12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2013 12:12 PM by the_wine_snob

    "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?

    TheRedKnightMike Level 1

      Hi folks, how's it going?


      I've just tried to do my first Crop in PE11...


      I am starting with a 1440x1080 PF30 camcorder capture, but only need a particular fixed area about 300x200 pixels near bottom left (I used a tripod)...


      With pictures (JPGs), when you Crop, the parts you cropped out are gone. So if you cropped from 1440x1080 to 300x200, you'd be left with a pic that is 300x200.


      But in PE11, all it appears to do is mask off the rest of the 1440x1080 image. So I am not left with a 300x200 video... I am left with a 1440x1080 video, with most of it black, except the little 300x200 window. How can I trim it to an actual 300x200 video, like you can with a JPG?


      No one needs the useless superfluous video (which also takes more space on disk and time to output). Please tell me I'm missing something ...


      Thanks if you can help!!



         Atlanta GA USA

        • 1. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          Unlike photos, when you are editing video, cropping does not change the frame size. It only changes the size and shape of the video in the frame.


          The video frame size is a product of the video project's settings.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
            TheRedKnightMike Level 1

            Thanks, Steve. At least I know I'm not going crazy...


            I tried downsizing by choosing a lower resolution. But all this did was lower the resolution of the video as a whole, IOW, it kept the big black mask and small crop postage stamp, and just lowered the resolution of it.


            Doesn't this mean that there isn't ANY way to do a true crop in PE11? Surely this can't be true.


            Thanks if you can help!



            • 3. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              Irrespective of Resolution, for a moment, you can "effectively crop," by Scaling UP your footage. The Frame Size will do the cropping for you.


              However, Resolution WILL come into play, as you will be filling that Frame with pixels that have to be created.


              Think of the Frame Size as the aperture in a photo matte. Let's just say that you have a photo matte, with an 8 x 10 aperture in it. You can place a photo, that is 8 x 10 (actually, you'd ideally like to have it slightly larger, to attach it to the back of that matte). You see the full 8 x 10. Now, you take that photograph back to the darkroom, or to Ps and your desktop printer, and you enlarge it to 11 x 14 (same as the Fixed Effect>Motion>Scale). When placed behind that matte, you ONLY see an 8 x 10 area of that 11 x 14. You can move it around a bit, to see a different 8 x 10 area in it (same as the Fixed Effect>Motion>Position). If you enlarge it to 16 x 20, you still ONLY see that 8 x 10 area. That is what one gets, when they Scale their Clip up - they will still ONLY see the Frame Size of that Project.


              Just like enlarging a 35mm image, the larger that one goes, the more of the film's grain will be seen. The softer the image will appear. Though we are now working with digital material, we still have pixels to deal with.


              Hope that that makes sense to you. Coming from the days of silver film, and darkrooms with enlargers, it's easy for me to relate to.


              Good luck,



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                TheRedKnightMike Level 1

                Thanks Bill,


                I guess you can see how video has this problem (of not being straight-up "croppable" like pictures), but still, I wish they'd solve it. After all, the actual video'd pixels of interest are the actual video'd pixels of interest, no more and no less.


                That said,


                Right, I also saw e.g. Pan And Zoom... which is of course not Crop per se, but can be used. Good then; thanks for the insight...


                One could blow up the crop area as you were saying, then decrease the format from, say, HD to NTSC... this would not be perfect, of course, but if it's okay to screw with the image this way (which will depend on your situation), then it's the closest approximation to actually truly cropping to the pixels of interest. It's ok in my situation, since I'm only taping some LED displays, looking for the exact instant that the display changes. One can still distinguish this, using this method...


                I suppose you can call this approach I've described the "zoom and de-rez" approach (or "blow up then rez down").

                • Advantages: It uses all the actual video area (there's no big black mask), filling it with the target pixel area.
                • Disadvantages: You lose clarity zooming and de-rezzing, plus probably increase the creation time and the size of the final product (because it still has to make a movie of all the pixels in the video, even if it is based on an intially-smaller pixel area).


                Alternatively, one could simply use the PE11 Crop (which is actually a Mask operation):

                • Advantages: It does indeed have exactly the target pixels, without mucking them up or down at all (assuming you haven't converted them further).
                • Disadvantages: Big ugly unused area of video (which make you look like a real amateur if you distribute it).
                • Question: Will this make the resulting MP4 smaller in size compared to "Zoom and De-rez"? In other words, will the big black masked area be sure to be compressed a lot? It doesn't seem to reduce the creation time.





