A video editor needs an extensive library of footage, graphics, music, sound effects and more. There are many places on the Internet to acquire these elements. Below is a list of paid and free resources that I use. Hopefully they are of help to you. If there are any others that you would recommend, add them to the comments below!
Pond5 is made for the video professional. It offers footage, photos, After Effects templates, music, sound effects and more. A useful feature is Download a Preview. You can download a low-resolution watermarked clip to add to a project in order to see if it fits.
After Effects templates are beneficial to have in your library as well. If you pick a few unique text animations, introductions, slideshows, etc. you can easily manipulate them to put your own spin on them for custom projects. The templates offered on Pond5 have a competitive price and the quality is sure worth it.
The quintessential go-to site for many graphic artists and video editors is Shutterstock. Shutterstock offers photos and footage of essentially everything. They offer a subscription based plan for downloading photos and a pay-as-you-go method for photos and footage. Footage is offered in a variety of resolutions including 1920 X 1080 HD.
This is one of the pricier sites, but it offers a library of excellent quality media. Investing in a one month subscription of photo downloads is a smart option if you are trying to build your own library from scratch. Grab the allotted amount per day for the length of the subscription. Download photos of scenic backgrounds, people, graphics, logos and icons because they always come in handy!
iStockphoto is similar to Shutterstock. It offers footage, photos, illustrations and audio. You can pay per file or by credit. One cool feature of iStockphoto is that each file shows you information on how many times it’s been downloaded. The pricing seems to be on par to slightly higher than Shutterstock.
Videvo offers free stock footage and motion graphics. Well, almost free. In return for downloading, the site asks you to share a link on Facebook or Twitter saying that you used them. This is optional, but ethical for the downloader. Not everything shown on the site is free however. Certain clips are links to other sites such as Shutterstock where you have to pay for the media.
Videoblocks is another pay site, but they offer a free seven-day trial to download anything on the site up to a certain amount of files each day. The only catch to the trial is that you have to give your credit card information before starting. If you do not cancel after the seven days you will get charged the $79 monthly fee for unlimited downloads. The quality of their footage is not always top-notch but they offer several useful After Effects projects, backgrounds and music.
Rampant Design Tools
Rampant Design Tools makes royalty free stock elements, after effects templates, royalty free music and sound effects, stock photos & textures, vector imagery, and the list goes on. Their products have a range of prices, and there are frequent sales. A good place to get started and see what will work for you is the $.99 sampler pack. What sets them apart is the quality and creativity of their tools. A couple of their products were reviewed earlier this year on this blog.
Premiumbeat is a pay site that is focused on providing high quality exclusive tracks and sound effects that can't be found anywhere else. They maintain a close relationships with their team of composers and hand pick each song that ends up in their library. By being selective about which tracks are included in the library, they can save you some time searching for the right one. The pricing and licensing model is simple, so there’s no guesswork as to what license you need for your project.
Jamendo is a free online music library that offers unlimited downloads of its music. Each file has a specific Creative Commons license, which tells you how to attribute the music. Certain files do cost money. Jamendo offers an exhaustive library of music in many languages.
Sound Jay is a free sound effects and music site. Most files are 16 bit stereo 44.1 kHZ or 48 kHz. They offer a wide selection of everyday sound effects including categories such as communication sounds, human sound effects, house and domestic, and nature sounds. Downloads are completely free and do not require attribution.
The public domain is a fantastic place to find historical photos, footage, music and more. There are many organizational and government sites such as Archive.org and the Library of Congress that offer public domain media. At times the quality can be questionable and it’ll take some digging to find what you need. Also, licensed Creative Commons media in the public domain can be found through http://search.creativecommons.org, which will direct you to sources like Flickr, Google, SoundCloud, Wikimedia Commons and more.
There are numerous resources available to start putting together your stock library. Footage, photos, music, sound effects, and After Effects projects are essentials. What else do you keep in your library? What sites do you use?