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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the resolution and frame rate of the downloadable packs? 

A. All of our clips are 1920x1080 (1080p) at 29.97 (sometimes called 30) fps.

 

Q. How big are the downloadable files and how long will they take to download?

A. You must have access to a high-speed internet connection to download our files.  Dial-up will not work.

The file size of each product should be listed on its product information section, but on average each of our downloadable products are around 1.2 GB.  Yes, that’s a little over a gigabyte or 1200 megabytes.

Depending on your internet connection a file that size can download in as little as 20 minutes to as much as 2-3 hours.  If you order multiple products or one of our combo packs you will be downloading for a while so please be patient.  Our downloads come from very fast sources so you’re really at the mercy of your own internet connection.

 

Q. Do you offer a discount for educators? 

A. Yes!  We evaluate all requests from .edu email addresses on a case-by-case basis, but we will send you your own, limited time special discount code that applies to everything on the site.  Just shoot us a message here.

 

Q. Will the animated backgrounds work with my editing software?

A.  Yes!  Whether you’re doing professional broadcast editing or editing for personal, corporate, church, or web use, we’ve got you covered!

First, you MUST have QuickTime installed on your system.  Get it HERE.

TO MAKE EXTRA SURE YOU’RE ABLE TO USE OUR PRODUCTS IN YOUR EDITING SYSTEM WE ASK YOU TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE VIDEO BACKGROUND TEST FILES AS WELL AS OUR FREE VIDEO ELEMENTS TEST FILES BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR PURCHASE.

Download Free Test Files

NOTE: The test files are different than the free video backgrounds offered on the site so make sure you use the files above to test with.

 

Animated Backgrounds: 

Our animated backgrounds include 2 different movie file formats: QuickTime (.mov) and H.264 MPEG-4 (.mp4) for MAXIMUM compatibility without needing to first run the clip through some wacky “exporter” software.  We give you BOTH formats, ready to use in your editing application.

The QuickTime (.mov) versions of our files are compressed using high quality Photo-JPEG compression and are suitable for broadcast projects.  These files are much larger files than the .mp4 files.  The .mov files are recommended for use in Final Cut, After Effects, Sony Vegas, Sony Movie Studio HD, AVID (NOT AVID Studio, use .mp4), Motion, Digital Fusion, and Premiere Pro.

The MPEG-4 (.mp4) versions of the files, which are also included, are compressed using H.264 compression.  This format is much more compressed than the QuickTime files, but the .mp4 clips look good and may work better in some of the consumer-grade editing packages such as iMovie and AVID Studio.

 

Elements:

Our element packs are also known as overlays. Usually you place an element, like a lower third, on top of another video track on your timeline and the element and the video track below it get combined.  To do this, your element/overlay movie must contain what’s called an “alpha channel.”  This allows the editing software to “cut a hole” around the element or make it semi-transparent in places.  This allows you to see the video track beneath it.

To that end, we’ve created our Element Packs files using 32-bit JPEG-2000 compression.  This format provides excellent quality, a reasonable file size, and the ability to have an alpha channel.  Our elements files are ONLY available in QuickTime (.mov) format.  MPEG-4 (.mp4) files DO NOT allow an alpha channel so they are not included for elements.

Elements packages work great in Final Cut, After Effects, Motion, Sony Vegas, Sony Movie Studio HD, AVID, Digital Fusion, and Premiere Pro.

Some consumer-grade editing packages DO NOT SUPPORT movies with alpha channels.  Again, please try the test files (above) in your editing system before you purchase.

 

Q. The .mp4 animations look slightly different than the .mov QuickTime animations.  Is this normal?

 A. Yes.  This is due to the different compression types used.

 

Q. When using an Element animation, say an animated Globe, my editing/compositing system seems to slow down quite a bit when trying to playback the timeline.  Is this normal?

 A. Yes.  This is due to the JPEG-2000 codec that is used for all Element (overlay) animations such as animated globes, lower thirds, etc..  The JPEG-2000 codec allows us to embed an Alpha channel in the QuickTime file which is required for overlay elements.  It also allows us to create files that are 3 to 4 times smaller in size than the next best compression scheme and maintain high quality.  This makes manageable downloads possible.  As it turns out, the JPEG-2000 makes your machine work harder to decompress the animation than other codecs do, thus slowing down playback.  If this becomes an issue for you, we suggest you convert the animations to use either the PNG, Animation or Prores compression setting (Millions+ color depth).  This can be done on a PC using our Blox-o-Matic batch converter, or on a Mac using Compressor.

 

Q. How do I purchase and receive downloadable products?

A. When you find a downloadable product that you want to purchase, click the “Add to Cart” button.  When you’re in your cart and you can see all the products in your cart, hit the checkout button.  You can then enter your information such as your billing address, credit card number, AND VALID E-MAIL ADDRESS in our secure e-commerce system.  Again, we must have a valid e-mail address to send your download link!

