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Even in a world where Creative Commons exists, it always seems like there is not enough quality royalty-free material for us in the multimedia field. Thankfully, there are several places out on the Internet that hear the cries of every starving artist.
Today, MakeUseOf offers four little-known multimedia authoring tools for your next production. What we have here is the junk drawer of your virtual artistic toolshed, and whether you are a video-maker, a graphic designer, or an audio engineer, these sites are sure to help.
Movietools is a rare gem that every video artist should know about. With an array of over 140 video loops consisting of backgrounds, virtual studios, lower thirds, and moving objects, you will never be at a loss for your next presentation.
File formats are only Windows Media Video files, so if you’re running a Mac OS, you might want to check out a free media converter. However, if you are willing to shell out a few extra bucks, you should look at the AVS Video Converter.
All files from Movietools are made in 848×480 for 16:9 scaling and 640×840 for 4:3 scaling. Also, the lower third and moving object loops have been pre-keyed for your video-editing software.
As mentioned before by MakeUseOf, the Freesound Project is a collectively growing community that donates sound files for you to insert into your media project. With nearly 116,000 files to date, there is nearly an endless supply of royalty-free sound.
As a given, each file is under the Creative Commons 1.0 Sampling license, and credit is required for each sound creator. Also, each file comes in the format of the user’s choice, so again, it might be good to find a sound file converter such as AudioExpert if you plan on using this online tool seriously.
Another little feature offered by Freesound is theopen-source programming library. This bit of open-source software allows you to write the FreeSound library into your own video or audio editing software.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Freesound Project focuses primarily on sound bits rather than music. It is possible that you will find music on here, but it is more likely to be a simple recording of a live performance at a parade or a festival of some sort.
Taking a cue from the Library of Alexandria, the Internet Archive is an attempt to digitally archive media files that includes moving images, sound files, photographs, texts, and pretty much anything that you can use to absorb information. That being said, it also offers a variety of media sources that can be used on your next project.
Not surprisingly, this site incorporates a great deal of downloadable media that is open to the public domain or is royalty-free. However, this is not to say that all of the media on this site is for you to put your hands on. Each file has its own specific license, and many of these incorporate Creative Commons. Make sure to check both the sidebar and the bottom half of each media page to find exactly what the creator or submitter allows. Some licenses are visible, but others are not.
Whether you want to add some explosive transitions to your PowerPoint speech or a few action-packed sequences to your latest video project, the pyromania boys at Detonation Films have enough napalm and shrapnel to satisfy the Michael Bay in all of us.
Detonation Films is the ultimate zone for stock video of explosions, rockets, bullet holes, and more. Although many of their videos are for sale, there are a whole lot of freebies for you to download.
Most videos utilize a simple black background which can be done away with using a luma or screening effect, but there are a few with chroma-key green and even pre-keyed clips to easily layer on top of your source video.
In addition to their main site that is full of 4:3 video clips, there is also DetFilmsHD which offers a few pricier, yet sexier, hi-definition explosions.
Hopefully, these sites will aid you in your next big production whether it be a presentation at a conference, an audio mix, or the latest YouTube viral video. Visit them often, for they are constantly updating their material.
What kind of other sources of free media do you know about? Have you ever used any of these sources before with your own projects? What types of projects have you made using them?
Image credits: jppi