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Video Standards

Videos produced by UTHealth tell stories, educate, market, fundraise, and recruit for our schools, programs, institutes, centers, departments, clinics, and affiliates to the university community and public. A consistent visual presentation promotes UTHealth as Texas’ resource for health care education, innovation, scientific discovery, and excellence in patient care.

These standards apply to professionally produced videos; they do not apply to short, live videos created through social media platforms Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, et al. Please see UTHealth social media standards for guidance on social media platforms.


University Policy

All UTHealth students and employees must follow HOOP Policy 6 - Photographic, Audio and Visual Recording.

All students and patients featured in university-sponsored videos must fill out university media consent forms.

A notice of photography must be posted at any event or gathering where video recording will take place. Here is recommended language:

  • Long version to be used in copy:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. If you do not want to be photographed or recorded, please alert the photographers and videographers before the event starts. Thank you.
  • Short version for on-site signage:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. Thank you.

Video holds viewer attention, enabling a stronger and deeper connection with the audience.

Video Essentials

UTHealth logo

Use of any version of a UTHealth logo in videos should be consistent with UTHealth logo standards. The standard configuration must be a minimum of 72 pixels wide, and the horizontal configuration must be a minimum of 90 pixels wide, at a screen resolution of 72 dpi. The color options for the logo will depend on the background. Please use our color tool to select and download the color option and file format needed.

Visual identity and editorial standards

All videos must adhere to UTHealth color, typography, and editorial standards.

Please ensure adequate contrast between the text and the background for legibility. Do not use any filters on text such as drop shadows, outlines/strokes, glows, etc., as the text may not render well in video format.

Video-specific standards

Verify that you have the rights to use third-party images, video, and sound recordings/music. Do not use third-party images or sound recordings/music for which you have not cleared the rights. Use assets that are appropriate to the tone of the video. Use royalty-free music or create your own composition using readily available software. If the story is upbeat, use happier music with a faster pace. If your story is more introspective and heartfelt, use music that strikes a more serious tone and a slower pace.

If you have any questions about copyright or other intellectual property rights, as they relate to UTHealth communications, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

  • Third-party images and music

    Verify that you have the rights to use third-party images, video, and sound recordings/music. Do not use third-party images or sound recordings/music for which you have not cleared the rights. Use assets that are appropriate to the tone of the video. Use royalty-free music or create your own composition using readily available software. If the story is upbeat, use happier music with a faster pace. If your story is more introspective and heartfelt, use music that strikes a more serious tone and a slower pace.

    If you have any questions about copyright or other intellectual property rights, as they relate to UTHealth communications, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

  • Closed captioning

    All videos produced by UTHealth must be captioned for the hearing-impaired.

    YouTube offers the ability to automatically create or add closed captions to any video you upload to their site. The captions are generated by algorithms and will require editing. Alternately, you can add open captions to videos by placing subtitles on the top layer of your project in your video editing application.

    If you need assistance adding captions to a video that you are not uploading to the web, contact the Office of Public Affairs.

  • Video specifications
    • Resolution: 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high, 16:9 screen ratio
    • Codec (if applicable): H.264
    • Frame rate (if applicable): 29.98 frames per second
    • Clean, external audio source

UTHealth Multimedia Library

Video assets are available in the UTHealth Multimedia Library using your university-issued credentials. Users outside of the university may request access by contacting the Office of Public Affairs.

These resources are available for all UTHealth communications projects created to promote the university, including those created by UTHealth students and employees, or approved projects hired out to a third-party vendor.

Video assets

Title cards

A title card template with the university or school name and the title of the video should be used at the beginning of each video. The title card template (background only), should also be used, if needed, to display data or bullet point information within the video. Other animated or motion-based title card templates can be used at the beginning and within each video as long as final appearance adheres to UTHealth typography and color standards.

