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Adobe's weakest "program" doesn't seem capable of cropping an area of interest using their cropping feature. I made sure to use the "Change output to match source" option but I still got a 1920x1080 movie. Is there something I'm missing? Meanwhile I used area of interest settings in After Effects.
Let me get this straight.
Your source is 1920x1080.
You want to crop the video and make it smaller than the original.
(like if its square you want the final output to be 1080x1080)
when you click "Change output to match source" its matching the original 1920x1080.
Check the forums, the latest AME is a trainwreck at moment. The simplest 30 sec encode involves like 25 minutes of hurry up and wait, if it even gets permission from the server etc - so frustrating. I couldn't even imagine what this must be like for those encoding +1h projects 'professionally'.
I never have this problem
Create a comp with your desired dimensions
Place / scale footage to suit
Click Composition > Add to Media Encoder
Under the Preset dropdown, select Match Source - High bitrate
HandBrake all the way...
I'm pretty sure adobe media encoder use of the word "source" refers to the original video you opened in the app.
If the original video was 1920 x 1080, then when you "change the output to match the source" the encoder will do exactly what you told it, and give you a 1920 x 1080 video. An area of interest just means the encoder crops before deciding about the final size/scaling to apply.
Use scale to fit, and only work in the vertical dimension. Ignore the width of the video for now, and ask youself... how many pixels tall do I want my final video? And looking at the original video, whether cropping is applied or not, am I scaling up(making larger) or scaling down(making smaller).
Reason I am saying ignore the width is because some programs won't even let you make a square video because the 1:1 ratio is not allowed. 5:4, 4:3, 16:9, are likely what you are forced to use. If this is the case, get the height correct, and allow the encoder to add black bars on the side to makeup the width needed to hit a normal aspect ratio. Adding black bars is called "letterboxing."
Also, change your composition to the correct size in the vertical dimension at least. If your composition is 1080 tall, you are telling the program that's the height you desire for the final video.