Virtualdub, resize widescreen video for YouTube

Sunday 15 Jul 2007 14:06

YouTube videos are 320 x 240 pixels in size and that presents a problem if you have a widescreen or anamorphic video to upload. This is because it will be squashed into the YouTube format leaving the content looking 'tall and thin'. See Kev's Guide to Widescreen TV for more information, and, if you're still unsure - read on. The final screenshot speaks for itself.

Virtualdub is a free piece of video capture/processing software. Among many other things this software will resize video and you can turn your anamorphic or widescreen video into standard format with letterboxing so it looks right in YouTube. There's no install, just download the software, unzip it and run Virtualdub.

Start by opening your video file in Virtualdub. As default you will see 2 previews of your video. One pane is the original video and the other is the video after any filters you apply to it. As you can see from the screenshot below the problem is clear. My video is 'tall and thin'. The radar in the top right should be a circle not an oval shape. This is because the video is anamorphic, widescreen squashed into standard video size. Normally your widescreen TV will automatically stretch the video and make it look right, but YouTube doesn't. To fix the video for YouTube we need to do this ourselves by resizing the video.

To resize the video you need to add a resize filter. From the Video menu pick Filters... and then in the filters window select Add. From the lengthy list of filters shown select resize. The resize window will be shown and its here where you specify how to resize the video. I'll explain each setting in turn.

First select Disabled for aspect ratio. This is because we are trying to change the aspect ratio and we don't want a change in the height of the video automatically recalculating the width.

Now we need to input the new height of the video. Now this might be confusing because the video is already 320 x 240 and that's the size for YouTube right? The problem is the video is anamorphic. It was meant to be displayed at a ratio of 16:9. We need to keep the 320 width but resize the height. The calculation is quite simple. The new height will be 320 * 9 / 16 = 180 pixels.

Finally to keep the video size at 320 x 240, in Framing options select Letterbox/crop to size 320 x 240. In our case this will put a black strip at the top and bottom of the picture to fill in the height we lost by making it 180 pixels high.

The end result is the anamorphic video made into letterbox format. See the radar? its a circle now. To finish off select Save as AVI from the File menu and upload to YouTube.

Tags: Virtualdub, video, resize, YouTube

Comments (12)

9 Jul 2010 01:04 by Sara

As for me,i prefer use VidCrop.It's prog for crop and resize your video.Try
30 Jun 2010 06:01 by Mary
i used "Aspect Ratio Video Resizer"
quite good, easier than this
12 Jun 2009 12:18 by axeman
Make sure you've set the compression to xvid/mpeg4 as opposed to Uncompressed.
16 Mar 2009 11:58 by rohvel
THANK YOU!!
widescreen rocks!
2 Dec 2008 01:15 by test
my files when i convert in virtual goes to 1 giga :) and the actual size of original is about 30 mega ! something is fucking wrong!
21 Nov 2008 12:37 by Mokeet
is there any way u dont loose too much quality
21 Nov 2008 12:28 by Mokeet
i have another question the relative % keeps changing to 44.44 and 31.25. this happens when ever i put in 320 * 180 in absolute pixels is this something serious or its nothin
20 Nov 2008 11:54 by mokee
well what if you video is already widescreen but is shown suished up in youtube????
14 Oct 2008 12:24 by FRED
I have been looking forever for a program that can do this! VirtualDub rocks :)
8 Feb 2008 01:51 by pjkilla
hey man i uploaded 2 vids from youtube and they both came out blurry and pixel blown. not sure where i wend wrong but i recorded with fraps and used virtual dub so i was wondering if wide screen will save the quality of my video on youtube if i reupload them?
2 Feb 2008 03:42 by trodas
Hmmm, nice, however the problem is when you need resize filter that allow you when doing the letterbox (adding black borders) specify where the video is - for subtitled videos are cool to move the video UP on the screen and I have no idea witch filter to use to achieve this.
15 Nov 2007 11:49 by jimbo
thanks