Title card examples

Title card example 1

Intro/outro logos and bug

It is important that a video created on behalf of UTHealth be clearly identified as a UTHealth production. An official university or school logo must be used at the end of each video. A “bug,” or on-screen, slightly transparent tapestry logomark, should appear in the lower right corner throughout the entire video.

Intro/outro logo examples

Intro/Outro Logo Example GIF Image 1
Intro/Outro Logo Example GIF Image 2
Intro/Outro Logo Example GIF Image 3
Intro/Outro Logo Example GIF Image 4

Bug examples

Bug Example GIF Image 1
Bug Example GIF Image 2

Lower third graphics

Lower third graphics identify people and locations in your video. Despite the name “lower third,” this graphic rarely takes up a third of the screen and should be positioned in a way that displays both the interview subject and the relevant information. Lower thirds for an interview subject or location only need to be included on first appearance in the video. Names and titles in lower thirds must be accurate and spelled correctly. Use full names and academic degrees for each interview subject per UTHealth editorial standards. If the interview subject has more than one title, choose the one most pertinent to the story (research, education, or clinical). Keep the title readable in a short time frame (at least 5 seconds, depending on the amount of content for the viewers to read).

Lower third examples

Lower Third GIF Example Image 1
Lower Third GIF Example Image 2

Video Best Practices

Planning

  • Plan your goals and objectives for creating the video.
  • Determine the necessary time, skills, and resources. If you don’t have proper filming and editing equipment, you may need a budget to hire a production company to create your video.
  • Plan how to distribute and promote your video once completed.
  • Measure effectiveness in achievement of your goals. Video distribution platforms, like YouTube, have free, built-in reporting tools that allow for measurement of traffic and user interest for your video.

Equipment

Camera: All videos must meet high-resolution specifications.

Tripod: A tripod is essential for steady shots. One with a “fluid head” is required for panning the camera across a scene. A tripod and external microphone go a long way in producing a quality video. Handheld cameras can make your viewers “seasick,” and built-in camera microphones often make for muddy audio. Both of these are especially important for interview setups.

Microphone: Sound quality will improve drastically when using an external microphone instead of the camera’s built-in microphone. Use a clean, external audio source such as a boom or lavalier microphone. When using a lavalier microphone, take care to ensure clothing does not rub against the microphone.

Lights: Shooting indoors will require adequate video lighting equipment. Lighting is a key component of any quality video. Good lighting will keep your images crisp and in focus. If you don’t have access to a lighting kit, try to shoot outdoors or in a well-lit interior space.

Three stages of video production

There are three stages of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production is the planning stage, where you work out the logistics of the shoot and draft a script/storyboard. Production is the actual video shoot. Post-production is editing and delivering the video.

The best way to ensure that the production and post-production stages go smoothly is with thorough pre-production.

Basic checklist:

  • Define the goal of your video and how you will measure its success.
  • Define the story you want to tell.
  • Define your audience and where your video will be seen.
  • Define a timeline for the project.
  • Draft a storyboard.
  • Draft a script (if needed).
    • Use short sentences.
    • Write for the ear – not for the eye. You can be informal, use contractions, etc.
    • Read your script out loud to identify where to make changes.
  • Define your interview subject(s) and possible location(s).
  • Get subjects to sign the appropriate university media consent forms.
  • Confirm date and time of event or interview(s).
  • Scout possible locations, ensure there is good lighting, sound, and background.
  • Confirm filming details with location security team and UT Police if on the UTHealth or MD Anderson campuses.
  • Ensure that all your equipment is available and working properly: camera, camera card, batteries, microphone, cables, tripod, lights, and headphones.
  • Pre-production

    The best way to ensure that the production and post-production stages go smoothly is with thorough pre-production.

