Hack 57 Rotate Your Movie from Horizontal to Vertical

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Who says you have to shoot all your movies horizontally? Just as with stills, sometimes it's fun to turn the camera on its side. But when you upload your movies to your computer, they're turned the wrong way! Here's how to fix that.

When making movies with your digicam, you don't want your compositions limited any more than you do when shooting stills. Imagine if someone told you that you could shoot only horizontal pictures for the rest of your life. You'd tell them where to go stick their memory card.

The problem with movie making is, you might shoot your video with a vertical orientation, but when you upload the snippets to your computer, everything is horizontal. And 9 out of 10 chiropractors will tell you not to crane your neck sideways to watch these movies.

Fortunately for the health of your entire viewing audience, there's a simple fix. After you upload the video to your computer, open a snippet in QuickTime Pro, the versatile movie viewing/editing application [Hack #56] . It doesn't make any difference whether you're working in Windows or on a Mac; the procedure is the same.

From the Movie drop-down menu, choose Get Movie Properties. You've just tapped into one of the most powerful areas of QuickTime Pro. There are two drop-down menus at the top of this dialog box. From the left one, choose Video Track, and from the right one, select Size, as shown in Figure 5-16.

Figure 5-16. Making selections in the QuickTime Movie Properties dialog box

You'll see that the dialog box changes content and options as you choose different items from the drop-down menus. In this case, two of the goodies you can access are found in those rotation arrows in the lower-right corner. Click on the one that rotates your movie in the desired direction, as shown in Figure 5-17. Like magic, your movie and its controls are now oriented the way you originally intended.

Figure 5-17. Rotating a movie in the QuickTime Movie Properties dialog box

You can now edit, trim, and stitch together movie clips [Hack #56] . Of course, all of your movies have to be oriented the same way; otherwise, you'll get some strange-looking results.

There's something inherently interesting about a vertically framed movie. And it's an option I encourage you to try as appropriate subjects present themselves.