Force to Video Aspect Ratio with Content-Aware Scale

Force to Video Aspect Ratio with Content-Aware Scale

The Content-Aware Scale command is a useful way to force your still photos to fit the shape of the video screen. For example, you may have a picture that’s portrait orientation, but you’d like to avoid having black bars on the side when it’s placed into a video sequence.

When used correctly, Content-Aware Scale can automatically adapt to preserve vital areas during the scale. You may often need to combine a skin tones option or an alpha channel to better define the areas that will be protected from distortion.

  1. Open a still image.
  2. Double-click the locked Background layer and give it a new name. The layer cannot be locked if you want to scale it.
  3. Use the copy and paste commands or File > Place to move the image into a video-sized document.
  4. Choose Edit > Content-Aware Scale.
  5. Click the Protect Skin Tones button to preserve regions that contain skin tones. You can also create an alpha channel to protect a selected area. Create the alpha channel before invoking the Content-Aware Scale command, and then choose it in the Options bar.
  6. Drag a resize handle on the bounding box to scale the image. Hold down the Shift key to scale proportionately. You can also hold down the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key to scale from the center of the image.
  7. Size the image so it fits the width of the canvas.
  8. Click the Commit button or press the Return (Mac OS) or Enter (Windows) key to apply the change.
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About the author

I'm a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. I'm also a husband and father.

View all articles by Richard Harrington

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