Best workflow of different square/portrait/landscape formats for social media?

Hello everybody. :slight_smile: I hope I do right to post my question here. Before I went through different threads, which cover part-answers … but all had been already closed. So no option to proceed there. So lets start from scratch for a real dummie. And I mean a real video dummie.

I come from radio broadcasting, so as such, little bit editing (adobe audition) I know. But Vids is on a different level.

1st my target: I have digital content (design/printables, text/blogs, audio/radio), and I like (or maybe even I have) to promote this content on social media and of course via Google itself (e.g. using here Google Merchant Center/Google Search/Google Ads/Google Shopping/Google Analytics) with short vids (standard length: 15-30 seconds, longer formats up to 60 seconds).

2nd: I have for now still photos (e.g. slides) to produce for example Instagram Carousel Ads. - But that’s just one part of the promotion channels. I like to take these slides and produce short reels, regularly between 15-30 seconds, in maximum 60 seconds for other social media channels, see following point 5.

3rd: As I don’t like to work with apps on phones, a friend of mine does so for all his short vides, A.I. (Chat GPT) gave me a hint about ShotCut. Installation on Linux/Ubuntu was no problem at all. I prefer to work on desktop computers with regular keyboard size and big screens.

4th: I don’t have the time to learn a lot about a video software. It has to go intuitively, as I am too busy with other jobs and responsibilities. So I gave it a try with Shotcut … and within one hour and watching some very few and short tutorial videos on YT I had my first reel done, fully edited from 6 slides (I designed in GIMP and Canva). Editing inclusive background music (royalty free) and transitions was easy going.

I hope, its OK, that - for your understanding - I can share here this first test trial with a link to the video on Google Photos. No login required. Just click on the link.
Screenshot from 2024-05-24 21-36-28

… and you find the problem. :roll_eyes:

I created my graphic designs for the slides in 1:1 (1024 x 1024, 350 dpi, png). And fell into the trap, that the different social media platforms all use different formats, either portrait, landscape or square (got lately a good excel sheet which shows in an overview about all the formats).

But if I want do an editing for Youtube with a landscape format, I have to add a background. Looks little bit awkward I think. - Isnt ?

5th: Entry point … as I have on following Social Media a certified business account, I want start there. the first tests I like to do on Instagram, then Twitter, Youtube and TikTok (Rec.: Pinterest has strict rules, as a new domain must exist at least 9-12 months before one can do promotions, this will follow then in 4-5 months). I have also a fully certified Reddit account, but yet not found the resolutions which I need there.

The formats I noticed about which are the standards are listed as following:

16:9 … 1280 x 720 Facebook vids/reels (landscape)
9:16 … 128 x 720 Facebook stories (portrait)
4:5 … Facebook mobile Ads

9:16 … 1080 x 1350 Instagram Carousel Vids
9:16 … 1080 x 1920 Instagram Stories (Ad) and Reels (portrait)
1:1 … 1080 x 1080 Instagram carousal Ad videos (square)

16:9 … 960 x 540 TikTok In-Feed Video Ads
9:16 … 1080 x 1920 TikTok Organic In-Feed Videos (portrait)
9:16 … 540 x 960 Tiktok In-Feed Video Ads
1:1 … 640 x 640 TikTok In-Feed Video Ads (square)

16:9 … 1280 x 720 Twitter/X Landscape Video
9:16 … 720 x 1280 Twitter/X Portrait Video (portrait)
1:1 … 720 x 720 Twitter/X Video (square)

16:9 … 1920 x 1080 Youtube 1080p Video
16:9 … Youtube Shorts alternatively
1:1 … " "
16:9 … 1920 x 1080 Youtube Skippable and Non-Skippable ((Mid-roll) Ad (landscape)
9:16 … 1080 x 1920 Youtube Bumper Ad (portrait)
1:1 … 1080 x 1080 Youtube Display Ad (square)

1:1 … square Pinterest (promoted) Standard video
9:16 … portrait Pinterest (promoted) Standard video
1:1 … square Pinterest promoted Max width video

As we can see from there, I could use the 1024 x 1024 format of my slides for Instagram Carousel Ads, Twitter Video and Youtube Shorts. - TikTok InFeed Ads is a no-go, as Tiktok expects a daily spending of at least 50 bucks for ads. Later Pinterest might follow with the promoted Standard and Max videos in 1:1 square.

But I suppose many people will watch on their phones, so I suppose I should think about to extend the square format to portrait, isn’t ?

If you don’t mind, I ask for a work flow, that - best option - I have to tweak only little bit. Use the main editing as “standard template”, and then from there re-format to other portrait/landscape/square format sizes.

