Proper format & camera size for animation festival

Hi, I have submitted a couple of animated cartoons to festivals but I’m not sure if they are in the right camera size and format for viewing at festivals? Can you help? Thanks

You can actually make anything any size, but it’s best to use standard frame sizes because then you know things are going to play back properly at the festival.

Of course, the larger the frame size, the larger the file size, so your delivery method (DVD, ftp upload, portable hard drive) and the length of the project may help you make that decision. If you have a full length feature that’s full cinema size, you’re going to need a coupe external hard drives to send it to the festival. If your piece is 5 minutes or less, and in HD (or HDTV) you can ship it on a data DVD.

Some quick standards (note everything is 72 DPI)

NTSC SD - 720 x 480 (4:3)
HDTV - 1280 x 720 (16:9)
Full HD - 1920 x 1080 (16:9)

There are MANY MANY more ‘standard’ frame sizes out there, like for PAL, or for Cinema, or DVCPro, but these have worked best for me. With the HD sizes, I can export the project for YouTube, DVD playback, even mobile devices and maintain the aspect ratio (no squishing or stretching).

Most festivals are very happy to accept an MOV file that can be generated right from TB. If you’re worried about the file size, I’ve had great success with the H.264 codec. But - if you have no problems with file size, you would usually use the Animation codec. Some people swear by Sorensen, or ProRes, but I’ve never used those so I can’t speak about them.

What I normally do in TB is work with the project in 854x480 to save processing speed while in production. Then when time comes for final export, I resize the project 1920x1080. TB automatically scales everything perfectly - lets see Flash do THAT!

There’s really no point in doing anything SD anymore, unless you know for a fact that your work will be played back only on an old tv and/or VCR. And I don’t know of any festivals that are still in the ‘dark ages’ like that.

Hope this helps! Good luck!