Once your transaction is approved, usually right away, you will be sent an email to the address you provided that includes links to the files that you purchased.  These links are only for you and can only be used a few times and for a few days.  Click the link(s) provided to start downloading your products.

Each product you order will come as a zip file.  This single zip file contains all the animations for each product.  You’ll need to “unzip” the zip file to unpackage all the animations for that product.  On a PC you can usually right-click on the zip file and choose Extract from the shortcut menu.  Once you unzip the zip file, you’ll see all the animations in their own folder and they are ready to use in your editing application.

Once you have downloaded your products, back them up right away because as stated above, the links to your products expire in a few days.

 

Q. I didn’t back up my downloads like you said to!  Now I’ve had a computer disaster or just can’t find those insanely excellent files.  What do I do?  Help me 12 Inch Design, you’re my only hope!

A. Calm down.  Drop us an e-mail with your info. and we’ll make it all better.  Probably.

 

Q. What is your refund policy on downloads?

A. We really, really want to do right by our customers. But because of the nature of software products, we do not offer refunds on downloadable products. We go out of our way to insure our products are of high-quality, are thoroughly tested, and will work in a very broad range of editing systems.  We also provide test clips for customers to download prior to purchase to make extra sure the clips will work in their system.  We will do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.

 

Q. Are your products royalty free?

A. Yes. Buy them once and use them forever.  However, for broadcast uses we request that you include 12 Inch Design in your credits if possible.  That would be neat and we could point it out to our in-laws and gloat.

 

Q. Can I use your animations to make my own animation library to sell or give away?

A. No. No you cannot. That would be bad. Very, very bad.

 

Q. The animations stutter or don’t play back smoothly in my editing system or QuickTime Player. Is there something wrong with the files?

A. The files are fine and this can happen in almost any editing system.  Usually this is because you are working with HD material that has very low compression like our QuickTime files.  Low compression means high quality but it’s harder for your computer to play it back in real-time without stuttering.  Your editing system might need to “render” the clips too.  This is normal.  Once you export your edit, everything should play back smoothly.  If you really need smoother playback, try the .mp4 files that are included with our animated background products.

 

Q. But the footage from my video camera plays back smoothly, why won’t the animations?

A. Most video cameras today use a highly compressed format, or Transport Stream, to encode/decode their video.  Today’s editing systems are optimized to handle those formats.

 

Q. When I import elements from an Element Pack, I don’t see what’s under it in my timeline.  What could be wrong?

A. In some editing systems, such as Sony Vegas and Sony Movie Studio HD, you have to open the Properties of the video file (usually by right-clicking on it) and change the Alpha from None to Premultiplied.  In After Effects and Final Cut you should also make sure the Alpha is set to Premultiplied.

 

Q. I see a few elements that have “straight” in their filename.  What does that mean?

A. Some elements, falling snow for example, look better when they are imported with a “straight” alpha channel as opposed to a “premultiplied” alpha.  The name lets you know to change the alpha type in the properties of the clip when you import it into your editing system so it looks its best.

 

Q. I need to convert a QuickTime file into another file format.  How can I do that?

A. Most editing packages today will load our QuickTime files with no conversion required, but if you need to convert video files from one format to another here are some options:

QuickTime Pro – By Apple, Inc.

QuickTime Pro is $29.95 and basically just unlocks some features that are locked in the QuickTime Player you probably already have installed.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/

 

 

MPEG Streamclip – By www.squared5.com

Another free alternative converter is “MPEG Streamclip” for PC or Mac and can be found here:

 http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-win.html

 

Please follow the instructions included with the converters to convert your videos.

 

Q. Can these converters be used to convert QuickTime to WMV?

A. Sadly, no, but if you convert them to MPEG-4 H.264  format, you’ll probably be able to load them into practically any editing software.  But again, our downloadable backgrounds already include an .mp4 H.264 version of each clip so you would probably never have to do this.

 

Q. So how do I convert a QuickTime to a WMV?

A. Try Expression Encoder 4 from Microsoft.  There is a fully-functional free version.

Available here as of this writing:

http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it/Default.aspx

 

Q. When I play the .mp4 files back in Windows Media Player there is a black frame that flashes each time the animation loops.  Is this normal?

A. Unfortunately yes.  Windows Media Player doesn’t give you a smooth seamless loop when you play back videos in it.  There is nothing wrong with the animation file itself.

 

Q. Can I read the 12 Inch Design License agreement?

A. Sure, find it here:

 www.12inchdesign.com/12_Inch_License_Agreement.html

 

Q. How are other people using 12 Inch Design animations?

A. We have thousands of users using our products in a wide variety of ways.  Check out our buyer’s guide for more information.