                • 5. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  It's nothing to 'solve', Mike. It's the nature of the medium.


                  When you edit photos, you're editing the photos themselves.


                  When you edit video, you're creating a project and then importing video into it. Editing the video does not change the project settings or the original video itself.

                  • 6. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                    TheRedKnightMike Level 1

                    Does that sound like a good summary of work-arounds for "cropping", anyone?

                    • 7. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                      the_wine_snob Level 9



                      To me, it does. When one is dealing with Images, there are different considerations.


                      Let's say that I shoot with a 4:3 Aspect Ratio (very popular with digital capture), but then wish to print to a "standard" sheet of photo paper, say 4 x 5. OK, I have a 4:3 Image, but am going to 4:5 media. I have to make some choices there.


                      Same for Video. With but few exceptions, there are "standards" there too. The two most common Aspect Ratios are 4:3, and 16:9. Now, one CAN output to other Aspect Ratios, like 2.85:1, but those are less common, and are not thought of, with consumer video-editing programs.


                      When material differs from the "standard" Frame Sizes for Video, they must make some decisions, and nearly always face compromises.


                      Can you articulate just what part(s) of Steve's comments, you have issues with you?


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                        TheRedKnightMike Level 1

                        Thanks, Bill... good to know I have a handle on what's possible for "cropping".


                        As for the issue, like I said, "After all, the actual video'd pixels of interest are the actual video'd pixels of interest, no more and no less".


                        In theory, you'd hope you could crop just like with pics. But as Steve informed, video editors applicable to common formats... well, they use common formats. You can see all manner of other formats on the web, like YouTube's 240p. I might've hoped I could at least trim it to the smallest available container on PE's list somehow - like at least get it down to 720x480 with a real crop. Oh well. Video editors can only do so much, and still cost $100. (And not be so complicated you need a degree to work them.)


                        Thanks for all your help!



                        • 9. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                          nealeh Level 5

                          Mike, you should also note that at the end of your project workflow you will 'Publish/Share' your project to produce the finished result. The output from this step will only include the pixels 'as seen'.


                          So if you are looking to 'crop' a segment for use in multiple projects that is how you can do it. Develop your project to show only the segment and area of content  of interest and Share that to a new file for reuse in other projects. Use a format with low compression.


                          There are more details in the FAQ entry about using clips from one project in another.





                          Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.

                          • 10. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9



                            You CAN Export/Publish/Share and crop the total Frame, but again, only within certain parameters, and then, with certain formats, like Flash FLV. Some, will ONLY be possible within a much smaller sub-set, like DV-AVI, which will be 720 x 480 pixels (NTSC), with only the variable of Pixel Aspect Ratio, set to either 4:3, or 16:9.


                            However, that Flash FLV will allow many sizes, though might not be a viable format, depending on what one needs/wishes to do.


                            Now, PrE only allows one to create a Project with certain common Video Frame Sizes, but its "big-brother," Premiere Pro, will allow one to create Custom Frame Sizes, to fit, say a video screen-cap program's output (basically the dimension's of one's monitor). That is just one thing that a user gets for an additional US$ 500.


                            What are the pixel x pixel dimensions that you would like to have, and also what delivery scheme will you be using for that output material. There might be a format, that WILL allow you to end up with JUST the pixels that you need.


                            Good luck,



                            • 11. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                              TheRedKnightMike Level 1

                              Hi Bill,


                              A lot of my videos are of meters and equipment displays as I monitor their electricity usage, auto-shutdown, and other things that take time or might happen overnight (thus, the video). For these, their readouts are often only about 300x200. The exact dimensions change depending on the item, the distance to it, etc. But that's a typical value.


                              I want to capture them in a format for showing other folks, for example, what their cordless handset's display will look like if certain problems occur. So I am looking for something to make a fairly small file for what's ultimately usually a very straightforward LCD meter being displayed, a few LEDs changing color, or whatever. This is why I was sad to hear (above) that maybe I'm "stuck" with huge video container sizes, even though all I need is 300x200, period.


                              Thanks if you can point out a way to do this!



                              • 12. Re: "Crop" is actually "mask" in PE11?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Though there might be limitations, that are not apparent to me, I would look into WMV, or FLV, as those will allow you to crop down your Video, to a smaller Frame Size.


                                Good luck,