Customer FAQs

Using the Site

What is the best browser for viewing your site?

We recommend Chrome, Safari, or Firefox for best results. 

Can I search for clips and photos simultaneously?

Unfortunately you can’t, but it’s simple to search across both categories. In the search bar, enter your search term and select either Video or Photo, then hit Enter or click the magnifying glass. To search for the same term in the other product category, toggle to that category and click the magnifying glass. 

How do I use and share folders?

Folders let you save clips and photos to review or share. When you first sign up, your default folder is created, titled “[Yourname]’s folder.” When you click “Save to folder” from any thumbnail or product detail page, the content is saved to your default folder.

You can create new folders from your Folders page by clicking “New folder.” After creating new folders, they appear as choices when you click “Save to folder” from any thumbnail or product detail page.

To share a folder, click “Share this folder” from your Folders page. Enter the email address (separate multiple addresses with a comma) and a message if you’d like. Recipients may not edit or delete the folder contents; it is read-only. 

How do I save a clip or photo?

You must be signed in to save clips and photos. If you’re viewing search results, mouse over a thumbnail and click “Save to folder.” If you haven’t set up custom folders, the content will be saved to your default folder. If you have other folders set up, you can select which folder you’d like to save to. You can also save to folders from the product’s detail page. 

How can I tell the difference between a video clip and a photo when they’re in a folder?

The video clip includes the length of the clip displayed on the preview.  


Your Account

Why can’t I sign in?

Double-check the email address you used to sign up. If you have forgotten your password, click “Forgot password?” on the sign-in panel and we will send you a new one via email. Questions? Contact customer service.  

I can’t remember my password. What now?

If you’ve validated your account but forgotten your password, you can request a link to reset your password, or contact customer service and we'll help you reset it. 


Using the Clips and Photos

I need a low-res video file. Why can I buy only HD video clips?

We want to provide the highest quality source files, wherever you end up using them. This gives you more editing and cropping options even when exporting at a lower resolution.  

I’d like to test the media before I buy. Can I download a comp or preview?

Yes. To download comps, sign in to your account. From any clip or photo page, click “Download comp.” Select which file you'd like to download. The comp will download to the folder you have designated in your browser preferences.  

Why does my downloaded video clip or photo have the Dissolve watermark on it?

You have likely downloaded the comp version. You can find your purchased clips and photos under My orders in your menu. 

Are the video files compatible with my editing program?

Clips are provided in MP4, MOV, or AVI containers, in their native ProRes, DNxHD, XDCAM, and DVCPRO codecs; or H.264 codecs. Comps are provided as 1280 x 720 H.264 .MOV files. If you need your clip in a different codec or format, please contact customer service 

How can I convert video files from one format to another?

We recommend HandBrake, a free video transcoder that you can download. It lets you convert from most common containers to ones suitable for most applications.  

How do I find out the print size for a photo?

Below the image, you’ll see “Choose a resolution,” which provides the specs for each size. Generally 600px is 8” x 5” @72dpi, 2400px is 8” x 5” @300dpi, and 4800px+ is 17” x 11” @300dpi. (And flopped for portrait, naturally.) 

What size photo do I need?
Best used for:
Small Social media, websites, and mobile apps.
Medium Blogs, small print pieces, and digital use.
Large Brochures, magazines, and catalogs.
X-Large Large printed posters and banners.
XX-Large Original file. Large backdrops, and digital displays.



General licensing

See our Licensing 101 page for a handy overview of release and licensing issues. For complete license information, read the Dissolve Content License Agreement. 

What do “royalty-free” and “rights-managed” mean?

When you buy stock footage and photography from Dissolve, you actually license the right to use it in your projects in the ways described by each product’s royalty-free or rights-managed license.

Royalty-free (RF) clips and photos may be used for an unlimited number of projects and mediums, for unlimited duration, worldwide. The advantages: versatility and convenience.

Rights-managed (RM) video clips are available for license per-project, defined by a combination of medium (such as advertising, television show, or film), usage (such as theatrical, festival rights, online advertising), scale (region or target audience), and duration (i.e., one year or the life of the project).

Why does my downloaded video clip or photo have the Dissolve watermark on it?

You have likely downloaded the comp version. You can find your purchased clips and photos under My orders in your name menu. 

How can I use the clips and photos? Are they cleared for commercial use?

