I have some exciting news! You don’t have to make your vertical videos on Instagram, TikTok, etc., ever again! Unless you want to spend time button-mashing and being limited by certain features. You can do all of this in Final Cut! Add those transitions, filters, dynamic text, and copyright-free music (so you can boost. You’re welcome.) to your videos. In this article, I will be showing you How To Change from Portrait to Landscape in Final Cut Pro, aka vertical and horizontal in two different ways!

Change from Portrait to Landscape in Final Cut Pro

How To Change from Portrait to Landscape in Final Cut Pro

We will be using the same steps that we use to change resolution in Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind that switching between the two has the exact same steps. Depending on your needs and how you set up your original project file will determine which one you need to switch to. So let’s start from the very beginning of your project settings.

How To Set Original Project Settings

  1. Select File > New Project (keyboard shortcut Cmd + N)
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Keep in mind that Final Cut will automatically have it set to a format that is horizontal. Ie. 1080, 720, 2k, 4k. It mimics your last project setting.

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  1. If you want to start your project out as horizontal, you can retitle your project, choose your resolution etc. If you want vertical, select the up-down arrows next to Video Format and select Vertical.
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How To Change from Portrait to Landscape in Final Cut Pro

  1. Select your project in the project window on the left.
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  1. Select Project Settings. Select the i if it’s not already highlighted on the right side of the screen.
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  1. Click “Modify” next to your current resolution. This will be highlighted in purple.
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  1. Next to “Video Format,” click on the highlighted up-down arrows to select your desired video orientation.
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  1. Select a horizontal video format. If you are switching to vertical, select vertical

Pro Tip: 

Keep in mind what I said before that your video format would automatically be set to something horizontal or mimic your last project setting. If you want to change it when starting out a project, look above at “How To Set Original Project Setting.”

Why Is This Something You Need To Know?

The choice between portrait and landscape video orientation depends on the purpose and context of the video. Content creators, for example, have a wide variety of videos ranging from youtube to TikTok. And yes, creating content for all of them is as exhausting as it sounds. Thankfully we can edit them all within one edit software!

Portrait videos are often used for social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, as they are optimized for vertical viewing on mobile devices. This orientation is also commonly used for interviews, video calls, and other content featuring a single person. However, you do have the option to switch to horizontal video on those platforms as well. 

Landscape videos, on the other hand, are more versatile and can be used for a wider range of applications, including movies, documentaries, and television shows. They are also better suited for showcasing scenery, capturing action, and conveying a sense of space and perspective.

What is the Difference Between Portrait and Landscape?

The main difference between portrait and landscape video is the orientation of the video frame. In portrait video, the frame is taller than it is wide, with the height being the longer side. This orientation is similar to the way a traditional portrait photograph is taken, hence the name. On the other hand, in landscape video, the frame is wider than it is tall, with the width being the longer side. This orientation is more similar to the way our eyes see the world, as well as the way most television and computer screens are oriented.

The beauty of knowing the difference between the two will allow you to get creative with your edits, play around with aspect ratios, and find your voice as a content creator and or filmmaker. 

Can’t decide which one to use? With the rise of social media, vertical video has become a recent phenomenon as social media is optimized for vertical viewing. Some filmmakers argue that it is a less immersive and engaging format than traditional landscape orientation, while others argue that it is a more natural way of capturing the world as we see it. That take is fascinating to me because I can’t imagine seeing the world vertically. That would completely eliminate your peripheral vision, which in my opinion, makes our vision lean toward horizontal as opposed to vertical. But this is up to you to decide!

Despite the controversy, some filmmakers have embraced this as a part of their storytelling! A great example is the 2018 film, “First Man.” Director Damien Chazelle used a mix of portrait and landscape formats to give viewers a sense of the claustrophobic and disorienting experience of being an astronaut in space. While Damien Chazelle incorporated both, it was Jeremy Teicher who created the first film completely shot vertically in 2012 called, “Tall as the Baobab Tree.”


Can I have both in one timeline?

Yes and no. You can, but you won’t be able to format your timeline to accommodate both types of formats in one project. For example, if you had a horizontal timeline and added vertical video, you would have the black bars on the left and right sides to accommodate that vertical video. The same goes for horizontal. If you start out with a vertical video format and add a horizontal image, you will have extra room on the top and bottom to accommodate the horizontal video. 

Unfortunately, Final Cut Pro doesn’t have that option, but perhaps in the future, it will.

More Fun Final Cut

If you’re looking to level up your Final Cut Pro skills, then have a look at a few other resources I’ve written below.

The Final Cut

I hope you have learned a lot about both of these types of video formats and you aren’t scared of them. Vertical video is being embraced, and you shouldn’t shy away from it in the future. What are your thoughts about trending vertical video formats in films? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts. Happy filmmaking!