4 Easy Ways to De-Squeeze Anamorphic Footage

You asked, we answered. Read the 4 easy ways to de-squeeze anamorphic footage, including our Moment Camera Pro app.

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How to De-Squeeze Anamorphic Footage

You have your new Moment Anamorphic Lens and are ready to rock and roll. Or maybe you’re shooting on a $10,000 Anamorphic Lens for your big ‘ole film camera. This article is for both of you.

But something doesn’t seem right. Maybe you’ve pranced around gorgeous cliffside bluffs while filming your dog running around the ocean banks, returned to the editing room, and noticed the footage looked a bit… “squeezed”? Don’t worry — that’s to be expected.

We’ve compiled a few ways to “de-squeeze” your anamorphic footage since every application varies in workflow and ability. De-squeezing will level your video grabs into a gorgeous, normalized letterboxed frame. Keep in mind that what's down below is only relevant to iOS devices, though we're working diligently to accommodate Android gear, as well. We promise.

We love to use our Moment Camera Pro App (duh), Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere. Here’s how:

Image Credit: MoMo Film Fest
Image Credit: MoMo Film Fest
Example Anamorhpic footage on the Moment 1.33x Mobile Lens with true black bars.
Example Anamorhpic footage on the Moment 1.33x Mobile Lens with true black bars.

1. Using Moment Camera Pro App (iOS Only)

Within our app, there’s a 33% wider field of view than the existing iPhone sensor (1920x1080 used for video). De-squeezing involves displaying the video with one unit high by 1.33 units wide pixels and encoding an output file with a display width of 2554 pixels (1920x1.33).

Here's how within the Moment Pro Camera App:

  1. Open App
  2. Select the “Anamorphic Lens Button” with the little “A” in the middle of the circle. (NOTE): Using the Anamorphic setting with your Moment Anamorphic Lens will only show what it’s like de-squeezed as a preview, but it WILL NOT save de-squeezed. You must continue to step three.
  3. Click the “Settings” button (three lines).
  4. Apply the "De-Squeezed file” button.
  5. You’re all done, except… if you’re shooting 4K 60FPS or 1080p 240FPS, your phone will have difficulty processing that high amount of RAM power, resulting in dropped frames after production.
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2. DaVinci Resolve

To de-squeeze a 1.33x anamorphic in DaVinci Resolve, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Create a New Project and Import your footage onto the timeline.
  2. Right-click on the clip in the timeline and select “Clip Attributes.”
  3. Under “Pixel Aspect Ratio,” set to “1.3x Anamorphic” or "1.5x" depending on your aspect ratio.
  4. Your footage should now be correctly displayed in the timeline.
  5. If you have the black letterbox bars on your footage and don’t wish to have those, right-click on your timeline and go to timeline settings.
  6. Uncheck “Use Project Settings” and set the timeline resolution to 1920x830.
  7. You should no longer have black bars displayed on your timeline.
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An image without an alt, whoops
An image without an alt, whoops

3. Using Adobe Premiere Pro

Although the editing software itself is a total beast, Adobe Premiere Pro makes it exceptionally easy to de-squeeze your footage. The steps are as follows:

  1. Select your clip in the timeline to de-squeeze.
  2. Hover over “Modify”
  3. Select “Interpret Footage”
  4. Under “Frame Rate,” you’ll see a section to input “Conform To.” Select 1.33, which is the Anamorphic Lens HD.
  5. You’re all set!
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An image without an alt, whoops

4. Using Final Cut Pro

In Final Cut Pro, the Aspect Ratio is similarly adjusted on its slider under the “Motion” tab under the “Distort” options. For the 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter, use -33 on the slider. Nice and simple.

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5. For Free Video Apps...

While producing Anamorphic footage in and of itself is a niche, we want to include still free apps that don't require some monthly subscription or one-time fee. Something for everyone, right?

Using the free version of DaVinci Resolve or Handbrake for Mac. Both aren't entirely ideal (to be perfectly honest), but enough to get the job done without a free assessment.

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