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UMBC Video Guidelines

Video Branding Assets

Download this zip archive to get all branding assets listed below:
UMBC Presents logo [.png]
UMBC logo [.png]
UMBC footer ribbon [.png]
UMBC Presents fade with sound [.mov]
UMBC fade with sound [.mov]

All UMBC videos should open with either the “UMBC Presents logo” or “UMBC Presents fade with sound.”

The logos with the .png extension are semi-transparent and can be used over existing video. They should be centered in the middle of the screen, as shown below:


The UMBC footer ribbon should be used periodically throughout the video, to show the UMBC logo. It is placed at the bottom of the screen behind any caption, subject names and titles. See below:


Any text used over the UMBC footer ribbon should adhere to the typography guidelines. Note: If the video author’s computer does not have Avenir installed, Roboto may be used as a substitution [download here].

Using Video Branding Assets

The following instructions are for use with Adobe Premiere.

1) Start a new project. The settings below are for a Panasonic AVCCAM camera, and can be adjusted for any kind of camera.


2) Import the desired UMBC branding assets into Adobe Premiere.


3) Add the asset to the video timeline. In Adobe Premiere, assets placed on the timeline will be centered in the middle of the scene. This works for the standard “UMBC” logos and the .mov files, but the footer ribbon will need to be adjusted, as shown in the following steps.

Select the ribbon graphic and drag to insert on the Adobe Premiere timeline:



As stated, the ribbon will be centered in the scene:


Open the effects controls panel. The position of an asset can be modified under “motion.” With the ribbon asset selected on the timeline, click and drag on the value to change the position on the Y-axis:


This will push the ribbon to the bottom of the screen.


Add subtitles & closed captions

It’s important to produce videos that are accessible to everyone. Subtitles and closed captions make video content accessible to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers, and can also help ensure videos are understandable to hearing audiences when they autoplay without sound on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

YouTube offers several approaches to adding subtitles & closed captions.

  1. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.
  2. Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.
  3. Select Subtitles and CC.
  4. Click the Add new subtitles or CC button.
  5. Choose how you want to add or edit subtitles or closed captions to your video.

Create subtitles or closed captions

You can create new subtitles or closed captions from scratch or edit drafts in progress. Check out YouTube’s video on creating subtitles and closed captions or follow these instructions:

  1. Choose the language for the subtitles or closed captions you want to create. Use the search bar to find languages that don’t automatically show in the list. If you’ve already started working on a language, you can select it from My drafts.
  2. In the draft for the language you want to work on, play the video. If your fans have added updates since your last version, you’ll see a “Your fans submitted an update” notice at the top of that language draft’s screen.
  3. When you get to the part where you want to add something, type your content into the box. Don’t forget to add text describing other sounds happening in the video. For example, you can add sounds like applause or thunder as [applause] or [thunder] so viewers know what’s going on in the video.
  4. If you need to, adjust when the caption starts and ends by dragging the borders around the text under the video.
  5. Repeat this process for all the spoken words in the video. If you don’t have time to finish the whole video, your changes will be saved in your drafts and you can pick up again later.
  6. When you’re done, select Publish.

To speed up your work, you can also use these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Enter: Add the subtitle.
  • Shift + space: Pause or play the video.
  • Shift + left arrow: Seek back five seconds.

Upload a file

If you have a subtitle and closed caption file, you can upload it to your video. These types of files contain both the text and time codes for when each line of text should be displayed. Some files also include position and style information, which is especially useful for deaf or hard of hearing viewers.

Before you start, make sure that your file type is supported on YouTube.

  1. Choose the language for the subtitles or closed captions you want to create. You can use the search bar to find languages that don’t automatically show in the list.
  2. Select the Actions menu.
  3. Select Upload a file and choose the type of file you have to upload.
  4. Select Choose file > Upload.
  5. Use the editor to make any needed adjustments to the text and timing of your new subtitle or closed caption.
  6. Select Publish.

Transcribe and set timings (original video language only)

You can transcribe your video and automatically line up your text with the speech in the video. A transcript contains the text of what is said in a video, but no time code information, so you need to set the timing to sync with your video.

