The Artists' Studio is a place for you to make your animation available as ecards while getting visibility for yourself and your work, making money, and joining a community of like-minded creative folk! See our FAQ below.
HDgreetings/AWN Holiday PhotoInside Contest now closed. We'll announce the winners soon!
Artist Studio cards are now available at our Amazon.com co-branded site. Amazon customers are sending your cards with Amazon.com Gift Cards as a more personal, fun alternative to a gift card on its own. In fact, we helped Amazon make it into Forbes Top 10 list of Gift Cards to Buy!
Many of our artists' cards are now available at American Greetings. We will be submitting additional Valentine's and Birthday content soon.
We have officially opened up the ability to create Photo Inside animations to all artists (2d, 3d and stop motion animation and live action video)! We've posted full documentation, sample animation that you can learn from, and a tool allowing you to test that everything is working properly. It may seem intimidating but we've had lots of submissions and hear that it was much easier than expected. Already, many of these cards are among the most successful on the site! The documentation is at an open wiki site which means we encourage you to make comments, changes or add samples yourself if you like. Visit http://wiki.hdgreetings.com/artists.
- Get paid based the performance of your card
- Showcase your talent on www.hdgreetings.com and our syndication partner sites (includes American Greetings and our Amazon.com co-branded site)
- Get exposure to companies wanting to commission work
- Retain copyrights to your work (unless you accept an offer to buy those rights)
- Test your concepts with users
- Send your own content to friends, family and businesses as a super cool HDcard. Be one of the few artists to demo your work on an iPhone.
There are many ways to create great content for HD Greetings - 3d animators, stop motion artists, 2d animators and graphic programmers can all create cards. 3d animators can use any 3d software, such as 3ds Max, Softimage, Maya and Lightwave. For 2d artists, any content authoring program can be used including Flash. For programmers, DirectX using C++, C#, or VB.Net can be used.
The reason all of these techniques can be used is that the final format we accept from you is video, which can be output using any of the above methods. See below for details on output format.
Think 'high quality digital video.'
We're really thinking of the above as a "master," from which we will create different formats and levels for web users based on their bandwidth connection and computer speed. You only have to worry about the master- the rest is automated on our site.
- Length: 10-45 seconds, ideally 10-20
- Video format: our first choice is uncompressed AVI (straight RGB) in a .zip file or .7z file. Second choice is high quality MP4 (H.264). If you don't have these options, contact us and we'll find a way to work with what you have available.
- Resolution: the higher the better! Our first choice is 1080p (1920x1080) or 720p (1280x720). Second choice is 720x404, third choice is 600x338. Having the HD resolution allows us to highlight your work in more places- for example when we create a Blu-Ray disc to feature artists.
- Aspect ratio: Should be 16:9 but if you don't have it we'll letterbox for you.
- Frame rate: 24 frames per second is preferred but we will accept 30fps.
- Bit rate (compression): Our first choice is any lossless compression. Second choice is a high bit rate. Check your export options and choose the highest "bit-rate" available to you.
We want to remove as many hurdles as possible to working with you. You retain the copyrights to your content. If a customer would like to use your content for a marketing campaign or if HDgreetings would like to buy the rights to your work, we will make you an offer and you will have the choice to accept or reject that offer.
We want to make it easy for both users and companies to find your work! Companies are seeking compelling and innovative content for viral marketing campaigns and they may wish to commission a custom ecard or use one of your existing cards on their site. This is already the case for a number of artists in our community.
This is how your name and work will appear on our site:
- We feature up-to-the-minute artist rankings based on ecard usage. You have the chance to judge yourself against your peers and learn what resonates with users.
- We have an ecard category titled Browse By Artist. Within that category, we list each individual artist name. Users can click on a name to see all of the cards by that artist as well as any or all of the following: a photo, some text about the artist and his/her work and contact information and a demo reel. Here's an example.
- Your name will be included on the ecard preview page so that users can find more of your cards.
