Today’s Question: I took video in a 16×9 aspect ratio with the long side horizontal, as one would expect. Oddly, some of them show up in Lightroom as horizontal and some show up as vertical. Unlike a photo, the little rotate arrows don’t appear in the Grid View. Any idea how I can rotate these things 90 degrees to look like they should?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I would first confirm that the source videos really are in the wrong orientation. If so, you can use the free Handbrake (https://handbrake.fr) utility to rotate the videos.
More Detail: Lightroom Classic does not include an option for rotating videos. However, I have seen situations where the video appears in the wrong orientation relative to what the actual video contains. I therefore recommend first confirming whether the video truly needs to be rotated. To do so, right-click on the thumbnail for the video and choose “Show in Finder” on Macintosh or “Show in Explorer” on Windows. Double-click on the video file to open it in the default player application and determine if the video orientation is correct.
If the orientation of the video is indeed wrong, you can use software outside Lightroom Classic to rotate the video. I recommend the free video transcoder Handbrake (https://handbrake.fr) for this purpose.
In Handbrake you can first open the source video. On the Preset tab in Handbrake, you can select an option for the overall video rendering settings. For the best quality I recommend choosing the Production category on the Preset popup and then selecting “Production Max” as the preset. This will retain the existing video settings such as resolution, while ensuring maximum output quality. You can also choose different options if you prefer.
The key setting in this case will be the video rotation option. In the Orientation & Cropping section you can click the Rotation popup and choose the necessary degree of rotation, which is available in 90-degree increments.
At the bottom of the Handbrake dialog, you can adjust the filename and location for the output file that will be rendered. Then click the Start button on the toolbar at the top of the Handbrake interface to start rendering.
Because you are creating a new file with this process, you’ll need to import this updated version into Lightroom Classic. You may, of course, want to delete the original capture that had the wrong orientation set.