How to Add Black Bars in Premiere Pro in 8 Steps

In this post, you are going to lean how to add black bars in Premiere Pro in 8 simple steps. When you’re watching a blockbuster in the cinema, you see those black bars that scream cinematic marvel. It adds another layer to your film. That, paired with the perfect color grading, adds that next level of authenticity to your creation. Let’s get started!

Letterboxing produces an ultra-wide setup for your audience, and in this guide, we show you how to add black bars in Premiere Pro, let’s check it out below!

How to Add Black Bars in Premiere Pro

Why would you add black bars in Premiere Pro?

It allows you to create a cinematic feel to your video footage. It allows people to watch your video footage back in a cinema-style way.  Whether it’s your first short film or you’ve ventured out into the world of feature films, adding black bars to your footage will give it a cinematic look in Premiere Pro.

This, combined with decent color grading, will give you the cinematic feel your footage deserves. Here’s how to add black bars in Premiere Pro:

How to Add Black Bars in Premiere Pro

Here’s our simple to follow step by step guide on how to add black bars in Premiere Pro. To begin, simply:

  1. Import your footage into Premiere Pro and drop it onto the Timeline
  2. Now, open up the Essential Graphics panel and then click the New Layer icon.
  3. Choose the rectangle in the list of drop-down shapes. 
  4. In the Appearance tab, click the Fill Button and change it to black.
  5. Adjust the shape and size of the bar by clicking the Selection Arrow
  6. Now, right-click on your black bar layer in the Essential Graphics panel and click on Duplicate to creatine an identical copy of the black bar. 
  7. Now you’ve duplicated the black bars. Click and drag the edges so that your black bars appear for the duration of the video. 
  8. Finally review, and ensure any key areas are covered, and the black bars are covered accordingly to create the cinematic crop.
how to add black bars in Premiere Pro
how to add black bars in Premiere Pro

And there you have it, that is how to add black bars in Premiere Pro. As simple as that, turn your video footage into a cinematic marvel. 

Video: Add Black Bars in Premiere Pro

Here’s a quick video on how to add black bars to your video while editing in Adobe Premiere Pro.

How do I make black bars in Premiere Pro without cropping?

To get the black bars or letterbox feel without cropping any video footage, make sure you use a cinematic aspect ratio when you film.

We hope this guide on how to add black bars in Premiere Pro was useful to you. Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments; we love to hear from you. Scroll a little further to see our latest Premiere Pro tutorials. 

Happy editing!

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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