What video format should I use?

last updated: 23-Aug-2005 | back to index

The video format

General specifications
  Windows AVI file
  Maximum length of the short film = 7 minutes (420 seconds)
  Minimum length of the short film = 2 minutes (120 seconds)
  Maximum filesize of the short film = 75 MB (78643200 bytes)
  Remember that if we can't watch your film, because of a format error or problem, we won't be able to judge you.
Video specifications
  Allowable AVI video codecs:
- DivX 5
- DivX 6
- XviD
  It is highly recommended that you use the "DivX Network Home Theatre profile".


note: use of advanced features like multi-warp point GMC, Q-pel and multiple consecutive B-frames beyond those compatible with the "DivX Network Home Theatre profile" is not recommended.
  Framesize of 640 x 480 for full-frame video.
  For a "widescreen" aspect ratio, you can either use:
- a framesize of 640 x 480 with letterboxing
- or, use a reduced height (e.g., 640 x 360 for 16:9 aspect ratio)
  Framerate of 24 fps, 25 fps or 29.97 fps (i.e., standard PAL or NTSC framerates only)
  Pixel aspect ratio of 1:1 only
  All other video codecs (e.g., 3ivx, Divx3, etc.) are not permitted even if they have passing decoding compatibility with DivX or XviD.


Audio specifications
  Allowable audio codecs
  - MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio (MP3) is recommended - CBR (constant bitrate only)
  - Dolby Digital AC3
  - monoaural (MP3 and AC3)
- stereo (MP3 and AC3)
- multichannel 5.1 (AC3 only)
Sampling depth: 16-bit only
  Sampling rate: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz only
  The recommended minimum audio setting is MP3 128 kbit/s CBR, stereo, 16-bit audio sampled at 44.1 kHz
    note: unfortunately, the included Windows MP3 ACM codecs only allow low quality settings.  Fortunately, you can download and install the free LAME MP3 ACM codec which give a much wider range of settings.  Installation instructions are here.
  All other audio codecs (e.g., MP3 Pro, DivX audio/WMA, Ogg Vorbis, etc.) are not permitted


Language specifications
- The competition will be judged from the point of view of an English language audience.  Although you can use any language you wish for vocals and subtitles, please keep this in mind.
- Films in a non-English language and not understandable to an English language audience may be summarily disqualified from the competition.


23, August 2005
(c) vitualis Productions, Michael Tam
vitualis (at) michaeltam.com (anti-spam device - replace (at) with @)