Final Cut Pro X: Resize Video Without Losing Image Quality [video]

Posted on by Larry

[This is an excerpt from a recent on-line video webinar: “Ask Larry Anything” which is only available as part of our Video Training Library.]


This free-form discussion covered a wide variety of topics, including:

In this short video excerpt, Larry Jordan shows how to resize an image without losing image quality in Final Cut Pro X.

Resize a Video Clip Without Losing Image Quality

TRT: 6:17 — MPEG-4 HD movie

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16 Responses to Final Cut Pro X: Resize Video Without Losing Image Quality [video]

  1. Warren Nelson says:


  2. Erik Punt says:

    Hello Larry,
    Thanks for your always very helpful tutorials.
    My question:
    If I shoot in 1080 / 1920 by 16:9 and I want to make a 1:1 (square) in my FCPX project. Do I lose image quality anyway? If so, What is your advise to handle this?
    Thanks and Greetings,

    • Larry says:


      I’m not clear on the question you are asking. If you take a rectangular image, then crop it so it is square, you won’t lose image quality, but you will lose pixels. In other words, you can’t convert a rectangle to a square without removing a part of the image; generally, those pixels on the left and right sides.


  3. Cynthia McInnis says:

    Hi. I’m adding a video to my closing credits. I transformed it to fit on the side of the credits but it is cutting off some of the video. I want to resize it without losing parts of it. is this possible?

    • Larry says:


      Probably, yes. Select the video you want to scale, then use Video Inspector > Transform > Scale to resize the video. Don’t use crop and don’t adjust the Horizontal or Video scaling.

      As long as you don’t drag the clip outside the edge of the frame, you’ll see all of it, just smaller.


      P.S. “Moderation” means that I need to approve your comment before it appears on our website. Moderation is how I prevent spam comments.

  4. Pat Law says:

    Hi from Scotland!
    I have included several clips of a digitised super 8 film to my video in FCPx and need to rescale the size/format of these clips to match the others. The (1080 x 1920) Can you help please?

    • Larry says:


      Please realize that scaling these clips will NOT make them look any better – in fact, it will make them look soft, blurry and pixelated; especially from Super8.

      You can let FCP X scale them as part of the project by simply adding them to your 1080p timeline. Or you can use Compressor. Or you can use other tools which try to improve image quality with the scaling.

      Personally, FCP X will do as good a job as anything.


  5. daniel says:

    Hi Larry this was awesome thank you very much.
    My only question is, I am trying to save videos for instagram sizes which is 1080 – 1350 and when I do your method and click “none” it does increase the size quite a bit but there is still some space needed to fill the dimension.
    Is there any way to get it the rest of the way?
    I have used the scale wheel adding 20% but as you mentioned you do lose some quality of picture .
    thanks for any help. =)

    • Larry says:


      “None” simply displays the image at 100% size, it doesn’t change the aspect ratio. You are trying to fit a 16:9 video into a 4:5 frame. They won’t fit without more scaling.


  6. Liz Watkins says:

    Hi Larry,

    I accidentally started a project in 640×480 that should 1080. Everything is shot in 2080 and now 4k.

    Can I easily convert? I copied project and started new 1080 project and paste. The video is cropped.

    Any help os appreciated.

    An old,retired from making money from video persin trying to make the world a better place!

    • Larry says:


      Yes, just change your project settings, you don’t even need to create a new project.

      The reason things are cropped is that you created a 4:3 project for 16:9 media. Make sure, also, that pixel aspect ratio is set to Square.

      If you still have problems, contact me directly: Larry @


  7. Daniel says:

    Hi Lary!

    I have a similar sizing issue, but for the other direction. I’m working on a virtual choir video, but every time I take the videos and shrink them down to tiny thumbnails in order to get them all to fit on the screen, I lose a great deal of image quality on each video. I cannot tell if the video quality was diminished, or if things will look normal once I export the video.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Larry says:


      Without seeing a screen shot, I can’t be sure, but… whenever you reduce the size of an image you are removing pixels. The size of an actual pixel is fixed, all you are doing is reducing the number of them.


  8. Becca says:

    Hi Larry,

    I’m working on two projects that will be combined into one. I exported them both. One is more rectangular in size and the other more square. I can’t figure out how to fix it. Please help. I’m used to the one that is more square. It’s still a rectangle but fits my computer screen. The other is a long, narrow rectangle that is more wide than tall. The video plays in the middle with black space on the outside.

    thank you for your time!


    • Larry says:


      Frame size, which is what you are describing, is determined by your Project settings (Cmd + J, then click the blue Modify button in the top right).

      The long, narrow project has the wrong frame size settings. You can fix this by resetting the project settings to the correct dimensions, then re-exporting your movie.


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