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Best Screenflow settings so there are NO black bars on each side of video?

What are the best Screenflow settings to use for Youtube videos so when the video is uploaded to Youtube it will NOT have black bars on each side? I've tried leaving the canvas at the default 1680x1020 and 1280x720 and I think I tried 640x480 too - and ALL of them had black bars on each side in Youtube, I can add this yt:stretch-16:9 to the Youtube tag box and it does remove the black bars but it stretches the video out horizontally which looks funky.

These are simple instructional videos so I don't need super duper HD quality or anything special.

I'm using Screenflow 5.0 (23427)

Thanks

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Making sure the document or the Global Crop are at a 16x9 aspect ratio (1920x1080 or 1280x720 are best) and making sure the content fills it.

    If your canvas is 1280x720 and the content fills it, there would be no black bars. You have to make sure you're not changing the aspect ratio in the encoder either. It would be 100%.

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  • Currently ScreenFlow does not offer a preset for screens. Hopefully that will happen in the future as it saves a little time and grief. In the meantime I use 

    SwitchResX. Lives in my menu bar. I have settings for 1920x1080 and 1280x720. Then I simply shoot in Screenflow full screen and don't crop afterwards. 

     

    I mainly shoot in 1920x1080 even if the final product is 1280x720. It leaves me some wiggle room to do zooms that are still crystal clear at 1280. 

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  • Thank you for replying. I'm trying to wrap my head around this stuff so please forgive me for asking dumb questions.

    I do full screen recordings from the screen of my Macbook Pro 17 or my 25" external monitor. Sometimes I don't screen record at all because the video is comprised of audio clips made with Quicktime and multiple png images.

    I always export using the "Web - High" preset and Scale by 100. After rendering I use Handbrake to compress.

    Questions, please.

    1) Does the size of the screen I'm recording from matter or does it all have to do with the settings in Screenflow?

    2) If I use SwitchResX to set my screen to 1280 x 720 before full screen does that mean the recording will fit perfectly in a 1280 x 720 Screenflow canvas?

    3) If I publish straight to Youtube (as opposed to exporting the video and then uploading it to Youtube myself), I'm offered three choices for the encoding (1080 HD, 720 HD and 480 SD). Does choosing one of those have anything to do with the black bars on each side?

    4) I see nothing in the Screenflow settings called "Global Crop" nor do I see any aspect ratio settings. Where are these settings?

    5) Craig said: "If your canvas is 1280x720 and the content fills it, there would be no black bars. You have to make sure you're not changing the aspect ratio in the encoder either. It would be 100%."  My content always fills the canvas and if I publish straight to Youtube (as opposed to exporting and the compressing with Handbrake) then I'm not doing anything to change the encoding. Right?

    Thanks again.

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  • I'm at work so I don't have time right now to answer each of your questions. Here's some uber-short responses:

     

    1. the size of the screen you are recording from can most definitely make a difference. Most screens (including the ones you are using) are not in a 16:9 ratio. So to have everything fit perfectly for HD (720 or 1080) then you either need to change your screen settings before recording (what I do) or crop exactly in Screenflow post shooting. 

    2. Yes. If you use SwitchResX and set your screen to 1280 x 720 before recording then your recording will fit those dimensions perfectly and there is not need to crop. Most of the time this would be fine. There are some cases where it's not the best approach. 

    3. No. Black bars come from YouTube trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. :) You are uploading something that is not in a 16:9 ratio so YouTube needs to add the black bars so a 16:9 product is created. 

    4. I don't see these either. That's why I use SwitchResX. 

    5. I think this is a misunderstanding. Your content may fit your "canvas" but your "canvas" is not 1280x720. Thus the black bars.

    Sorry in advance if I misunderstood one of your questions. 

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Many computer screens are 16:10 rather than 16:9.

    SwitchResX can set your screen to a 16:9 resolution so you don't have to crop or scale. We haven't tested so I can't say if they're any potential issue with how ScreenFlow handles the data. Do keep in mind that ScreenFlow uses the OS/GPU interaction for many of it's Actions.

    If you are not doing any screen capture and just editing imported clips you can create a blank document at 1920x1080 or 1280x720.

    If you're going to export to compress in Handbrake I'd strongly recommend exporting ProRes. Compressing an already heavily compressed file can result in significant resolution loss. ProRes is specifically designed for Post workflow whether it's compression or editing in another app.

    Global Crop actually called Canvas Crop in ScreenFlow.

    If your Canvas is 16:9 (1920x1080 or 1280x720) and the image fills the Canvas and you export at 100% then there shouldn't be black bars on YouTube which displays 16:9.

    If your Canvas is not 16:9 then you will get black bars. Everything must be 16:9.

    Canvas Crop

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  • Thank you both! This is all really great information. I really appreciate both of you taking the time to explain this. I think I learned a lot that I can use in future videos - like later today!

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    You're welcome of course. I should mention that there are some services that don't require 16:9. I've seen some other frame sizes on Vimeo for example.

