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Video Quality Requirements
We accept footage that originates from a high-quality camera:
- Professional Cameras
- Prosumer Cameras
- 3CCD Consumer Cameras
- iPhone4s and above (at full quality)
- Wearable cameras such as GOPro or Contour.
We will make exceptions for unique content, but these exceptions are rare.
Accurate focus, a clean camera lens, proper lighting conditions and camera settings and smooth camera movements are essential for viable stock. Using a tripod while creating stock video is highly preferable.
Moderate color correction and effects are OK; however, please remember that many buyers will color correct or otherwise modify the look of the footage after purchase, and will therefore desire a high-quality, minimally manipulated, or RAW, image to work with.
If you choose to color-correct or stylize your footage, it would be best to upload both the original and the modified version, giving buyers more options.
We DO NOT accept video from the Flip line of cameras, cell phones (other than IPHONE 4s and above), or an array of other simulated "HD" sources. If you do not know if your camera would create footage acceptable for our collection, please contact us and ask before you submit.
Duration and File Size
Clips should be in the range of 3 to 120 seconds, and no larger than 2 GB (2000 MB). For HD files, a size of 200-500mb is normal. Clips should have no edits, if you do have a file with several clips edited together which can be sold as individual clips, please separate them. Pond5 may determine certain sequences acceptable if they meet specific artistic or aesthetic standards.
Please be sure your file names do not contain any special characters or accents. Examples are letters such as å, ñ, é, ß, ®, ©, §, ç, ä, ø, ü, or quote marks (“ ” or ‘ ’).
Spaces, underscores, and dashes are allowed.
All videos should be prepared as in the one of these file containers: .MOV, .MP4, or .M2TS, .MXF (for native files only). If your footage is in a different format (such as .AVI), please convert it to .MOV or .MP4 before uploading.
If your editing program cannot export .MOV files, we advise using a free program called MPEG Streamclip or a professional conversion program such as Final Cut's Compressor/Adobe media encoder to perform the conversion (more information on that below). You want to avoid compression as much as you can, though, so always export at native resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate.
Please check your files before uploading to make sure they are high-quality and broadcast-ready.
We accept the following codecs (in order of preference):
- Unmodified camera-native codecs, including DV, DVCProHD, AVCHD, XDCam, H.264, MT2S, HDV, DNxHD, MXF, ProRes, r3d (see below).
- Apple ProRes 422
- Avid native DNXHD
- H.264: We accept H.264 when it's the camera's native codec or as a broadcast quality intermediate. Camera-native files can be uploaded without modification. For intermediate H.264, make sure that it is set to "best" quality, with all keyframes, and data rate automatic.
- PhotoJPEG. Quality level of “high” (75%) or better (please do not go above 95%, in order to keep file sizes reasonable).
- Animation or PNG: ONLY for clips with embedded alpha channels.
Exporting to .MOV
We prefer HD footage to be saved ProRes 422 or in the photo-jpeg format, which is a low-impact, high-quality quicktime container and can be exported from most editing and conversion programs. If you're not sure how to export photo-jpeg files from your editing programs, just export a full-quality uncompressed .mov, then run it through the Mpeg Streamclip workflow to make a file for our collection.
Here Are The Two Most Common Workflows For Making A High-Quality Photo-Jpeg:
Exporting Photo-JPEG in Compressor
Drag your file into the jobs window.
Right click on your file and select New Target with Setting>Apple>Other Workflows>Advanced Format Conversions. Select Photo-Jpeg 75.
Go into the encoder window in the inspector and select Video: Settings.
Up the quality from 75 to about 90%, but don't put the quality at 100%, as that changes the color profile and makes the file much larger than it needs to be.
Make sure your clip is set to encode at full resolution and the correct aspect ratio and try and export. this should give you a usable file for our collection. You can then click "save" at the bottom of the encoder window and save these settings as a custom export workflow for other exports.
Exporting Photo-JPEG in Mpeg Streamclip
Drag your file into the converter window, then go to File>Export to Quicktime. For Compression, choose "Apple Photo-Jpeg". For Quality, move the slider to 85%-90%, then click "Make Movie".
