening in that moment in time.

Create an Adjustment Layer

Go to ”New Item” on the left side of the screen and select the Adjustment Layer.

Create Adjustment Layer

Select adjustment layer

Add the Adjustment Layer onto the Sequence

Next, drag the Adjustment Layer onto the Sequence and extend the layer so that it covers up how many clips you want the effect to be applied to.

Changing the adjustment layer settings

Dragging it in

Placing it above the footage

Crop the Video

Head to the ”Effects” tab on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Search for Crop, and then drag and drop the effect onto the Letterbox layer. Next, select the layer and go to the ”Effects Controls” tab at the top left side of the page.

Applying the crop effect

Adjust the Settings

Within the “Effects Controls” tab, look for the Crop section. Once found, open it up and you will see the tab has a few categories; left, top, right, bottom. For the Cinematic or Letterbox effect, we will change the top and the bottom values to 16%. However, if you wish to increase or decrease the Letterbox, you can change the values to whatever best suits your needs.

Adjusting the crop settings

Change the Positions of the Clips (Optional)

Some clips might need some tweaking for the Letterbox effect to work well on them. The easiest way to do this is to adjust each individual clip’s position – It’s by adjusting their position that you can remove unwanted parts of the clip and bring focus on to areas that really matter. Once you’ve followed through all of these steps, you should be able to easily create your own Letterbox Effect within your projects!

Finished outcome

Thanks for reading!

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