Note: Since the transcript text is automatically synchronized to your video, the transcript must be in a language supported by YouTube’s speech recognition technology and in the same language that’s spoken in the video. Transcripts are not recommended for videos that are over an hour long or have poor audio quality.

  1. Choose the language for the subtitles or closed captions you want to create. You can use the search bar to find languages that don’t automatically show in the list.
  2. Select Create new subtitles or CC.
  3. Underneath the video, click Transcribe and set timings.
  4. Type all of the spoken audio in the text field. If you’re creating closed captions, make sure to incorporate sound cues like [music] or [applause] to identify background sounds.
  5. Click Set timings to sync your transcript with the video.

Setting the timings can take a few minutes. While you wait, you’ll be brought back to the video tracklist. Once it’s ready, your transcription will automatically be published on your video.

Tip: Check out YouTube’s tips for creating transcript files.

Automatic captioning and captioning services.

YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. If automatic captions are available, they’ll automatically be published on the video. Learn how to review, edit, or unpublish automatic captions.

You can use caption software to caption your video yourself or have a captioning service do it for you. To connect with a captioning service that the university regularly works with, contact

Video Hosting

UMBC uses the official UMBC Life YouTube account to host videos. See the social media guidelines for more information about this channel and other outlets.

Here are recommended upload encoding settings for YouTube: bitrates, codecs, and resolutions.

Container: MP4

  • No Edit Lists (or the video might not get processed correctly)
  • moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)

Audio codec: AAC-LC

  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
  • Sample rate 96khz or 48khz

Video codec: H.264

  • Progressive scan (no interlacing)
  • High Profile
  • 2 consecutive B frames
  • Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
  • Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
  • Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0

Frame rate

  • Content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded.
  • Common frame rates include: 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second (other frame rates are also acceptable).
  • Interlaced content should be deinterlaced before uploading. For example, 1080i60 content should be deinterlaced to 1080p30, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second.


Note that the bitrates below are recommendations for uploads. Audio playback bitrate is not related to video resolution.

Recommended video bitrates for uploads

Type Video Bitrate, Standard Frame Rate
(24, 25, 30)
Video Bitrate, High Frame Rate
(48, 50, 60)
2160p (4k) 35-45 Mbps 53-68 Mbps
1440p (2k) 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
1080p 8 Mbps 12 Mbps
720p 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
480p 2.5 Mbps 4 Mbps
360p 1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps

Recommended audio bitrates for uploads

Type Audio Bitrate
Mono 128 kbps
Stereo 384 kbps
5.1 512 kbps

Resolution and aspect ratio

YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If you are uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player. If you want to fit the player perfectly, encode at these resolutions:

  • 2160p: 3840×2160
  • 1440p: 2560×1440
  • 1080p: 1920×1080
  • 720p: 1280×720
  • 480p: 854×480
  • 360p: 640×360
  • 240p: 426×240

The YouTube player automatically adds black bars so that videos are displayed correctly without cropping or stretching, no matter the size of the video or the player.

For example, the player will automatically add pillarboxing to 4:3 videos in the new 16:9 widescreen player size. If the player is re-sized (i.e. when embedded on another website), the same process takes place so that 16:9 videos are letterboxed when the player is sized to 4:3. Similarly, anamorphic videos will be automatically letterboxed when shown in either 16:9 or 4:3 sized players. The player can only do this if the native aspect ratio of the video is maintained.

You can adjust the fit of your video in our player after uploading your video by using formatting tags.

If letterboxing is added to a video before it is uploaded (i.e. in the case of creating a 4:3 video from a 16:9 master), the widescreen player will add pillarbox bars too, resulting in black bars all around the video (windowboxing) and a bad viewing experience (see the diagram below).

How to do it

Upload a 16:9 video at its original aspect ratio (1280×720 recommended) Video fills the YouTube widescreen 16×9 player. Nice job!
Upload a 4:3 video at its original aspect ratio (640×480 recommended) Video is displayed in the widescreen player at the right size and ratio with pillarbox bars. Looks good!

How not to do it

Add letterbox bars to the top and bottom before uploading so the video fits a 4:3 player The YouTube player adds pillarbox bars left and right to the 4:3 video fit widescreen. Bars surround the video.