The majority of the clips and photos on the site are cleared for commercial use. These clips have model and property releases, and thus may be used in virtually any commercial or editorial context, including:

  • commercials for online or broadcast use
  • documentary or journalistic videos
  • feature-length and short films
  • explainers and corporate videos
  • web sites and digital media
  • video games and software applications
  • broadcast teaser (in-context promotion)
  • product packaging or CD or DVD art
  • print or digital advertising
  • business letterhead and other stationery

If you wish to include clips in software template, allow more than a single user in your organization to use a clip and have indemnification up to $100K, you must purchase an extended license for an additional $99 each. Choose the premium license for additional indemnification of up to $500K for $199.

If you wish to include photos in a product for resale or allow more than a single user in your organization to use an image, you must purchase an extended license for an additional $99 each. Choose “Extended royalty-free” for the license.   

Do I need to credit Dissolve in my work?

While we’d love it if you spread the word about us, there’s no requirement to attribute Dissolve in your work.  

Making a Purchase

How do you protect my credit card information?

We use Braintree for all credit card processing. Braintree provides encrypted and secure processing. You do not need a Braintree account to make a purchase.  

Can I save my payment information?

At this time, we don’t keep any credit card information on file.  

I clicked Process Payment and the page wouldn’t load. Was I charged? How do I get my clip?

To see if your order has been processed, check your "Orders" under your name menu. It may take several minutes for your download to become available. Once you’ve purchased a clip or photo, you can download it as many times as you want. If you’re still having problems, contact customer service 

Technical Issues

I can’t find my downloaded products on my computer. Where are they?

Downloads typically go to a download folder specified by your browser. Check your download folder or try searching your computer by the clip or photo’s filename. 

When I click “Download H.264” on a video clip, the clip only plays in a new window. How do I download it?

Depending on your preview settings, the file may automatically launch in your media player once downloaded, but it should also be in the location you saved it to. 

Can you help me with a technical issue in my editing program?

Because there are so many programs out there, it’s hard to be an expert in all of them. Still, please email us your question and we’ll do our best to help. 

About 4K H.264 transcoding

For certain 4K H.264 transcode of original files, there is a chance the the file will play back as entirely black frames in QuickTime, and or appear to be corrupt in the VLC video player application. Please note, these files should be usable and play back correctly in professional grade applications such as Adobe Premiere and FinalCut Pro. 


I would love to be a Dissolve contributor. How do I make that happen?

Great! We’d love to hear from you. To find out more about becoming a contributor, visit our Contributor site. We are accepting applications for exclusive and non-exclusive content for both video and photos. 


Unavailable Products

Why are certain clips and photos unavailable?

From time to time, Dissolve or its contributors may need to remove products from our site for business or licensing reasons. If you previously purchased or downloaded such a clip or photo, you may contact us to find out more information. 

Customer Service

I can’t find what I’m looking for. What now?

Our customer service team is happy to provide free research. We’ll comb through our collection to find the right video clips or photographs, then send you the results, usually within one business day.

To get started, submit your request or call 800 518 6748. 

If you want to give it another kick at the can, try these search tips. To narrow your search, use NOT (all caps) before each term you want removed from your search. You can also use the filters on the left to sort by price, release status, resolution, orientation, and other options. To search for more than one term, use OR (all caps).

If you’re looking for footage and can’t find one shot that fulfills your needs, look for a couple that could be edited together for a similar effect. 

What is your refund policy?

Because you can preview clips, photos, and their specs before licensing, we do not offer refunds. If there are technical issues with an item you’ve downloaded, please contact us at 800 518 6748. We’ll send you a working file as quickly as possible. 

Clips used in Canadian television broadcast

We are required by the CRA to track clips used in productions or advertisements shown on Canadian television (other than those used solely for news programs).

This won’t affect the tax you pay on your purchase; we collect this information to track tax obligations by our contributors.  

Why do I keep getting error message 15005 when I try to process my order?

This is a PayPal error code that means the billing address you provided to us does not match the address associated with your credit card. Your billing address must match that of the credit card. Please double check that the address you have listed with your credit card matches the address you entered for your Dissolve account. We have an extremely sensitive system, so sometimes it's as simple as removing an extra space. 

How can I reach you?

You can call us at 800 518 6748, send an email, or live chat. We’re available 7:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. MST, Monday to Friday. If it’s after hours, please leave a message. We’ll get back to you the next business day. 


Still haven't found what you're looking for? Contact us.