I’ve loved the idea of Instagram videos and Vine but have been hesitant to use them.  Coming from a video editing background, I wanted the control that editing on my desktop computer gave me.  Some of the tools available on your phone can be pretty powerful, but I’ve wanted to repurpose sequences I’ve already created for YouTube.  Specifically, Google Hangouts On Air trailers that I could shorten for Instagram.

I decided on  Instagram since it does allow you 15 seconds of video compared to Vine’s 6 seconds.  You can chew up seconds really fast when you trying to put sequences together.

I found a really great tutorial on www.whoismatt.com. The settings for Adobe Premier worked perfectly.  Make sure to check out this article for all the details.

Below is the sequence I used to upload an edited video from Adobe Premier Pro CS6 to Instagram, the settings should be similar on other video editing systems.

1.  Create a new project in Premier.  Open Premier and click on New Video Project.  I always create a separate folder to collect all the different assets of a project in.  Video, sound, etc.

New Project


2.  Create a new sequence.  Select Digital SLR>1080P>DSLR 1080p. 30  DO NOT CLICK OK!

New Sequence

3.  Select the “Settings” tap at the top.  It should be the second one, and choose the following options.

– Editing Mode:DSLR

– Timebase:  29.97 Frames/Second

– Frame Size:  640 Horizontal 640 Vertical 1:1

– Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square Pixels (1.0)

– Fields:  No Fields (Progressive Scan)

– Display Frame 30:fps Drop-Frame Timecode

– Audio Sample Rate:  44100 Hz

– Display Format:  Audio Samples

– Video Previews: Width 640 Height 640


I went ahead and saved this a preset so I didn’t have to come in and enter the settings a second time.  If you think you’ll be using this again, I highly recommend that you save as a preset.

4.  Import the files you want to use to edit into the project.


5.  On the timeline, go to the 15 second mark and add a marker.  Click on Marker>Add Marker

6.  Since you are going to probably be working with multiple, short clips, turn on “Snapping” to make editing easer.  Click on Sequence>Snap

7.  Drag your videos you’d like to edit to the timeline.  A “Clip Mismatch”  error will probably pop up.  Click on “Keep Existing Setting” if it does.

8.  If your footage is at 1080p, then you will notice that it is scaled much higher than the 640 x 640 resolution that Instagram requires.  Click on your video clip in the timeline and choose “Effect Controls.”  Underneath “Video Effects” twirl down the arrow to reveal the Position and Scale settings. Now you can adjust how the video will look with Instagram’s dimensions.


9.  Edit the video in the timeline.  Make sure that you keep all your footage inside the 15 second marker that you added earlier.

10.  Select File>Export>Media The export media dialog box should now come up.

12.  IOS:  Chose the video format “Quicktime” and select any preset from the drop down.  Make sure that the “Export Video” and “Export Audio” boxes are checked.  Then select the destination and file name you want to call your video.

Andriod:  Chose the video format “h.264” and select any preset from the drop down.  Make sure that the “Export Video” and “Export Audio” boxes are checked.  Then select the destination and file name you want to call your video.


13.  IOS:  Select the “Video” tab.  Choose the following settings:

– Video Codec:  H.264

– Quality 100

– Width 640

– Height 640 (if the chain link icon is highlighted make sure to deselect it)

– Frame Rate: 29.97

-Field Order Progressive

– Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)

– Check the Render at Maximum Depth Box

Android:  Select the “Video” tab below.  Choose the following settings:

– TV Standard: NTSC

– Frame Width 640

– Frame Hight 640

– Frame Rate 29.97

– Field Order: None (Progressive)

– Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square Pixels

– Profile: Main

– Level: 3.1

– Check the Render at Maximum Depth Box


14.  I used the default bitrate settings.  If you video is too pixilated you may need to experiment with these settings.

15.  IOS:  Click on the “Audio” tab and choose:

– Audio Codec:  AAC

– Sample Rate 44100 Hz

– Channels: Mono

Android:  Keep the same setting as the IOS settings above, but choose a bitrate of 64kbps and give a precedence to bitrate.


16.  Save these new render settings as a preset so you can easily use them again in the future.

17.  Render your video!

18.  Now to get this edited movie to your iPhone.  I prefer to use Dropbox.  If you don’t have Dropbox, now is the time to go get your free account.

19.  Install Dropbox on your iPhone and your desktop compeer.  Create a new Dropbox folder and call it something you’ll easily remember, like “Instagram Video”

20.  Move your rendered movle to your newly created “Instagram Video” folder on Dropbox.

21.  Navigate to the Dropbox App on your phone and navigate to the “Instagram Video” folder.

22.  You MUST favorite your video (star) so you will be able to download it to your phone’s camera roll.

23.  Navigate to Instagram on your phone, select upload, and select the video from your camera roll. Your new video is ready for you to comment on and share to your followers on Instagram!

Other Notes

The main reason that I wanted to share edited videos on Instagram is to get those followers to come watch my show on Google Plus.  I really wanted the option to show a branded trailer on the Instagram platform.  The problem that most people will have ( as I did ) is that their trailers will probably be over 15 seconds.  The key is creative editing.

Here is the original YouTube trailer.

Here’s the edited Instagram version.

Notice how I cross-faded from black at the beginning.  Cross-fades and some creative editing will be your best bet on shorting those trailers to work on Instagram.

Editing your videos with these settings for Instagram can be a great way on repurposing video content for a whole new audience.

I’d love to know some of your ideas of repurposing video content on Instagram.  Let me know in the comments below!