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  • Yes, one does not "need" 16:9 on Vimeo and it will play quite fine. But all in all 16:9 is preferable for practical and aesthetic reasons for most folks. 

    Unfortunately SwitchResX is not free. I believe it's around $15. Definitely worth it to me as I don't shoot screencasts all the time and it significantly speeds up and simplifies my workflow. 

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  • I installed SwitchResx yesterday on my Macbook Pro 17 (OSX 10.9.5) and when it was running I couldn't access any of the files on my desktop. What I mean is that if I tried to click on any file on my desktop that nothing would happen. I finally deleted it the way they said to do at the SwitchResX website and even after restarting my computer there was still evidence of it being there. For example, when I went to do a new screen recording with Screenflow and chose which screen to record from (my computers or external) my computers screen was called "SwitchResX - Color LCD" instead of just "Color LCD".

    I will have to contact SwitchResX but did you ever experience not being able to access any of your desktop files after turning it on? If so, what did you do to fix that?

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  • I've never experienced anything remotely like what you are experiencing. My first 2 guesses are:

    - incompatibility with OS X version (double check this)

    - something in your preferences is causing a problem

    I am attaching screenshots of ALL my preference tabs. One thing to keep in mind: once SwitchResX is running you really need to have a version that is for your "standard" working screen. That's the foundation. Then you switch to special screen setups. 

    I hope the screenshots help a bit. 

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    It's possible the  SwitchResX issue is specific to certain GPU/Screen/OS combinations. I thought I recall someone else having an issue with it but even if so, it would seem to be rare.

    Stephen Hobbs you could try using the free EasyFind from the Mac App Store as it might find any residual files.

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  • Here's how we've been doing it for 10 years (since before Screenflow). See attached image.

    It's just a background image with 1280 x 720 painted in to it.

    It's also neutral grey so it don't shine thru any windows that is translucent.

    Whatever is inside that box will be kept when I crop my video. Outside will be cropped away.

    Just make an image with the size of your screen, measure in 1280 and 720 and paint. Easily done in Photoshop. There's a bit more to it if you run it on a retina-screen (doubling all values). 

     

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  • Mattias Karlson Sjoberg - Thanks but I don't understand what you do with the 1280 x 720 image with Screenflow??

     

    Matthew Mitchell - I'm still using 10.9.5 so it's not supposed to be a compatibility issue. I contacted the developer and he doesn't know why my desktop froze either. The program is still in my System Preferences even though I deleted it the way their website said to delete it and my Finder froze again yesterday too. This is an old Macbook Pro 17 that I've been using since 2009 and I'm pretty sure this was the first time my Finder froze - and twice.

    Thanks for taking the time to do the screen captures but I'm not sure about using that program now. Are there any other alternatives to SwitchResX that you're aware of?

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  • Q: Thanks but I don't understand what you do with the 1280 x 720 image with Screenflow??

     

    Recording your whole full screen is not a great goal to have. Only a part is usually necessary. Especially since a full screen scaled down is usually cluttered experience for the viewer. It contains toolbars and and docks and wifisymbols etc. Plus, a full screen scaled down usually gives you tiny details.

    Now, Screenflow still records your whole screen so your recording is always cropped by hand by you. 

    Ie I have a "target area" on my screen. Inside that area I do whatever I want to show the viewer. Outside I keep anything I don't want the viewer to see. 

    In editing I crop so that only my target area is kept and the rest is not.

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  • Mattias Karlsson Sjöberg ... and I typically take the opposite approach. If I'm showing someone how to use a software product I want them to see all the menu options, etc. Most folks have laptops/ipads where they can easily view a 1280x720 video at full scale or near-full scale. When I need to focus on something much smaller in size then I use a video enlarge action (or whatever the formal name is).  I think it all depends on what kind of materials you are capturing. 

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  • Mathew Mitchell Yeah. I understand what you mean. I like to record and show 1:1, so I record an area that is 1280 x 720*.  I find that even though many view the way you describe, too many screen casters record their humongous 24 or 27-inch screens and just scale down. 

    I then put the whole application inside that 1280 x 720 box. Dock and toolbar is outside. No need to show the clock, messages, wifi etc (the bartender app that hides those is helpful as well)

    * I actually record it in Retina so that I can zoom. I like to zoom in and show important things in 150% of it's normal size. 

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  • Mattias Karlsson Sjöberg  Ah, yes, I fully understand. I often record on a big 27 iMac. So I resize the screen to 1280x720 (or sometimes 1920x1080) before I start shooting using SwitchResX. I just hide the dock. Nice touch to crop out the extras on top. I need to take greater advantage of Bartender (it's a very nice app). But I can't imagine watching a screencast recorded on a big screen if not carefully cropped! I hadn't considered that scenario. 

     

    One day I hope to have a Retina iMac so then I can do the same as you! 

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  • 6 yrs agoLast active
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