How to Edit a Vertical iPhone Video

Soooo… What happens if you record a vertical video on your iPhone and still want to use the video??

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After you have sent the video to your computer by directly transferring OR sending it through airdrop, the video will appear in iMovie with two black bars on either side. There’s no clear cut way to get rid of this, but there are some features on iMovie that can make the video more appealing.

First off, if you only need the middle portion of the video you can simply hit “Crop” then “crop to fill”. This will crop the video to fit into the space provided and maintain the resolution. Unfortunately, most videos require more than just the middle portion.
Another use for the “crop to fill” feature is to create a blurry version of the same video filling the black bars behind the original video. After selecting “crop to fill” for your video you can select “clip filters and audio effects” and apply a filter to blur out your video. Then simply bring down the video clip again and lay it on top of the “blurred” version to create this effect.

An additional option is filling in the sides with one of the many backgrounds offered by iMovie. Start with a blank project and select “backgrounds”. Drag whatever background you think would work with your video (animated or stationary) down onto the project. You can now place your video on top of the background as a cutaway and drag the background to match the length of your video. If you don’t like the color of your background you can easily change this by selecting the background and clicking “clip filters and audio effects”. You can then change the filter, for instance you could then change the background color to black and white. You could also go about this by clicking “color adjustments” and manually change the color of the background.
These are just a few creative & easy solutions when you want to use a vertical video but keep the resolution.

Here is the video link I used for any clarification/ visuals about using these features on iMovie:

Good luck!

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It’s Going Down for Real

Do you ever feel like even at its lowest, the screen brightness on an iPad or iPhone can still be too bright? Whether you’re in bed looking at Quizlet or you’re waking up to that one 4am notification, the screens on these devices can feel like they’re burning through your retinas.

Not to worry though, I found a little “life-hack”  to help with this problem (sorry Android users, maybe next time).

To lower your screen brightness, go to Settings → General → Accessibility → Zoom → Zoom (turn this feature on).

Then, take note of these hints below to adjust your screen size once the Zoom feature is enabled:

After that, turn on the Follow Focus feature (located below the Zoom feature).

Then go to Zoom Region (located below the Show Controller feature) and select the Full Screen Zoom option.

Once this is done, return to the Zoom page and select Zoom Filter  (located below Zoom Region) and select the Low Light option, and your screen brightness should be reduced.

If you want to switch back to the normal brightness settings, simply turn off the Zoom feature at the top of the page.


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Study Rooms – Different from SMDC Studios

Hi friends!

Probably at least once a day people come up to the SMDC service desk asking about where to find the study rooms. Sometimes they think our studios (1-6) are the same as the study rooms. But, the study rooms are not managed by the SMDC; the main library handles them.

In the lower level, room 049-053 are study rooms. To find them from the SMDC service desk, head toward the elevator, turn left, walk down the hall, and the rooms will be on the right.

Happy studying!

How to take the Best Quality iPhone Videos

How to get the Best Quality for iPhone Videos


These days you can use your phone for anything. The camera’s quality has gotten better and better, but there are some ways to ensure that your video looks clean and professional!

  1. Make sure to take the video with the phone flipped sideways & the volume buttons facing the ground so the video is oriented to fill the entire screen
  2. In order to take a video on the iPhone using the best quality go to settings
  3. Click “Camera”
  4. Then hit “Record video”
  5. Change the settings to “1080p HD at 60fs”- this will ensure that the video is smooth
  6. Record whatever you want!


Some people have all of theses settings correct, orient their phone the right way, and still encounter problems once they attempt to transfer the video to other devices. A big no-no is sending the video through email/ iMessage! Instead of emailing/ messaging the video to yourself or others, directly connect your phone to your computer or airdrop it in order to retain the 1080p quality.

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Save your Files!!!

I recently had the unfortunate experience of spilling coffee on my laptop and losing everything!! I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

If I had only saved my files to a hard drive, everything would have be okay! None of my pictures or documents would be gone! Learn from my mistakes and save everything on your laptop onto a hard drive. After all, you never know what could happen!

If you don’t have your own, you can even borrow one from the SMDC, even though you won’t get to keep it forever 🙁  The kit comes with the hard drive itself and a USB cord to plug into your computer.

Cool App for Design!

As designers and non-designers, there are so many interesting apps  available to us that we may not even know about. One of these apps is called Assembly.

This app is great for making quick vector based images, logos, stickers, etc.

It provides you with a library of about 200 shapes and just the right amount of tools to make simplistic and beautiful designs.

Great for anyone, experience or no experience. Available for iOS, it is $2.99/month, but you can always get a free trial!


Make Images HD using Photoshop

Ever wondered if your favorite photo was captured by a High Definition camera?

There is a still way you can still have the same photo in high definition.

