It’s one thing to create a film you’re happy with in a standard widescreen format. It’s a whole other challenge to then make this work with Instagram’s vertical 9 x 16 framing. Lucky for you, pro filmmaker Daniel Jensen @danielsjensen has created a step-by-step Premiere Pro tutorial to show you it’s not actually as tricky as it sounds.

What you'll need

Load up your project

First up, you’ll need to open Premiere Pro and add in the clips you want to edit. Drag them into the Timeline panel to get started.

Set up the Auto Reframe Sequence feature

Head over to your Project panel and right-click on the sequence you want to edit. Select Auto Reframe Sequence… and a new window will appear. First of all, click on the Target Aspect Ratio drop-down menu and select Vertical 9:16 (the Instagram Stories format). Then double-check the Motion Tracking field is set to Default – this feature will identify movement within your footage and automatically adjust the framing to follow it. Finally, select Don’t Nest Clips (unless you already have other motion adjustments in your Timeline). Click Create and a new sequence will appear in a separate tab, in the vertical 9 x 16 format.

Tip: If you want to create posts for your Instagram grid instead, select Vertical 4:5.

Review Premiere Pro’s handiwork

Play back this new sequence and take note of how Premiere Pro has scaled up your clips to fill this new screen size. Check out moments with motion and see if you’re happy with these automatic updates. 

Tip: The Instagram Stories format can be limiting. For the best viewing experience, be sure to place what you want the viewer to see right in the middle.

Make manual tweaks if necessary

If there are places where you don’t think the default Motion Tracking has worked, you can simply disable these automatic edits. Click on the clip you want to amend, go to the Effect Controls panel and deselect Auto Reframe. You can also manually select the parts you want in frame. To do this, head over to Motion within the Effect Controls panel and adjust the Y axis under Position until you’re happy. Continue with this process until you have each clip optimised for the Instagram Stories format. 

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