Contributor Tips

How to Prepare Your Footage for Upload to Pond5

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If you’re planning to upload videos for sale on Pond5, please be sure to follow these guidelines on video quality, file size and format, codecs, and other important details.
 

Video Quality Requirements

We accept footage that originates from high-quality cameras, including:

  • Professional Cameras
  • Prosumer Cameras
  • 3CCD Consumer Cameras
  • Smartphones with minimum 1080p basic resolution
  • Wearable cameras, GOPro or equivalent
  • Drones with minimum 1080p resolution

Note: We can make exceptions for unique content, but these exceptions are rare.

If you’re scanning your own film or have archival material (that is not public domain) please try your best to convert it to 1080p. We will consider lower resolutions on a case-by-case basis.

Accurate focus and exposure, proper camera settings, and stable camera movements are essential for good footage. Using a tripod or stabilizer while creating stock video is encouraged.

We prefer footage without sound unless it has been recorded with high-quality microphones at a proper level. Sound from in-camera mics will most likely not be accepted. Pond5 considers audio quality just as highly as video; if audio quality is an issue on location, please disable it on your 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 okay; 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’s 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. 1080p clips need to be no larger than 3GB for HD content; 5GB for mov 4K files, and 6GB for R3D, including mov previews.

We prefer that the clips have no edits. If you have a file with several clips edited together that 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:

4K and above: Keep the file size below 5GB
HD 1080p: 1920×1080 (24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60 FPS), 3GB max
HD 720p: 1280×720 (24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60 FPS)
PAL: 720×576 (25 FPS)
NTSC: 720×486 (29.97 FPS)
NTSC DV: 720×480 (29.97 FPS)

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, but please remember that we automatically create a downconverted version of 4K+ clips at 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 support@pond5.com with a list of the clip IDs you would like associated and we will group them as multiple versions of the same file.

Related Post How to Upload your Media to Pond5

File Format

All videos should be prepared in 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 recommend 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.

Compression causes banding and artifacting, so you want to avoid compression as much as you can. Wherever possible, export at native resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate. Please check your exported files before uploading to make sure they are high-quality.
 

Codecs

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:

  • Motionjpeg
  • AVI
  • Non-native MP4
  • Our system does not yet support DNxHR 4k resolution clips, but we are working to remedy this.

 
Uploading R3D (RED camera native files):
R3D files should be uploaded in a ZIP file, which must include the R3D file itself, as well as a color-corrected or original version of the MOV preview file not less than 1080P (1920X1080) in size. You may include an RMD (color-grading info) file if the preview clip is color graded.

After upload, you will be able to price/sell the video file separately or in combination with the R3D file bundle. The video file included should be provided in MOV file format with a ProRes HQ/LT, PhotoJPEG, or H264 codec, and ZIP file size should not exceed 6GB.
 

File Names

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 ‘ ’).

Spaces and dashes are allowed.
 

Legal Requirements

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.

You must also 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.
 
For more information visit our Help Center or contact our Customer Support at support@pond5.com.

Top image: Camera lens, front view isolated on black background by stevanovicigor