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Make that Image fit

Have you ever placed an image on the timeline only to find it does not fit the project as you would like?  Follow this simple tutorial to fix that issue and banish it into the past.

!! Before starting make sure your project setting are on the right settings, otherwise you may have to change things again latter.

!! make sure your timeline cursor is at the beginning of the clip or you could end up with a “Keyframe” and the image will  move in the preview window when you play the clip.

This is how an image with the wrong aspect ratio can look in your preview window, notice the black bars on either side of the image.

Screen before - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

To fix this issue, and bear in mind, what we are actually doing is cropping the image, you may lose the top or bottom of the bit you want to show.

Go to the image on the timeline and click on the second icon in on the left of the clip, looks like a box

Icon Event Pan Crop - - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

After you have done that this box will open up.
Notice how the image has a dotted line around it and little squares (handles) on the corners and along the straight edges.

Event Pan Crop window - - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

we need to right click on the image to get this…

Event Pan Crop window options - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

Select the “Match Output Aspect” marked in blue and low and behold this will happen..

Event Pan Crop window Cropped - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

The dotted box has change to match the same aspect ratio as your project and your preview window will now look like this.

Screen After - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

If you want to have a play , open up the Pan Crop Window again and grab one of the handles (squares) and push it in or out and watch the preview window to see the results.
If you move the mouse to the large dotted circle the cursor will change and allow you to rotate an image to straighten it up.

Event Pan Crop window re-sized - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

The smaller the box the more you zoom into the image.

Event Pan Crop window moved - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

If the change “Match Output Aspect” cropped off the top part of the image and that is not what you want, just drag the dotted box up to position it at the top.  This can be tricky as you can end up moving the image side ways, to help avoid this.  On the left of the “Pan/Crop Window”  there is a little icon that looks like a cross with arrowheads on it.

Event Pan Crop window Move Freely Option - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

Click on the icon to change the direction of the arrows to up/down and then move the dotted box and it will not drift sideways.

If it all goes horribly wrong, right click on the image again in the “Pan/Crop Window” and select restore to start again.

Event Pan Crop window options - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

!! make sure your timeline cursor is at the beginning of the clip or you could end up with a “Keyframe”, as you can see in the image below at the bottom of the image by the cursor.

Event Pan Crop window moved - Match Out Apsect Ratio - Tutorial ZC

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10 comments to Make that Image fit

  • How do you change pixels to percentage? So I can crop in by a percentage rather than by pixels.

  • Thank you, it worked perfect for me.


  • Kati

    Well, i did everything you asked me to do. And i tried to start sony vegas. But when i placed an image on video track…it seems it didnt work. An image still looks like a stripe on video track. I dont know why? In properties: My template is HDV 720-30p (1280×720; 29,970 fps), width is 1280, height is 720, field order is non progressive scan, pixel aspect ratio is 1,0000 square, frame rate is 29,970 NTSC,pixel format is 8-bit, full resolution rendering quality is best. And also adjust source media to better match project or render settings is checked.

    You think that there might be an error in my template?
    Sorry for bothering you with my constant question but i really need to know whats the problem.

    Your advice is helpful.

  • Kati

    Im sorry, i did what you said, automatically crops still images added to timeline” is not checked. It is not checked. But my template in sony vegas is HDV 720-30p (1280×720; 29,970 fps)
    Field order: Non progressive scan. Pixel aspect ratio: Square 1.0000, Frame rate 29,970 (NTSC). Pixel format is 8 bit.Full resolution rendering quality: best

    Do u think my template can cause this that my image looks like a stripe on sony vegas videotrack?
    What should i do? I tried hold SHIFT key while started vegas but its still the same. I dont know what is the option, im so sorry for bothering you with my questions.



    • Zulqar Cheeema

      Really need to see a few screen grabs to get an idea of what is going on. can upload to google photos/Drive etc and send link via contact me page please

  • Kati

    Hi, i have a question too about image editing on sony vegas timeline. When i place an image on timeline, it looks like a stripe or something. Importing image in sony vegas it looks normal but in timeline its so weird,like i said,looks like a stripe. What can cause such a effect. What can i do to change it normal view.
    Hope to get some good advice.

    • Zulqar Cheeema

      Can you supply a image so we can see please.

      If it is what I think it is normally , if oyu have have used the Match output aspect on an image that is different ot the new one, it can cause that effect. Check the header and Track motion is in “restore View”

      • Kati

        Hello back

        Well, i dont know how to supply this image but i try to explain clearly.

        I use sony vegas 11. I import my picture in sony vegas right in project media, i see picture normal view…i hope you understand. Well, but when i place this picture on video track…it looks like a stripe….i have tried previously an older versions of sony and images have been in normal view. But now i have this little problem, picture doesn’t look like a normal, its like a stripe and i have to stretch this image with mouse to see it normally like i see it in project media.

        I hope you understood.

        Any option to fix it



        • Zulqar Cheeema

          Have a look in Preferences >> Editing and make sure thw “Automatically crops still images added to timleline” is not checked.

          Also check in Properties (alt+7) and moke sure you have the right Template selected for your project.

          If that still fails, you can hold SHIFT key while starting vegas and that resets all options to default as a new install.

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