How To Resize Videos In Premiere Pro

May 2, 2020

If you’ve ever worked on a project that involves footage from multiple cameras, which often have different frame sizes or resolutions, you are likely well acquainted with this problem.

It’s also a common issue if you are importing a large number of photos into your project and their dimensions don’t match the scale of your editing window.

In today’s post we’re covering three quick and easy ways to streamline this process and make it much easier to resize multiple clips and photos throughout your project in Premiere Pro.

We’ll also talk about the differences between Set to Frame and Scale to Frame and which you should use for your projects.

If you're new to video editing, be sure to check out more Premiere Pro quick tips and tutorials here.

Feel free to watch along with a video tutorial if that’s easier for you.

1 | Set to Frame Size

The first method we’ll discuss is how to Set to Frame Size. This is the quickest and most straight forward way to adjust each clip individually to the correct frame size.

1 | Right click on the clip that you’d like to adjust

2 | Click ‘Set to Frame Size’

3 | This will automatically adjust the size of your clip to match the existing sequence size

how to set to frame size.jpg

2 | Scale to Frame Size

The next method is very similar. You’ll follow the exact same steps, except this time you’ll choose ‘Scale to Frame Size’ instead of ‘Set to Frame Size’.

At first glance it appears that it does the same exact thing as Set to Frame, but in fact they are a bit different. If you try each option, you’ll notice that when you navigate back up to your scale attribute for each clip, they are going to be different.

The scale size for ‘Set to Frame’ is 200, while the scale size for ‘Scale to Frame’ is 100. Let’s take a look at what these differences mean and how it affects which option you should choose.

Scale Attributes for ‘Scale to Frame’
Scale Attributes for ‘Scale to Frame’
Scale Attributes for ‘Set to Frame’
Scale Attributes for ‘Set to Frame’

3 | Difference Between Set to Frame and Scale to Frame

In one instance (Scale to Frame) the computer is resizing the clip to be a 100% fit to your sequence. It rasterizes the clip to the exact resolution of your sequence frame size. This may sound like what you want to happen, but in fact in most cases it’s not.

When you scale to frame in Premiere Pro, it’s an artificial representation of that clip being at 100% scale size. In fact we literally doubled the size of the clip to make it fit our frame size, so the correct scale should read 200%, which is the case when you select ‘Set to Frame Size’.

To further explain, scale to frame was a feature that was originally designed to take very large clips and scale them down. Enabling scale to frame takes any oversized frames and throws away all the extra pixels. This in turn speeds up the processing time of your system, but it will hurt the quality of your footage.

If you were to zoom in on footage or photos that are ‘scaled to frame’, you will see more noise and grain and an overall decrease in image quality that if you were to set that footage to ‘set to frame’.

For this reason I always choose ‘set to frame’ when resizing any footage or photos within Premiere Pro.

Now that you understand how to quickly adjust the size of each individual clip without having to go in and manually set the scale parameters, let’s go over a few even quicker ways to streamline this process, especially for when you have projects where you’ll be doing lots of resizing.

4 | How to Import All Footage and Photos the Same Size

There is a very simple and easy way to set up the import process so that all your clips and photos will automatically import at the same, uniform size.

import clips same size.jpg

1 | Premiere Pro -> Preferences -> Media

2 | Click Default Media Scaling -> Set to Frame Size

set to frame size on import.jpg

5 | Set a Keyboard Shortcut to Resize Footage and Photos

Another quick and easy way to access the resizing feature in Premiere Pro is to set a recognizable keyboard shortcut for yourself. It’s super easy to do, here’s how.

1 | Premiere Pro -> Keyboard Shortcuts

keyboard shortcut premiere pro.png

2 | In the search box, start typing ‘Set to Frame’. When the option appears go ahead and click on the empty box under the shortcut column. You can now type in whatever shortcut you choose to use. I chose ‘option s’. Then hit ok and you now have an easily accessible shortcut for the set to frame command.

set to frame keyboard shortcut.jpg

6 | Copy and Paste Scale Attributes

Lastly, there is one more quick and easy way to change the size of your media in Premiere Pro. This may seem obvious, but just in case, you can also copy and paste the scale attributes from one clip on to another clip.

To do this, simply select the motion attribute and hit copy (command C), navigate over to the clip you want to adjust and hit paste (command V). Your clip should now match the same scale settings as the one you copied from.

Note: be sure to select the ‘motion’ attribute and not the ‘scale’ option.

motion attribute.png

That's it! Hope that helps. Please leave a comment below if you have any further questions about resizing your videos in Premiere Pro.

Check out more Premiere Pro tips and tutorials here.

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How to Resize Videos in Premiere Pro

Hi, I'm Beth.

I started Handcraft Films to give other filmmakers and photographers the gift of documenting their own stories for years to come. I hope you'll learn something new and share your creativity here.
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