You can follow the following steps on Photoshop:

Step 1: Create a duplicate layer of the image you are trying to convert to HD.

Step 2: On the duplicated layer apply the High Pass filter.

Step 3: Select the radius such that you can just start seeing the boundary of all the objects and things inside the photo. A good bet is to start with the radius as 4 and keep on increasing or decreasing it depending how you want the image to be like. The more you increase the radius the more detailed the image gets. Click OK.

Step 4: Now your image will be all grey. Now click on the linear light option and see the result yourself.

Here are some of the results of using the above filter:




Get to Know Your Charger

No doubt that almost everyone on campus has a laptop. From writing papers and making presentations to taking quizzes that tell you which cat represents your soul, we seem to use it a lot. Using your laptop a lot also means using its charge.

It’s not a great time when you realize that you’re on 5% and you left your charger in your room. Of course, do not fret because here at the Student Multimedia and Design Center carries several different types of laptop chargers that we may loan out to you. Given that we have several different types of power adapters it’s useful to know which one you need!

For Macbook users: We carry a couple different cables for your computer.

We carry the MagSafe power adapter for Macbooks which also comes with a MagSafe 2 adapter

If you have the most recent MacBooks, you probably need to use a USB-C cable to charge your laptop. We can lend out the cable itself or you can borrow a portable charger which includes a USB-C cable for charging.

If you are not a Mac user, no problem! The center also checks out Dell Laptop chargers, as well as, a kit that has adapters for different laptops. It helps to know which one fits your laptop if you want to quickly locate it. Simply turn your laptop over and match the numbers on the back with the numbers on the kit to identify the correct model.

And of course, if you’re ever unsure or simply need help, we are always here at the desk to help!

Adobe Website as a Creative Resource!

I would hope you have all heard of Adobe. If not, please come out from under your rock. I also would hope you know that the Student Multimedia Design Center has Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, and a multitude of other Adobe programs at your disposal on the many computers in the center. If you didn’t know this either, you severely need to come out from under your rock! All jokes aside, the Adobe website is full of tutorials for you to learn about each program and its a great creative resource for beginners and experts alike. The best part: they’re completely free to access. I thought I would choose and link some of my favorite tutorials so that anyone can refer back to this post and access them.

The three tutorials below are learning the basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. What’s great is that at the end of these links, there are further links to more advanced topics. For instance, at the bottom of the Photoshop page, it leads you to learn about “changing the image size” and then “working with layers” and so on.

There are also some more specific tutorials that they offer.

I really hope these resources help in all of your creative endeavors, and as always, come visit the Student Multimedia Design Center in the lower level of Morris Library. We are always happy to help and answer any and all questions to the best of our ability.



Back to the Basics.

Welcome back for your spring semester!

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For those who come to the center often, probably knows about some of the equipment we have to loan.

But for those of you that doesn’t know. Here is a list of a few of our basic technology we have.

1-Phone Chargers!

Yes we have phone chargers. Both iphone and Samsung. After hours of classes and now you have to study but would need your phone we have charger cables for you to use. This is a four hour loan and you will have to wait 24 hours to loan out again

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2- Hard Drives!

If you have a big presentation or project your working on your using the centers computers use a hard drive. Many times I see students working on a project for hours then the computer fails before they had a chance to email themselves the project.  Important tip SAVE your work PERIODICALLY on the hard drive to avoid those unfortunate events.

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If you’re a MAC person or a PC person we have laptops for you. If all the computers in the center are being used or you and your group need a computer to use while studying somewhere within the library, loan out a laptop and its all yours. These loans are for 4 hours but they are renewable, you do not have to wait for 24 hours to use again but these are due back every night before we close.

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Video and still cameras. Need to document a fun party, trip, or some event?  Our cameras are great. If your not sure which of our cameras to use, come to the counter and ask. We would be glad to help you out. Don’t forget we have tripods and microphones too. These are 3 day loans and have a 24 hour waiting period between each loan.

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We have six studios here at the center. Studio 1-One Button/ VR studio- Great for a simple video presentation or– just wanna chill and have some fun– the Virtual Reality games are a blast. Studios 2,3 and 4 can record videos and sound. Each has different backdrops to use and a smart board, as well as studio 1.  Studio 5 is are Cintiq/Skype studio. The Cintiq is the a drawing tablet that allows you to view your project on the tablet and work right from there. You will need to loan out the Cintiq pen at the counter. You can also reserve this room for skype interviews, presentations and etc,.  Studio 6 is the sound studio. For you to make that next awesome demo or just to do a simple recording.

Each studio is reserved for 2 hours and you can add more time within 15 minutes before your reservation is over.

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The Student Multi Media Design Center has so much more to offer along with every thing mentioned above. If you would like to learn more visit or just come to the center and see for your self all that we have to offer! You might be surprised!

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Good Luck this semester!


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