    Basic checklist:

    • Define the goal of your video and how you will measure its success.
    • Define the story you want to tell.
    • Define your audience and where your video will be seen.
    • Define a timeline for the project.
    • Draft a storyboard.
    • Draft a script (if needed).
      • Use short sentences.
      • Write for the ear – not for the eye. You can be informal, use contractions, etc.
      • Read your script out loud to identify where to make changes.
    • Define your interview subject(s) and possible location(s).
    • Get subjects to sign the appropriate university media consent forms.
    • Confirm date and time of event or interview(s).
    • Scout possible locations, ensure there is good lighting, sound, and background.
    • Confirm filming details with location security team and UT Police if on the UTHealth or MD Anderson campuses.
    • Ensure that all your equipment is available and working properly: camera, camera card, batteries, microphone, cables, tripod, lights, and headphones.
  • Production

    Tips on getting good video footage during the production process:

    • When shooting outdoors:
      • Keep the sun behind you.
      • Position the camera and subject with the sun facing the subject.
      • Avoid using the sun as a harsh backlight.
      • When shooting indoors:
        • Watch for excessive light from windows in the background.
        • Avoid shooting against plain white walls.
        • Relocate interviews to a better-looking location if possible.
        • Avoid mixed light situations where possible (e.g., fluorescent lighting near a sunlit window, incandescent lighting mixed with LED lighting).
        • Use a tripod.
        • Use manual focus.
        • Set the white balance for each shot.
        • Interviews:
          • Set the camera on a tripod or have another person hold the camera. Have the interviewer stand directly next to the camera to ask questions.
          • If subject is being led by an off-screen interviewer, ensure there is time between the questions and answers for easier editing.
          • Use an external microphone. Do a sound/level check and use headphones to listen for background noise. If there is too much noise, find another location.
          • Allow sufficient head room so the subject’s head isn’t too close to the top of the frame. Adjust the camera height so that the lens is level with the subject’s face.
          • Do not angle the subject to face too far away from the camera.
          • Do not have the subject look directly into the lens during an interview unless the intent is to address the viewer.
          • Do multiple takes.
        • B-roll is footage that you place on top of interviews to visually represent an activity, location, people, scenarios, etc., to the viewer.
          • Prioritize gathering footage that relates to the story.
          • Avoid staying in the same camera position or sight line for too long. Move around the space and present the subject from a variety of vantage points.
          • Add a few seconds to the beginning and end of each take to help with editing.
          • Vary shot types, camera angle, focal length, and compositions for a more visually appealing segment.
          • Match camera movement and shooting style appropriately to the story’s tone.
          • If the story is fast-paced and upbeat, your b-roll shots should be as well.
          • If your story is more introspective and heartfelt, your b-roll should include slower, longer motions.
      • Post-production

        General considerations when editing your video:

        • How you process your video is important in maintaining the image quality. Use quality video editing software whenever possible and always try to edit in the video’s original format.
        • Use the script/storyboard as the blueprint for your video.
        • Don’t complicate your video with too much information. Keep it simple.
        • Keep in mind that one to three minutes is an optimum length for online video. If you must use a longer video, consider breaking it up into smaller, standalone segments.
        • Avoid flashy transitions and effects. Be creative, not kitschy.
        • Use royalty-free music or create your own composition using readily available software. Do not use third-party images or sound recordings/music for which you have not cleared the rights.
        • Be sure to maintain the aspect ratio when editing/encoding your video files. If you shot the video in HD, but need to export it in a 4:3 format, don’t squeeze and distort the frames in the process.
        • Output the final video in MP4 format, which can be played by most media players and mobile media devices.
        • All videos produced by UTHealth must be captioned for the hearing impaired.
          • YouTube offers the ability to automatically create or add closed captions to any video you upload to their site. The captions are generated by algorithms and will require editing. Alternately, you can add open captions to videos by placing subtitles on the top layer of your project in your video editing application.
          • If you need assistance adding captions to a video that you are not uploading to the web, contact the Office of Public Affairs.

        If you have a question or need someone to review your video in order to ensure compliance with university standards, contact the Office of Public Affairs.