How to Automatically Crop & Resize Videos using Zapier

27 December 2022 | 8 min read
Laura van Sinderen

In this guide, you'll learn how to set up an automated no-code workflow to crop, resize, and blur the edges of videos using Zapier, Google Drive, and Creatomate.

If you intend to post the same video on multiple social media platforms, you should be aware that each platform has its own preferred video format. For instance, TikTok uses a vertical 9:16 format, YouTube uses a horizontal 16:9 format, whereas Instagram Reels uses a square 1:1 format.

One option is to manually crop or resize the video for each platform before sharing. And a very common way to deal with vertically filmed videos (like TikTok) on other channels is to blur the edges, as in the 3rd example below.

Original video
Cropped to square
Cropped with blur

It does sound like a lot of work, though. Are we really supposed to do this manually every time we repurpose a video for a different platform? Fortunately, the answer to this question is no, as this process can be automated entirely. Here's how.

In this tutorial, we'll set up a Zapier workflow so videos uploaded to Google Drive are automatically resized or cropped to a suitable format (such as 16:9, 1:1, or 9:16), and then published on social media, using a fully automated workflow. Let's get started!


For the purposes of this tutorial, let's consider resizing a vertical video into a square format for posting on Facebook. Our goal is to fully automate this process. Here are the tools we use:

  • Zapier: to set up the automated workflow.
  • Google Drive: to upload the input video.
  • Creatomate: to automatically crop/resize the video. Don't have an account? Sign up for free.
  • Facebook Pages (optional): to post the video.

Note: Feel free to adapt this example to your own needs. For instance, you could use Airtable instead of Google Drive, and YouTube instead of Facebook.

How to crop and resize videos with Zapier?

To begin, we'll prepare a Google Drive folder to upload input videos that we want to process.

Then, we're going to make a video template in Creatomate that defines to which resolution we want to resize. This will help us to crop/resize the vertical videos to a square 1:1 format for Facebook. You can choose whether you want the video cropped into a square and resized with blurred edges.

Finally, we'll create a Zap that pulls the uploaded video from our Google Drive folder, crops and resizes it using Creatomate, and then posts it on our Facebook page. Our Zap will look something like this:

1. Prepare Google Drive

Log in to your Google Drive account and click + New in the top left corner. Select the New Folder option, name it Crop/Resize Videos, and click Create.

Double-click to enter the Crop/Resize Videos folder. Let's add a subfolder to upload the videos we want to crop/resize. So, right-click, choose New Folder, name it Input Videos, and click Create:

We have to make this folder publicly accessible, so Creatomate is able to access the videos. So right-click the folder, select Share, and set the General access to Anyone with the link. Then, click Done:

Let's upload an example video. This video will be used as a test to set up our Zap. For example, you can download and use this video, use one of your own, or download one from Pexels.

Now that we've prepared a Google Drive folder to upload our videos, we're going to create a video template in the next step.

2. Create a video template in Creatomate

Log in to your account. Navigate to the Templates page and click + New. From the Fundamentals category, we'll use the Crop/Resize a Video with Blur template. Let's use the 1:1 Square size and click Create Template:

As this template from the gallery has already been set up for cropping and resizing videos, we don't have to make any changes. Let's move on to Zapier to set up our automated workflow.

3. Add Trigger: New File in Folder in Google Drive

Log in to your Zapier account and click + Create Zap. Search for the Google Drive app and select the New File in Folder event. Then, choose your account from the list or sign in to connect your account.

On the set up trigger screen, select your Drive, and the Input Videos folder. Then, click Continue:

Test the trigger to check if Zapier is able to find the video we've just uploaded. When the test was successful, click Continue.

4. Add action: Create Single Render in Creatomate

Create a new action and search for the app Creatomate. Select the Create Single Render event. Continue by selecting your account from the list or sign in with your project's API Key to connect your account first.

On the set up action screen, we'll select our Crop/Resize a Video with Blur template in the Template field. Then, we'll select Google Drive -> Web Content Link in the Video Modifications field. When done, click Continue:

Then, click Test step to make sure Creatomate is able to auto-generate a square video from our vertical input video. Wait a few seconds and go to the URL that's returned. When you get a No Found page, it's just because the video isn't done yet. If that happens, just wait a little longer and try again. This is only while testing; once your Zap is published, the next action waits for the video to complete. Click Continue:

5. Add action: Create Page Video in Facebook Pages

Click +, search for the Facebook Pages app and select the Create Page Video event. Continue by choosing your Facebook account or sign in to connect your account.

Go to the Set up action screen and select your Facebook page. Choose the video URL from Creatomate by clicking into the field and browsing for the Creatomate -> Url value. Add a title and description to your Facebook post, then click Continue:

And finally, click Publish Zap to enable the Zap. Now, whenever you upload a video file to your Google Drive folder, it will automatically trigger this Zap, resizing the video and posting it to Facebook:

Wrapping up

And that's all there is to it! We now have a no-code process that automatically crops and resizes videos from our Google Drive folder. Simply adapt this workflow to your own situation, and you'll never have to manually crop or resize videos again.

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