What Are Cinematic Black Bars & How To Use It Correctly
When you watch a film at the cinema, it’s not so obvious or noticeable, but when you’re watching a film or TV show on places like YouTube or social media, you’ll find black bars either on the sides of the video or on the top and bottom parts. These black bars vary in size and give the video a certain look, but what are these bars, and why are they used in them? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about them, and how to use them correctly in your videos.
What Are Cinematic Black Bars?
Cinematic black bars are, essentially, the black lines or areas you see in videos that either line either side of the video, or the top and bottom parts. They aren’t usually very big, but if you watch a clip of an old movie on YouTube, you’ll find that it will have those black areas. Not only that, but these areas will be a different size for each clip that you see. That’s what cinematic bars are. They essentially help a video fit a screen if the video itself doesn’t exactly fit the screen.
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Why Do Videos Have Cinematic Black Bars?
The reason these are used nearly everywhere is that there are many different screen sizes all over the world, and films need to adapt to these sizes so that they fit. This adaptation is according to the “aspect ratio” of the screen, meaning the size of the screen. Not only that, but without these cinematic black bars, the video will become distorted, when they are resized to fit the screen. So, the black bars are used to help with preventing the video from distorting, or from being cropped when they’re being made to fit a screen.
For example, if your video has been sized to fit a UK screen aspect ratio, which is usually at a ratio of 16:9, but you need to readjust it, to fit a US screen aspect ratio, which will be 2.39:1, then adding cinematic bars to your video will ensure that the video will fit those screens. Not only that, but nowadays, filmmakers and broadcasters are starting to display films and videos at a 2:1 aspect ratio. So, many videos that are filmed on an old camera will need to add cinematic black bars, so that the video can fit.
Why Would You Add Cinematic Black Bars To Your Video?
There are many reasons why you’d want to add cinematic black bars to your video, like giving your video a certain look. For example, if you want your video to look more cinematic, you’d add black bars to the top and bottom of your video, since many cinemas use widescreen technology, and sometimes their aspect ratio can be as wide as 4:1, which is usually used in IMAX cinemas. Alternatively, if you want your video to look more retro, then you’d most likely use a 4:3 ratio, which will give your video a squarer ratio. So, if you’re looking for a certain look for your film, you might want to add black bars to it.
Is There Really A Right Way and A Wrong Way To Add Them?
There is a right and wrong way to add black bars to your video, because if you add the wrong template, you’ll find that your black bars will have some “noise” in them. Essentially, they won’t be as black, or as crisp as black bars should be, and this is noticeable, especially if you upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, or even social media like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. Simply adding a cinematic black bar graphic over the top of your video, will mess with the codec of the video, since the aspect ratio of your video will be automatically adjusted during the exporting process and uploading process.
So, if you want to add cinematic bars to your video, the best way to do that is to record your video in the aspect ratio you want and then reframe the video, while you’re editing, if it isn’t in the aspect ratio you want. Using black bar templates or premade graphics, will add unnecessary noise to your video, and will be noticeable to even your viewers. That’s why, you should edit your video into the aspect ratio you want and let your viewer’s media player add the cinematic bars automatically. Of course, if you’re showing an edit draft to a client, you may want to use cinematic black bar templates, just so they can see what the final product looks like, but eventually, you’ll need to remove the template, so that it doesn’t add unnecessary noise to your video.
Take The Fuss Out Of The Process
The process of adjusting your video’s aspect ratio can be tiresome and tedious. After all, you’ll need to go through a lot of trial and error, to know exactly how to add cinematic black bars onto your video. So, why don’t you trust a professional, who already knows. We cat Cut Pro Media have teams of experienced video editors, who know the differences between aspect ratios, and how to add them to your video, so you don’t have to. With their expertise and our dedicated customer services team, you can be sure your videos will be edited to the highest standards, with that all-important cinematic look, or even retro look, or however you want it.
Not only that, but you can bet our prices are reasonable, and worth the service. And, if this is your first video with us, and you’re not happy, you can get your first edit for free! There are no hidden charges or fees! You can ask our video editors to match the style you want, whether you’ve edited your own videos before, or you’re taking inspiration from other filmmakers, you can be sure we’ll do our very best to match your examples. So, why not check out our website? Take a look at our price packages and if you’re still not sure, contact our customer services team for more information. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!