A lot of the projects we do are a mix of thing we create from scratch (motion graphics, filming, etc) and utilizing assets our clients provide. If you don’t do video a lot, it’s really difficult to know just what to send and what can be used in a video, so here’s a quick outline on what works and doesn’t work.

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Existing Videos

Great! You have some existing video content you want to put to work or make a change to in a new video. There’s just a couple things to keep in mind. It’s always best to get the original / raw files. What does that mean? It means if you created a video and can get us the assets used to create that video then we can make it into whatever you want. That includes the original stuff that was shot as well as project files (if you have them).

If you don’t have the original files you’re not out of luck, it just depends on what you want to do. If we’re picking up stuff that was shot just to use as b-roll in another project it’s not a problem. However if you want to use say an interview, it can get tricky. The two major issues you’ll run into are graphics and music. If there’s graphics, we’d need to be able to cover them up to match the rest of the video. Sometimes that’s simple, sometimes it’s complicated. Where it gets really tricky is with music. If the existing video has a music bed under it, you might be stuck. There’s no real way to take the music and separate it from the person speaking. That means you’d either have to use the same music track (if we can find it) and put the person in at the same point, so the music matches. Or we’d have to brainstorm together on ways to think about the project differently.

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Images / Graphics / Logos / Oh My!

Usually what we get is images and logos from clients. This is where high res and low res come into play. A HD video is 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels at 72 dpi. So what does that mean in practice? It means that almost all Powerpoint and Word documents you send over with images in them will be too low resolution. In short, they’ll look pixelated because we have to scale them up to fit the size of the video. At a minimum you want your short edge of the image to be about 2,000 pixels long at 72 dpi. The way to get that is to track down the original images. Find the photos people took vs the ones someone else ended up putting into a presentation. Same thing goes for logos. Vector versions of the logos work best vs JPEG or whatever you have in a PPT.

Vector vs Raster

On the logo front, we mentioned above that vector images work better than JPEG or PNG. That’s because they’re able to be scaled to any size without losing quality. A vector image is created in a program like Illustrator and we can scale it without issue. If it’s a graphic that’s been created, that also lets us go in and “break apart” the file into different layers and animate those to create a more dynamic final piece.

But all I have is low res?

This happens from time to time. Don’t fret immediately. It’s just a matter of thinking about the project. Maybe we can take the low res images and work them into a photo collage and show more than one at a time. But if you really want just one big image on screen, we’ll need assets big enough to make that work.