11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2014 6:13 AM by A.T. Romano

    Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12

    Jerry Miller

      I'm trying to make a video in PSE12 out of downloaded DSLR stills with preset at 1080P / 30fps, but all my stills come in letterboxed.  Resizing in PS12 only offers pixels or percent ---- and width height and dpi.


      How do I get rid of the letterbox / black bars--- which preset should I use in PSE12 --- I think I've tried them all with no luck.

        • 1. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
          Barbara B. Level 7

          Since you can't make videos in PSE, I have to assume you're asking about Premiere Elements instead. I'll  move this over to the PRE forum for you, since very few people here use PRE.

          • 2. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
            Jerry Miller Level 1

            Thanks --- new to the forum, I thought PSE --- stands for Photoshop Elements --- where is the Premiere Elements forum?

            • 3. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
              A.T. Romano Level 7

              Jerry Miller


              What are the pixel dimensions of the stills that you are importing into your Premiere Elements 12 project?


              If you video is 1080p30, then your project preset should be




              DSLR 1080p30@29.97 (unless your video properties specify 30 and instead of 29.97).


              Do you verify that setting via Edit Menu/Project Settings/General and readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Rate, Pixel Aspect Ratio (even if readings appear to be grayed out)?


              The pixel dimensions of those imported photos will tell the story.


              We will be watching for your follow up in this Adobe Premiere Elements Forum.


              Thank you.



              • 4. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                Jerry Miller Level 1

                Yes, I have checked many times and my presets are exactly as you indicated.  I have even tried numerous presets to no avail.  Even tried motion adjustment which will either distort the image or crop --- neither of which are acceptable.


                Thanks for your help.

                • 5. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  Jerry Miller


                  Thanks for the reply, but you forgot to include the critical information, that is, the pixel dimensions of those photos that you are importing into this 1080p project. That will be the key to the resolution of the problem.


                  Is "pixel dimensions" (width x height in pixels) the same for all the photos or do you have a mix of photo pixel dimensions represented?


                  Looking forward to the photo pixel dimensions information so that we may advance on the issue and resolve it.





                  • 6. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                    Jerry Miller Level 1

                    Thank you for your reply. All the pics are the same 4928 x 3264.  I have even tried a bicubic resample at various pixels (ie 1080 height and 1920 ea) in PS12 --- still the black bar in PSE12

                    • 7. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                      A.T. Romano Level 7

                      Jerry Miller


                      The answers are in those photos pixel dimensions. 4928 x 3264 is 3:2. And, your Premiere Elements 12 project is 1920 x 1080 16:9. The puzzling part is that you seem to say that you have tried your photos as 1920 x 1080 and still have the black borders problem.


                      Let us go through a check list as well as cross check information to make sure that we are in sync with the details.


                      What program are you working with? Photoshop Elements 12 or Premiere Elements 12.

                      From the onset you refer to PSE12. Typically that is used to represent Photoshop Elements 12. PE12 is the typical representation for Premiere Elements 12 for those who do abbreviations. Please verify that you are working or not working solely in the Premiere Elements 12 Windows Expert workspace.

                      Is Photoshop Elements 12 or the Elements Organizer 12 involved in any of this? Or is this solely a Premiere Elements 12 matter?


                      Check List

                      1. When you resized your 4928 x 3264 3:2 to 1920 x 1080 16:9, how did you do that? Are you sure that you did not end up with 1440 x 1080 4:3 instead of 1920 x 1080 16:9.

                      After you import your 1920 x 1080 16:9 into your 1080p Premiere Elements project, right click its thumbnail in Project Assets and select Properties. Does the Properties readout show 1920 x 1080 or something else?


                      2. Open a new Premiere Elements project Expert workspace

                      a. Edit Menu/Preferences/General and make sure there is a check mark next to "Scale Default to Frame Size".

                      b. Then manually set your project preset to NTSC/DSLR/1080p/DSLR 1080p30@ 29.97

                      c. Import your confirmed 1920 x 1080 16:9 photo into the project with Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets from where you drag it to the Timeline.


