Preparing a Video on Windows for Kickstarter

Recently, I had to take and prepare a video for uploading to Kickstarter. Since I wanted a high quality video and I did this all by myself, I just used my phone (Samsung Google Nexus), put it on a tripod and filmed myself in HD. I then transferred the video over USB to my Windows laptop, opened it up in Windows Movie Maker, added some still images, and then saved the output in 1280×720 which has a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Converting a video from 16:9 to 4:3 aspect ratio for Kickstarter

It turns out, for some reason, Kickstarter uses the old 4:3 aspect ratio for videos. Since I wanted to show as much of the video possible without any black bars, I had to crop the video from a 16:9 aspect ratio to 4:3. The width of the Kickstarter video area is 620px wide so I wanted the video to be that wide. I decided to just go with 640 px wide and crop the video to 640 x 480 since that’s a common size. I did this by downloading HandBrake and automatic cropping as shown in the following screenshot. I used the High Profile for the highest quality output. Click on the image to enlarge. Handbrake will automatically crop the black bars.

If you want to control the cropping, here’s an example. 1280×720 is equal to 853×480. Since I needed 640×480, I need to crop 853-480 = 213 from the sides (or 106 from each side).  The settings are shown below.

 Converting the video from mp4 to wmv for Kickstarter

When I went to upload the video (mp4) to Kickstarter, I kept getting errors even though Kickstarter says they support the mp4 format. They also say somewhere that they recommend wmv format if you’re on Windows so I converted the video from mp4 to wmv using (click on the image to enlarge)