How to Get a Proper 2.35:1 Film Aspect Ratio in Premiere Pro CC

Unless you are shooting with a camera that provides the 2.35:1 aspect ratio mode natively, you can still apply and export your footage in this ratio, even if you work with a 16:9 material. Actually, the only thing you need to do while filming on set is to frame your images properly by using a monitor that provides 2.35:1 marks, so that you’ll be able to view your shots the way you want afterwards.

Unfortunately, unlike the good old Final Cut 7, the latest version of Premiere Pro CC doesn’t provide any sort of aspect ratio matte that you can apply to your footage. Yet, there is still a simple and straightforward workaround that will help you to utilize a custom matte easily and effortlessly. Here’s how:

Working towards a 2.35:1 aspect ratio using 16:9 footage in Premiere Pro from Media Centre Staffs Uni on Vimeo.

The easiest way to reckon how much of the image should be cropped is by performing a simple calculation. Assuming that you are working with a Full HD footage (1920 x 1080), you need to divide 1920 by 2.35 if you want to work with 2.35:1 aspect ration. So, when you do that you will find out that in terms of vertical pixels your image should be 817 pixels to fit the latter aspect ratio.

To achieve this effect you can apply the “White Screen Bar” method demonstrated in the video above. Simply head over to Photoshop and create a file that is exactly 1920×817 pixels in size that actually is going to be your 2.35:1 aspect ratio template. After that, bring the file in Premiere Pro CC. Now, when you put this file on a new layer above your footage you’ll see the exact dimensions of your cropped footage.


Next, create an adjustment layer and drag it on top of the other clips in your timeline. Navigate to Effects Library, look for the Crop filter and apply it to your Adjustment layer. Within the Effects controls of the Adjustment layer modify the top and bottom crop until these both touch the edges of the white box you’ve imported from Photoshop. Finally, remove the Photoshop document that you’ve created and you are ready to go.

Here’s another similar workflow presented by Cobalt Creative Studios:

Alternatively, you can create a Sequence that has the exact measurements of each corresponding aspect ratio. In this particular case to crop the 1920 x 1080 file to 2.35:1 aspect ratio you need to create a sequence that should be 1920 x 816 pixels.

Lastly, be careful when you are exporting your final project to any aspect ratio different from the native one. Just make sure that the frame size of your export file matches the exact parameters of the 2.35:1 aspect ratio before hitting the Export button.

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  • Henry Harrison

    Is there any reason you can’t just specify your exact aspect ratio in the New Sequence window when you create your sequences and then reposition your clips as needed? Wouldn’t that be simpler?

    • Vlady Radev

      Sure, it’s just another way to achieve the same effect.

    • Oskarkar

      Well, in that case you cannot say anymore that FCP is better than Premiere.

    • Jeff

      Exactly. Also, you can just create a preset in the ‘New Sequence’ dialog.

      Import footage, reposition as needed.

  • Ariel Levesque

    Much faster & easier to simply use the Premiere titler. Create a title, drop in a rectangle that’s whatever height your desired ratio calls for, center it vertically, disable fill and add an outside stroke wide enough to cover up to the edges.

    • Vlady Radev

      Another great tip! Thanks, Ariel!

  • Justin Glynn

    Or just drop these png masks on your timeline.