We do not allow watermarks because it interferes with the user experience and the enjoyment of the ecard. We think they would be less willing to send an ecard with a watermark.
You will collect 50% of the net advertising revenue (if we offer advertising) and 20% of the subscription revenue at www.hdgreetings.com associated with your ecard. Most PhotoInside concepts and high end animation will be in the premium category that earns subscription revenue. You will get a check once your earnings have reached $100. We will make all payments by PayPal, which is now available in 190+ countries.
In addition, we syndicate our content to other websites which will benefit the community by bringing us a share of the revenue from those sites or traffic. Each of those deals is negotiated separately. In cases where there is a revenue share from the site, we will share a percentage with the artist based on the performance of his/her cards. We aim to have you create several videos and monetize those same videos in multiple places! American Greetings is one example of our syndication deals.
Concepts and Content
We're most interested in concepts, styles and themes that resonate with users. As we expand our catalog and attract more users, together we'll start to learn what works. Keep in mind that we want to attract a broader audience than existing ecard sites. We expect to attract people who are bored with the existing content and are looking for something new and of higher quality, something they can be proud to send.
Here are some learnings from existing ecard sites that may still be helpful:
- Seasonal Traffic: We know that ecard sites tend to get peak traffic in late November through mid January (driven by Christmas/ Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and Thanksgiving) and again in February (Valentine's Day). Halloween, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day are also big ecard sending holidays.
- Top Everyday Occasions: Birthday is by far the biggest non-seasonal ecard sending occasion. Other occasions include Thinking of You, Thank You and Just Because.
- Styles that Work: there's always a place for 2 types of cards- warm/sentimental and funny. 'Big hit' cards and viral marketing content are often clever, funny and character-based but our holiday cottage cards are really successful as paper card replacements during the holidays. Examples of successful ecards or viral marketing content include OfficeMax ElfYourself, Jibjab Snowball Fight, American Greetings Singing Chins cards and the Hallmark Hoops & Yoyo line.
- International visitors: A lot of the traffic to ecard sites is from outside of the US, much of it from non-English speaking countries. We welcome themes and content that that will attract visitors from all countries.
We have now officially opened up the ability to create Photo Inside animations to all artists (2d, 3d and stop motion animation and live action video)! We've just posted full documentation, sample animation that you can learn from, and a tool allowing you to test that everything is working properly. It's easy to learn and PhotoInside cards tend to ourperform the rest. The documentation is at an open wiki site which means we encourage you to make comments, changes or add samples yourself if you like. Visit our Wiki.
If you don't have music for your clips, we can provide it. Please just let us know if there's a certain style you have in mind when you make your submission.
If you do have music or other audio, we cannot accept it unless you have full rights to it.
We've learned that text is very important- particularly if it's clearly tied to a certain occasion (e.g. it's a Halloween ecard and you want to add "Happy Halloween") or if the text is an important part of the overall design. If the card might be used for a number of occasions, we suggest creating versions with different text. We will put your ecard in all relevant categories.
Get in on the ground floor and submit today. We have just launched our beta site and expect our traffic to ramp up quickly. Be one of the first artists highlighted on our site and receive a greater share of exposure to companies interested in creating custom cards!
To get started, please send us examples of your work in one of these ways (in order of preference):
- Email us a link where your content can be viewed
- Email us a file less than 6mb in Quicktime (.mov), Windows Media (.wmv), or Flash
- Use our Submission Page to upload something larger or in a different video format directly to our server (there is no size limit but we prefer that you compress them into zip or rar files)
Once your content is approved, we will ask that go to our Submission Page and follow the 3 step process for final submission which includes:
- Submit your file via the large file uploader (no size limit)
- Submit some information including (all optional): a paragraph about yourself including contact info you'd like to make public, a photo, a demo reel, and title(s) for your ecard(s)
- Note: please send audio in a separate file if possible
- Note: we can provide music if you don't have any
Questions? Ask them here.