creating content - the basics

Production Specifications

Your messages can incorporate still images, animation or full motion video. Sound is also an option. Motion is more effective capturing attention. We suggest you use it. Most graphic designers can create a static ad, saved as a jpg file. Slide shows and simple animations are relatively easy and economical to produce.

Video ads be uploaded when saved as avi or mov files and compressed with a codec such as DIVX or XVID.

Following are details & suggestions for creating your ad or message.

Creating still images

  1. Use any design program that can save your file as a JPEG.
  2. Set up your image size as 848 pixels (wide), by 480 pixels (tall), (or the dimensions that match the screen onto which the image is to be displayed). 848x480 is a widescreen aspect ratio used on large flat panel displays. If your program only sets up in inches, the conversion is 11.778” wide x 6.667” high at 72dpi, which equals 848 pixels x 480 pixels.
  3. Set the color space to RGB.
  4. Create your message as you wish, importing graphics and photos.
  5. When you are finished, save your ad as a JPEG file. You are now ready to logon to the system’s scheduling website to upload and schedule the appearance of your ad(s). If you require assistance, please email lfpcraig1@msn.com

Creating video images

The following instructions are most helpful for those utilizing a PC. MAC users will have various options (i.e. saving as MOV) depending on which editing tools used. It’s best that we connect you with our creative tech specialists who will help you dial in the right settings based on the editing tools you will be using.

  1. Create in any program that will enable you to save/convert as an AVI file.
    Setup your projects to a size of 848 pixels x 480 pixels (or the dimensions that match the screen onto which this video is to be displayed). Video editing programs like Adobe Premier Pro can edit, save and compress. Other software may require extra steps.
  2. If you can not save as an 848 x 480 file with your video editing program, then export finished project as uncompressed AVI file to retain maximum quality.
    Open it in a program like VirtualDub (free download: http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net) to resize it.
  3. Encode video with Xvid codec:
    After selecting the Xvid codec from your video options, edit the codec settings and choose the following:
    • Profile @ Level – “(unrestricted)”
    • Encoding Type – “Single Pass”
    • Target quantizer (if the button says “Target bitrate (kbps)”, click on it)
      • Use the slider to select the quality level, or enter it in the box o You will achieve the best quality if you
        don’t go any higher than a value of “3”
      • “3” obtains decent quality and a small file size o “2” obtains high quality with a slightly larger file size
      • “1” obtains the highest possible quality and a large file size. There is rarely a perceptible difference
        between “1” and “2”, so a setting of “2” is recommended.
    • All other settings can be left on default.

    OR

    Encode video with DivX codec:
    After selecting the Xvid codec from your video options, edit the codec settings and choose the following:
    • Disable "DivX Certified Profile"
    • Encode Mode - "1-pass quality-based"
    • Quantizer
      • You will achieve the best quality if you don’t go any higher than a value of “3”
      • “3” obtains decent quality and a small file size
      • “2” obtains high quality with a slightly larger file size
      • “1” obtains the highest possible quality and a large file size. There is rarely a perceptible difference between “1” and “2”, so a setting of “2” is recommended.
  4. Audio
    If Audio is available on the display, and you decide to use audio, with your video, please make sure it uses the following settings:
    • Compression – MP3 (recommended) or WAV
    • Sample Rate – 44.1kHz (recommended) or lower
    • Bitrate (if MP3) – 96kbps, 128kbps (recommended), 160kbps or 192kbps

Power Point presentations can be compatible and used on the system once saved as a DivX AVI video file. Here is one software tool ($50) that converts Power Point PPS to AVI: PowerPoint to Video. A top-end PPS conversion tool is: Presentation to Video Converter 5.9 , at about $200

Tip:
Pure white is often too bright on these screens. When using white as a background, consider adding a slight tint of color, or if you must use white, use RGB values of 245 Instead of 255.
Tip:
Length of message: If your screen time is for 10 seconds or less, consider using billboard copywriting guidelines. The viewer will not be able to recall your full street address, zip code, phone number and website. What is most important for them to remember? Company name? Special feature? Images and general location (e.g. on Victoria’s Inner Harbour)?
Download Links
Download links for Xvid:
Windows
Mac OSX
Mac 8/9

Download link for DIVX
Download the “Community Codec”, or the “Pro Codec”. The “Pro Codec” gives you more control over the encoding process, but is a 15-day trial and then costs $20. The “Community Codec” is free.
Note:
If your file is a bit too long for the amount of time reserved, the system will automatically trim frames from the end. If your file is too short, it will hold and play the last frame until the time is used up.