aspect ratio

Introduction to media creation – aspect ratio


We can become video editors or graphic designers with the help of many applications. One obvious example is Canva, but there are many others as well. Unfortunately, if we do not understand the proportions (aspect ratio: width-height ratio) and media dimensions (pixels), we may miss it.

For what device is the media intended?

Picture number 1 shows the 3walls immersive room. Various media are displayed here in different places, on different devices. We project media through video projectors on screen, we display media on mobile phones, and we build media for laptops so students can use it in applications such as Genialy. Media – either an image or a video, and this applies to both options – should be designed according to its purpose and for the device for which it is intended so that the proportions and measurements are correct.

A horizontal image should be created if the image or video is intended for projection or display on a computer screen. Media intended for phones should preferably be vertical or at least square. In order to design effectively, we need to choose the proportions, which refer to the width-height ratio (aspect ratio) as well as the dimensions. I will only discuss proportions (aspect ratio) in this post.


aspect ratio

Programs like the filmora video editing software do not initially ask about the dimensions (resolution, i.e. the number of pixels), but only about the proportions, which is referred to as aspect ratio. 16:9 or 1:1 or 9:16 or 4:3 for example.  Having a solid understanding of these terms is essential.

The history of aspect ratio

4:3 was the leading aspect ratio in the 90’s. This is how televisions and computer screens were built. Compared to today, they were less rectangular.

In the following years, widescreen projection screens came into being using the 16:9 ratio. Therefore, 16:9 must be used for media creation in order to cover the entire screen without leaving black margins.

The phones – game changer

Next came the smart phones of today. There are almost similar proportions to a computer screen, but vertically rather than horizontally, i.e. 9:16. I won’t go into specifics, because the new phones have an extended screen. but this shouldn’t concern teachers who are creating a photo or video for a student activity. Consequently, if you want to create a photo or video suitable for a phone, choose the 9:16 option. In this way, you can watch a beautiful and large video on the entire screen while holding the phone in its natural position – vertically.

The quadratic ratio – why is it necessary?

So why do we need a 1:1 ratio, i.e. a square? because there is an intermediate world between an adult’s computer and a child’s Tiktok. A world where text is combined with images or videos, such as in Google Forms. This allows you to see the text and other things above or below the image anf it looks great on the phone.

So far, I’ve talked about aspect ratio because it’s a basic term, but I haven’t discussed resolution. This is important because usually when you enter the software, the proportions appear based on how many pixels make up the image or video. In place of 16:9, it will be written 1920 * 1080, which is the same ratio, but here we also get the dimensions. In the next post, I will discuss that.

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