4 Easy Ways to De-Squeeze Anamorphic Footage

You asked, we answered. Read our 4 easy ways to de-squeeze anamorphic footage, including our new Moment Camera Pro app.

4 Easy Ways to De-Squeeze Anamorphic Footage

Yay! You have your new Moment Anamorphic Lens and are ready to rock and roll. Or maybe you’re shooting on a $10,000 Anamorphic Lens for your big ‘ole film camera, whatever. This article is for the both of you.

But, something just doesn’t seem right? Maybe you’ve pranced around gorgeous cliffside bluffs while filming your dog running around the ocean banks, came back to the editing room, and noticed the footage looked a bit… “squeezed”? Don’t worry — that’s to be expected.

We’ve compiled a few ways in which to “de-squeeze” your anamorphic footage, since every application varies in their workflow and ability. De-squeezing will essentially level out your video grabs into a gorgeous, normalized letterboxd frame. Keep in mind that what's down below are only relevant to iOS devices; though, we're working diligently to accommodate Android gear, as well. We promise.

We love to use our Moment Camera Pro App (duh), FilmPic Pro App, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere. Here’s how:

Photo courtesy of Premium Beat; the difference from Standard to Anamorphic.

Using Moment Camera Pro App (iOS Only)

Within our app, there’s a 33% wider field of view onto the existing iPhone sensor (1920x1080 used for video).  De-squeezing involves having the video displayed with pixels that are one unit high by 1.33 units wide and encoding an output file with a display width of 2554 pixels (1920x1.33), thanks to MoonDog.com for the tech specs. You are able to now de-squeeze in both iOS and Android devices.

Here's how within the Moment Pro Camera App:

  • Step One: Open App
  • Step Two: Select the “Anamorphic Lens Button”; the one with the little “A” in the middle of the circle. (NOTE): Using the Anamorphic setting with your Moment Anamorphic Lens will only show what it’s like de-squeezed as a preview, but it WILL NOT save de-squeezed. You must continue to step three.
  • Step Three: Click the “Settings” button (three lines).
  • Step Four: Apply the "De-Squeezed file” button.
  • Step Five: You’re all done; except… if you’re shooting 4K 60FPS or 1080p 240FPS, your phone will have a difficult time processing that high amount of RAM power, resulting in dropped frames after production. We DO NOT RECOMMEND using our de-squeezed function if you are shooting in either 4K 60FPS or 1080p 240FPS.

Using Filmic Pro App

As briefly mentioned, the anamorphic lens is the key to widescreen cinematic imagery. However, because of its technical functions, the anamorphic squeezes the image (and the bokeh) to produce an oval-like shape. It’s crucial to “de-squeeze” the frame to make the oval bokeh stretched again as you would normally see it. 

One of the most convenient methods to do this is through one of our favorite apps: Filmic Pro.

  • Step One: Open app.
  • Step Two: Press the “Gear” icon to the right-hand side of the screen.
  • Step Three: Click on “Hardware”.
  • Step Four: Click the “Moondog Anamorphic Adapter” to de-squeeze image.
  • Step Five: Make the greatest film of all time. No pressure.

Using Adobe Premiere Pro

Although the editing software itself is a total beast, Adobe Premiere Pro makes it exceptionally easy to de-squeeze your footage. The steps are as follows:

  • Step One: Select your clip in the timeline to de-squeeze.
  • Step Two: Hover over “Modify”
  • Step Three: Select “Interpret Footage”
  • Step Four: Under “Frame Rate”, you’ll see a section to input “Conform To”. Select 1.33 which is the Anamorphic Lens HD.
  • Step Five: You’re all set!

You can also visit our page here and skip to 5:20 for a visual reference from our filmmakers, Caleb and Niles. They always do an excellent job of teaching the tech novices.

Using Final Cut Pro

In Final Cut Pro, the Aspect Ratio is similarly adjusted on its slider under the “Motion” tab under the “Distort” options. For the 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter, use -33 on the slider. Nice and simple. 

Thanks to MoonDog Labs for providing such keen information!

Photo courtesy of Moondog Labs

For Free Video Apps...

We know, we know. All that we've mentioned are applications or softwares that cost a bit of money to operate and use. While producing Anamorphic footage in and of itself is a niche, we want to still include free apps that don't require some monthly subscription or one-time fee. Something for everyone, right? Using the free version of DaVinci Resolve 15 or Handbrake for Mac. Both aren't entirely ideal (to be perfectly honest), but enough to get the job done in need of a free assessment. 

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Happy Shooting!