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Vertical Video Tips for TikTok, Reels and YouTube Shorts

Learn how to create fast-paced and engaging vertical videos for TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. We'll show you how to format a vertical video in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere, plus how to easily create vertical clips with the Riverside Editor.

Overview Page


When making video content for social media, vertical style video, or 9:16 ratio is becoming more and more important, whether you're posting it to TikTok, Instagram reels, or YouTube shorts. YouTube actually recently announced that shorts will be able to be monetized through their creator program, just like regular YouTube videos.

So here's some tips on creating those vertical videos, both in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. To create a vertical project and Final Cut Pro go up to file new project. And here under video, Final Cut already has a vertical option. For resolution, I would choose 1080:1920, 30 frames per second. And let's title this iPhone 14 unboxing. In Adobe Premiere I can drag a video clip here into the sequence and then go up to the sequence, sequence settings, and I can change the resolution here to be vertical.

I'll do 1080:1920. You'll see it says vertical 1:2. I can hit Okay, and now you'll see I have a vertical project here in Adobe Premiere as well. So back in Final Cut, you'll see I have this video shot in 4K, but because I shot at landscape, I do need to scale it up to fill the vertical frame.


But you can see I still have plenty of resolution and detail because this is a 4K clip in a 1080:1920 resolution vertical video. Now, when you're shooting for vertical video, you can choose to turn your camera sideways 90 degrees and actually shoot it vertically. But if you have a 4K capable camera, I would actually recommend shooting it in landscape or the typical format mode, and then cropping in.

If you're shooting 4k, you have plenty of resolution to still crop into a vertical video, and then you also have the flexibility of using that footage in a typical 16: 9 video later. I'm gonna detach and delete the audio because I don't need that for this particular project. I'm gonna pull in my stock audio here.

Now thinking about background music, you can choose some of the music or songs that TikTok or Instagram reels already provides you. Or you can include your own royalty free and stock audio. For this reel, I used a music file from Artlist where you can pay and license music for social media and videos.


But if you'd like more info on stock audio and royalty free music, you can check out this video above. The link is also in the description here. Posting to shorts, TikTok, and reels, you have the option of being 15 seconds or under, or you can go up to 60 seconds. And then TikTok even has a three minutes option depending on the kind of video you're doing this is gonna be just B-roll of an iPhone unboxing, keeping it under 15 seconds might increase its possibility of going viral, but if you're doing a video where you're explaining something or going more in depth, feel free to go up to 60 seconds or even three minutes. But again, not all platforms support three minutes so 60 seconds is a good target for your length of vertical videos.

Now, if you're creating a 15 second reel or TikTok, you probably want things pretty fast paced to keep it interesting. Here, I'm gonna start with the iPhone box sliding onto the table, and I'm actually gonna cut it there again, it's a pretty quick cut, but again, we're trying to keep people's attention as fast as possible. I'm gonna jump to opening the box now. Again, we wanna keep everything centered in that vertical frame, so I'm going to move that just a little bit, and again, because we shot in landscape, I have a little more flexibility on moving this around. Again, we'll jump to the action of taking it out of the box. Now, one of the things you might want to do, depending on the music you chose, is to keep the cuts in beat.


It'll kind of be a more pleasing effect if you see all the cuts while it's on a hit in the music. So as you see, right, there was actually a music hit. You can kind of see it in the waveform. We don't even have to listen to it really. We can see in the waveform where there's hits in the music. So I'm actually gonna move this over just a little bit and we'll make sure that cut is right on the beat.

Let's see what that looks like. Yeah, so that was really nice. So let's go again to our other cut. So I'm actually gonna find a place where I flicked the phone a little bit and we're gonna make this seamless transition. And so we're gonna cut that video right as the phone is flicking down there, and then cut to where we put the case on it.

As you can see, it's not perfectly lined up, so that transition won't look seamless, but because we shot in normal landscape, I can actually move this over a little bit. That transition looked pretty good, and we transitioned one more time to a leather case. So let's get that clip here. Now again, you can see that one's actually a little off rotation and in a different position, so let's try to move that over.


And down a little bit, and we might need to rotate it. That looks pretty good. So we have some transitions and we have the whole inboxing at the beginning. Let's see what this looks like.

And we're still under 15 seconds so this will work for TikTok, Instagram reels, and a YouTube short. Now, when you use Riverside to record your content, you can actually export vertical videos directly from Riverside's editor. After logging into my Riverside account, I'm going to view recordings from a current studio.

I can select a past episode recorded, and then in the upper right hand corner, click the edit button. I can export a full end video to publish it to YouTube, a 1:1 square, maybe for Instagram, or a 9:16 story reel or for TikTok. Now I can export vertical clips and even go down to the milliseconds setting out in and out points to get the precise moment I want.


If you wanna fine tune your in and out points, just click in the number bubbles and then it will change the in and out points down to the millisecond. Once you have the perfect clip that you're ready to share on TikTok or Instagram, choose what speakers to include in this vertical video. You can choose to remove any padding between the video or add gaps.

And with the gaps, you can actually choose different background images or upload your own custom image to keep it on brand. When you're ready to export this clip, hit export. In the upper right hand corner, you can choose up to 4K video normalize audio, so the levels are even throughout the clip. You can even remove background noise, remove the riverside watermark and then export for social media. Now, if you'd like to edit these clips before posting them on social media, you can download the individual high quality video tracks from Riverside, and then make that into a vertical video in something like Final Cut. I'm gonna go into that same episode and download the video files for each of the hosts.

Now in Final Cut, I'm gonna import the individual video files I just got from Riverside, and let's create a new project like we did before, specifically for vertical video.


I'm gonna choose vertical video format, 1080:1920 hit Okay. Now I can drag my first video clip in and I'm actually gonna drag the second video clip right on top of it because these were recorded in Riverside and I download the synced video, these two video tracks should be perfectly in sync. Now I can choose to move one of the videos to the lower half. The other video to the upper half and scale each video up so it fills the frame. Now, I might need to crop the videos a little bit to make sure they actually split evenly in this vertical video.

And maybe I'd like to add a white separator or border between these two videos. I'm gonna go to the generator tab in Final Cut, go down to solids, and then drag a custom block down over the video. Now I'm gonna make this border white and then go over to the crop and go down from the top. And then I'm gonna crop the top and bottom of this solid.

So now I have a solid white line separating my host. I'm going to drag the in and out points for the solid, the complete length of the clip. This way it appears throughout the recording. And now in Final Cut, I'm actually gonna make what's called a compound clip that puts all those video clips together, the separator, my video, and my co-host video.


And now I can trim this video clip down to the minute that I wanna share on social media. And after you export that file, you can airdrop or send it to your phone to post on Instagram, TikTok, and for YouTube shorts. If you have any questions about making vertical videos for social media, drop a comment below this video.

We'd love to answer you there. And then subscribe to the channel and hit that bell icon. We have lots of great resources on advanced post-production techniques, automating your podcast workflow and a ton more. Thanks for tuning in. We'll catch in the next video.

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