Awww, Shucks!

Yay for Vimeo! They present video in the correct aspect ratio without letterboxing, unlike YouTube!

All that effort to produce 1:2.39 aspect ratio content, and then YouTube adds that hideous black letterbox! Come on Google, get up to speed here! And what’s with the thumbnail that’s not in the correct aspect ratio at all?!


Shot on my iPhone this morning using the Moondog Anamorphic Lens without any filters. The LUT and lens flare were added in post production in FCPx.


The image recorded by the iPhone is squeezed in from side to side to fit more picture on the sensor. It then has to be be de-squeezed to appear properly in the final output. I’m including the following to remind myself of how to de-squeeze the next time I have to figure it all out.

Using Handbrake

Handbrake is an awesome open source tool that converts video from nearly any format to a variety of codecs.  Here’s how to use Handbrake to de-squeeze video:

  1. Open your video source file (iPhone source is 1920 x 1080); select destination folder
  2. Select “Anamorphic = Custom,” and “Modulus = 2”
  3. Set “Display width = 2554” (this is 1.33 x 1920); “PAR width = 4; PAR height = 3” (Together, these give a 1.33:1 Pixel Aspect Ratio)
  4. Start

The resulting de-squeezed video plays at 1:2.39 aspect ratio.

Using FCPx

If you want a project that exports without “letterboxing”

Project Settings
• Custom: 2554w x 1080
• Import footage that has been desqueezed by Handbrake (see above) or stretched by FCPx ––Clip Inspector: Transform: Scale X: 133%; Scale Y: 100%

If you want a project that exports with “letterboxing”

Project Settings
• Custom: 1920w x 1080
• Import footage that has NOT been de-squeezed by Handbrake and stretched it in FCPx ––Clip Inspector: Transform: Scale X: 100%; Scale Y: 75%