Eventually you might advice that I don’t start with 1:1 designs as slides/still photos ? Thats fine. Ijust would be very thankfully for an efficient guidance how to proceed.

P.S. I just talked with Reddit via chat support. To make the upper list complete they recommended as following these formats:

aspect ratios - 1:1 square; 4:5 portrait; 4:3 landscape; 16:9 landscape (!! However 9:16 won’t be a good recommendation.)
length - 5–30 seconds
headline - Under 150 characters for feed placement
(Under 100 characters for conversation and multi-placement)
thumbnail - 4:3 landscape image

  • 400x300 minimum resolution; recommend uploading the highest possible resolution asset for best quality

3 days and still no answer ???

Meanwhile I have edited the 2nd video … same from slides (carusel ads)

… and the video is on

Yet, its all hand made for now to adapt to the different format sizes. Little bit too much work. Nobody here who has developed a data work flow process to reduce the work load ?

You’ve done a great job describing the output formats that are needed. The challenge in giving advice is that we know little about the input sources. When you say “slides”, does that mean illustration artwork, AI generated pictures, live video footage, and/or frame grabs? Each type of source has different constraints, pros, and cons.

The usual advice among live footage people is to shoot video in 4:3 format, also known as “open gate” on Micro Four Thirds cameras. From there, it is easy to crop to 16:9, 9:16, or 1:1. Keep the subject near the horizontal center (unless you want a lot of graphics or text superimposed on one side), and use the edges as “environmental fill” for the crop. Then, vertically frame the subject at the top or bottom to provide empty space for logos and text. In theory, the same technique could be used even if the sources were artwork or AI. Why 4:3 instead of 1:1? Because 4:3 provides more imagery on the sides when cropped to 16:9.

The last photo you showed had a green border around the images. To avoid using GIMP to custom-crop to each aspect ratio and manually add a green border for each crop, Shotcut can add the border for you. Put the borderless slides on track V1, crop as necessary, then put a border on track V2.

I forgot to mention the most important part. The base project (initial edit) would have a Shotcut Video Mode of 4:3. Edit in 4:3 and export in 4:3 using a lossless or visually lossless intermediate format. Shotcut has a DNxHR export preset built-in that is ideal for this.

Then, create a new project using the Video Mode that matches a social media platform, say 16:9. Bring the 4:3 footage from Step 1 into this new project and crop as needed. Add a border on V2 if desired. Export using normal settings for that platform. Repeat for each aspect ratio. This way, only one edit is done. The other exports are just cropped re-encodings.

It is possible to have “template projects” for each aspect ratio that have the border already created on V2. Open the template project, add 4:3 footage on the empty V1, modify the crop if needed, export, then close the project without saving so it is empty for the next video.

If there are logos and text involved, it may be better to add those in the downstream crop projects rather than the 4:3 source. This allows text to go on the sides for 16:9, and on the top for 9:16. The 4:3 base edit would just be music and imagery.

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Tks Austin for your time, thoughts and feedback. I will go through your workflow and hopefully then find a way of best-practise.

I am not a video producer. All the slides you see (I use this term as it remembers me more the way how we produce “animated power point presentations”) are graphic illustrations. The green border just happened by mistake, because I always document my projects for the planning in a doc file, and within Google Docs, if the file is in a modus of “being edited via different accounts”, the object is marked as “green”. So all slides are of course without any coloured border.

The future for this kind of promo vids by sure is A.I. connected; I was in last 2 weeks in webinars about A.I.and Online Ads. Last week was in Ireland Google’s marketing congress Google Marketing Live EMEA … its pretty scaring what is already reality.

Tomorrow I have another webinar about this topic. De facto A.I. has already arrived.

For the future, for any marketing and ads campaign A.I. just will need a still photo, a headline, and that’s it. everything else A.I. will generate related to the distribution/sales channels, where the potential buyer is “waiting”, either its in an email, on a video platform like youtube, in the search results or online market places. A.I. will generate by itself the relevant advertising formats from the product catalogue of an e-commerce shop (e.g. Google Merchant Center being connected with a Shopify e-commerce store via API).

Yet, I am not so far … still tweaking to understand how to position my new brand and to identify the potential buyers. But also this will be overtaken very soon by A.I. As A.I. is self learning 24 hours 7 days, knowing already where my potential customers are.

I am now in my 3rd video production… as part of the Tea trilogy reels : “Tea Production’s Contribution to Sustainability Goals”.

So far for now I can say, the uploads with the first two reels in 1:1 format it worked well for Instagram, X/Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit … and for the Youtube channel I added a landscape background. Its not the perfect look … I see it as a start (“learning on the job”). More important to move on … and keep up the speed for next events … as new required promos are coming close (5th June - World Environment day) with an eco-friendly collection.