Requirements for Video Submissions to Pond5
This is the page for video specifications. Please click here if you're looking for audio specifications.
» Quality Requirements
In most cases, we will not accept footage that does not originate from a high-quality camera (3ccd MiniDV or better). We will make exceptions for unique content, but those exceptions are rare.
Accurate focus, a clean camera lens, proper lighting conditions and camera settings, and smooth, considered camera movements are essential for viable stock. In many cases a “lockdown” shot, with no pans or tilts, is preferable to unsteady camera movements.
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 image to work with.
If you're uploading animations, effects, or composites, you may need to "break down" your image into component parts. For example, a CGI animated character that's isolated in an alpha on a plain background will sell better than one that's in a pre-made landscape.
We prefer professional-quality content, and if you're using tutorials or guides to create animations, you need to make sure that you're not using source files that belong to someone else. Basically, if there's any question as to whether or not it would be legal for you to sell a clip you made, don't upload it.
» Technical Specs
Duration and File Size
Clips should be in the range of 3 to 60 seconds, and no larger than 1 GB (1000 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, please separate them out and sell each file individually.
All files should be prepared as QuickTime .MOVs. If your footage is in a different format (such as .AVI), please convert it to .MOV 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 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, HDV, etc.
• ProRes 4:2:2: 1:1 export with native framerate and resolution, with as little compression as possible. (Please note: upon upload, we will automatically generate a H.264 proxy for your file, for buyers who do not use Apple codecs)
• 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.
Low quality H264 exports will be rejected.
• PhotoJPEG: for non-DV clips, including HDV720p. 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.
We DO NOT accept video from the Flip line of cameras, cell phones, or an array of other simulated "HD" sources. If you do not know if your camera would create footage acceptable for our collection, send us a note and ask before you submit.
» Exporting to .MOV
We prefer HD footage to be saved 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, then 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, send an email to with a list of the clipID'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 (adjust your settings to keep the file size below 1.8GB)
• HD1080: 1920X1080 (24, 25, 29.97, or 30 FPS)
• HD720: 1280X720 (24, 25, 29.97 or 30 FPS)
• PAL: 720X576 (25 FPS)
• NTSC: 720X486 (29.97 FPS)
• NTSC DV: 720X480 (29.97 FPS)
• Multimedia: 640X480
• Multimedia: 320X240
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 talent release), then the audio should be included with the clip. It should be in its native format, without any additional compression.
If you are uploading an animation do not add sound effects or music to the file, it will be rejected.
If there is no useful audio associated with the clip, please delete the audio track.
Not sure how to prepare your clips? Drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help.
» Legal Requirements
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 Talent Release (available here). Releases need to be signed by the model(s) as well as by a witness other than the cameraperson/uploader.
Even if you are filming yourself as a model, we require a model release, signed by you and a witness.
Property releases are required in some cases, when copyrighted or trademarked material appears in the shot (including on the audio track).
You can download standard talent 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.
Happy shooting! Please contact us if you have any questions regarding video requirements on Pond5.