Video Quality Requirements
We accept footage that originates from high-quality cameras:
- Professional Cameras
- Prosumer Cameras
- 3CCD Consumer Cameras
- Smart phones with minimum 1080p basic resolution
- Wearable cameras, GOPro or equivalent
- Drones must use a minimum 1080p resolution
Note: We can make exceptions for unique content, but these exceptions are rare.
If you are scanning your own film or have archival material (that is not public domain) please try your best to convert to 1080p. We will consider lower resolutions on a case by case basis and are happy to discuss with you further.
Accurate focus and exposure and proper camera settings and stable camera movements are essential for good footage. Using a tripod while creating stock video is encouraged.
We prefer footage without sound unless it has been recorded with high quality microphones and at a proper level. In-camera mics will most likely not be accepted. This is up to the curator’s discretion. Pond5 considers audio quality just as highly as video, if audio quality is an issue on location please disable it on camera.
If the audio associated with a clip could be useful to our buyers 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.
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. We will evaluate videos with filters applied on a case by case basis
Note: 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.
Duration and File Size
Clips should be in the range of 3 to 60 seconds, if you have clips longer than 60 seconds please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 1080p clips need to be no larger than 3 GB for HD content. For mov 4K files, 5GB, and for R3D, 6GB including mov previews. We prefer that the clips 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.
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:
Interlaced Footage is strongly discouraged.
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.
Uploading Multiple Formats
We recommend associating clips when you have multiple versions available, curators do this on request, however please remember that we automatically downconvert 4K+ clips to 1080p, so both resolutions are not needed.
If you have footage that has been prepared at several different resolutions please submit each version individually. Once all versions of your files are approved and online, contact us at email@example.com with a list of the clip ID's you would like associated and we will group them as multiple versions of the same file.
File Name, Titles, Keywords
Please be sure your file names do not contain any special characters or accents.
Examples: &,å, ñ, é, ß, ®, ©, §, ç, ä, ø, ü, or quote marks (“ ” or ‘ ’).
Note: Spaces and dashes are allowed.
Please avoid leaving native file names as your clip titles. External search engines utilize the titles from the Pond5 library so the more descriptive the better. Eg instead of titling a clip ‘Office building’, say ‘morning view of office building in Sydney, Australia, panning shot.’ Please do not number your clips in the title. You can keep track of your clips in the ‘My Uploads’ area under the ‘tech data’ tab so numbering clips for personal reference is no longer necessary.
For the time being we only accept English keywords, titles and descriptions. Please ensure that keywords are relevant. While we accept a minimum of 5 keywords we would strongly encourage that contributors give clips a considerable number more than that as it increases a clips sales potential.
All videos should be prepared as in the one of these file containers: .MOV, .MP4, or .M2TS. If your footage is in a different format (such as .AVI), please convert it to .MOV or .MP4 before uploading. We do not accept AVI format clips.
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 (look at alternative pro encoders) to perform the conversion (more information on that below). Compression causes banding and artifacting, so you want to avoid compression as much as you can, so wherever possible export at native resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate.
Please check your files before uploading to make sure they are high-quality.
We accept the following codecs (in order of preference):
- Unmodified camera-native codecs, including r3d (see below),AVCHD, H264, PRORES, DNxHD, DNxHR, M2TS, XDCam, MXF, HDV, DV, DVCProHD.
- Apple ProRes
- 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 the highest quality.
- PhotoJPEG. Please set to highest quality possible.
- Animation or PNG: ONLY for clips with embedded alpha channels. (transparency)
We do not accept the following codecs:
- Non native mp4
- Our system does not yet support DNxHR 4k resolution clips, however we are working to remedy this. Please check here for any developments.
Uploading 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 the 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 ProRes HQ/LT, Photo Jpeg or H264 codec.
Zip file size should not exceed 6GB.
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. Also, if there is a recognizable minor, a parent/guardian signature is required.
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.
Still need help? Contact us!