                      How many of these photos are going into this 1080p project?


                      Let us focus in on the above. There is no way to get black borders for a 1920 x 1080 16:9 photo going into a 1080p project.





                      • 8. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                        Jerry Miller Level 1

                        Thank you for your reply.  I have Photoshop Elements 12 and Premier Elements 12.


                        My objective is a "slide video" (40 photos) for upload to YouTube, and thus, I am using Premier Elements 12, expert mode.  I have used PSE12 to re-size only, and am not using Organizer.  I think you hit on the issue of 16:9 vs 4:3, although there are no presets for either of these aspect ratios.  In PSE, there is only pixel and percent options--- no options for aspect ratio anywhere ...... by experimentation, if I set the original image to 39% in PSE ---- I get full image in PE.


                        As well, if I add a full size image in PE, and set the Motion, Position Scale to 39% ---- the image is okay with no black bars. 


                        I think I am half way there --- but now, how do I batch re-size these photos.  In PE, it appears that you can only adjust Motion/Position % for 1 clip (image) at a time; as well, I can't figure out how to batch re-size in PSE.


                        Thanks for your help.

                        • 9. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                          Jerry Miller


                          I have something for you to try with regard to getting your oversized 3:2 photos into a 1920 x 1080 16:9 version for your Premiere Elements project. There is no "batch" for this unless you create an action in Photoshop and then drop that action into the Actions of

                          Photoshop Elements 12. We can go into those details next if interested.


                          Now with this "one at a time" route....

                          Open Photoshop Elements 12 to the Full Editor

                          Open your photo

                          Select the Crop Tool in the Toolbox


                          Set the Crop options at the bottom of the Full Editor workspace. Type in "1920 px" for W: and "1080 px" for H:

                          Then draw out your 16:9 area that you are going to Crop.

                          Click the green check mark below the Crop to complete the Crop.

                          Save the Image as a high quality JPEG.


                          You now have a 1920 x 1080 16:9 to take into a 16:9 Premiere Elements project.

                          I went from 4:3 to 16:9. From your details, you will be going from 3:2 to 16:9.

                          By the route described, there will be no distortion in the end result.


                          If the photos can tolerate the same Crop, then I can offer details for batch Cropping in Photoshop Elements 12 using a Photoshop action.

                          Photoshop Elements cannot create an action, but it can use actions created in Photoshop. I will try to create a batch Cropping action in Photoshop CS5.1 extended later today if needed.


                          If 4:3 to 4:3 or 16:9 to 16:9, which is not the case for you, resizing (not the same as cropping) can be done in Photoshop Elements

                          a. Full Editor, File Menu/Process Multiple Files/


                          b. Elements Organizer, File Menu/Export As New File(s)


                          Please review, consider, and then let us know the outcome.


                          Thank you.


                          • 10. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                            Jerry Miller Level 1

                            Thank you for your info again!.  The crop function did not work well for me so I will stick with the re-size mode in PE, motion, and position scale.  Then batch process / multiple files.  Thanks again for your assistance.

                            • 11. Re: Black bars (letterboxing) on images added to PSE 12
                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                              Jerry Miller


                              Thanks for the reply.


                              Do some mini test runs before the grand resizing of photos. There is no Photoshop Elements batch cropping which would prevent distortion of resizing. Often reference is made to the free program IrfanView for batch cropping and resizing.

                              IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide


                              One by one photo scaling in the Premiere Elements Edit area monitor at import is a possibility but may be taxing on computer resources when dealing with your original photo size and the numbers of them.


                              The batch process under Photoshop Elements Editor, File Menu/Process Multiple Files is suited for resizing photos with the same aspect ratio.


                              But, mini test runs before the decision and go with what works for you.


                              Please update us on your progress when you get a chance.