To Batch Export in Mpeg Streamclip, go to List>Batch List, and drag all the files you want to export to the batch window. Choose "Export to QuickTime", choose your destination folder, and then for Compression, choose "Apple Photo-Jpeg". For Quality, move the slider to 85%-90%, then click "To Batch". Repeat this process until all the files you would like to convert are in the batch, and click "Go".
Either of these workflows can be applied to other codecs we accept, such as DV for standard definition files. Do some tests, and find what works best for your footage.
Uploading Multiple Formats
If you have footage that has been prepared at several different resolutions (PAL, NTSC, HD, 4K etc), then you will have to submit each version individually. Once all versions of your file are approved and online, contact us with a list of the clip ID's you would like associated and we will group them as multiple versions of the same file.
Animation Resolution and Frame Rate
Camera-shot clips should be prepared at their native resolution and frame rate. For motion graphics work, we will accept any resolution/frame rate (the larger the better), but it's a good idea to stick to these standards:
|4K and above||Keep the file size below 2.2GB|
|HD1080||1920x1080 (24, 25, 29.97, or 30,60 FPS)|
|HD720||1280x720 (24, 25, 29.97, 30, 60 FPS)|
|PAL||720x576 (25 FPS)|
|NTSC||720x486 (29.97 FPS)|
|NTSC DV||720x480 (29.97 FPS)|
Note: PAL and NTSC are non-square pixel formats. They are meant to be displayed at 4:3 or 16:9 (anamorphic) aspect ratios, and will not appear to have the proper proportions when viewed as square pixels (as on a computer monitor). Pay special attention when creating motion graphics work in PAL/NTSC. If possible, create clips at a higher, square-pixel resolution (eg HD1080 or 720) to avoid confusion and make your clips useful to a wider range of buyers.
Audio In Video Files
If the audio associated with a clip could be useful to our buyers (so-called "diegetic" or "ambient" sound), and doesn't contain any copyrighted material (such as music) or recognizable voices (which would require a model release), then the audio should be included with the clip. It should be in its native format, without any additional compression.
If the audio associated with the clip isn't useful or if the audio is too loud and distracting, please delete the track. If you are uploading an animation, do not add sound effects or music to the file, it will be rejected.
Not sure how to prepare your clips? Contact us and we’ll do our best to help.
r3d (RED camera native files)
.r3d - files should be uploaded within a ZIP file which must include .r3d file itself as well as color corrected or original version of .MOV preview file not less than 1080P (1920X1080) in size.
You may include .rmd (color grading info) file if preview clip is color graded.
After upload you will be able to price/sell video file separately or in combination with .r3d file bundle.
Video file included should be provided in .MOV file format with Pro Res HQ/LT, Photo Jpeg or H264 codec.
Zip file size should not exceed 5GB.
You must be able to agree to all provisions in our Contributor Agreement in order to sell media files on our site, please read it thoroughly and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities.
When you upload a clip to Pond5, you are offering it for licensing to Pond5’s end-users, who will be able to use your work according to the terms of our Royalty-Free License.
You MUST be the copyright-owner of any footage you make available for licensing on Pond5. Generally, if you created the footage, you are the copyright owner and are free to upload and market your work. If you are unsure whether you are the legal copyright-holder of a clip, don’t upload it.
If you are interested in finding out more about copyright, or in registering your work with the US copyright office (this is not necessary, but it can afford you additional legal protections), you can take a look at their website:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ45.html (regarding registering video work)
Talent and Property Releases
All commercially-oriented content that contains recognizable people must be accompanied by a signed Model Release (available here). Releases need to be signed by the model(s) as well as by a witness other than the camera person/uploader.
Even if you are filming yourself as a model, we require a Model Release, signed by you and a witness.
Property Releases (available here) are required in some cases, when copyrighted or trademarked material appears in the shot (including on the audio track).
You can download standard Model and Property Releases here. We will accept other release agreements as well, as long as the legal provisions are roughly the same.
Scans of signed releases should be uploaded in JPG format. To do this, use the “attach” (paperclip) button next to the clip on your Uploads page.
Before uploading clips of public buildings or landmarks, do a bit of research to see if you can legally sell images of it (for example, did you know the Hollywood Sign is owned by a nonprofit trust, and requires their permission for it to be shown in commercial films? For that reason, all clips of the Hollywood sign on our site are marked "editorial only"). We may be able to answer some of these questions, but you can get much more comprehensive information online.
More Questions? Send Us A Message.
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