Tutorial video for 'Video on Wikipedia' (how very meta!)

This page gives a very brief overview of how videos are used on Wikipedia.

Equipment for user-created videosEdit

To contribute, you will need access to a video camera and a computer with video editing software.

Additionally, please use stabilizing equipment (for example, a tripod) or a steady hand (less preferable). If you've done a reasonable but imperfect job at shooting your content stably, stabilization software is available.

Types of videosEdit

Most videos on Wikipedia fall into one of a few broad categories:

Snapshot-type videosEdit

Example of a snapshot-type video; drop of water freezing in a very cold environment

Snapshot-type videos illustrate a single action and are usually 30 seconds or shorter in length. An example may be a traffic signal changing. This is the easiest type of video to produce, but it is somewhat limited in what information it can convey.

Performance-type videosEdit

Example of a performance-type video; a man building a snowman

Performance-type videos are recordings of individuals performing an extended series of actions. Examples may include a musician playing a song or the activity of a wild animal. Videos of this type will usually only consist of one shot up to several minutes long. Stabilization is especially important for performance-type videos. Although performance-type videos may interpret the content of a page, the video content must enhance the encyclopedic value of the article, following Wikipedia:Image use policy#Content.

Summary-type videosEdit

Example of a summary style video (script)

Summary-type videos show a series of still images or short video segments with associated narration. They are often built with the VideoWiki tool; there is a tutorial and a sandbox for testing.

Tour-type videosEdit

Example of a tour-type video; Paris during the COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020

Tour-type videos shift between different views to illustrate different aspects of a subject, or to tell a kind of narrative story. An example is an architectural tour of a building. Videos of this type will usually consist of a sequence of several different shots, and can be up to several minutes long.

To create a tour-type video that is an overview of a particular subject, you should read through the article of the subject to find queues on aspects of the space that deserve attention in the video (e.g., the video of Grand Central terminal features the constellations on the ceiling and they are also mentioned in the article). Additionally, if the tour-type video is being made about a particular physical site, a short scouting trip may be helpful. Before you start shooting, look over available informational material on-site to find other shots you might want to include in the video.

Style guidelinesEdit

Shooting videoEdit

To ensure that these videos can be used by similar articles in other languages, do not provide commentary or narration when shooting video.

Videos on Wikipedia should be simple and clean. Some rough guidelines include:

  • No quick zooms or handheld walk throughs
  • Any movement within the frame (panning, tilting, or zooming) should be done slowly so that the viewer is able to focus on details
  • Get a reasonable balance between shots with and without movement

If you are recording a shot with no camera movement or zoom, do not record for less than 5 seconds. If you are zooming, be sure to record 3 seconds before the zoom and wait at least 3 seconds after you reach the end of the shot. The same guidelines for zoom shots also applies to any shot that has movement (panning or tilting). Buffers will help with the editing of the video.

Editing videoEdit

Using video editing software (see List of video editing software for options), import the video onto your computer to edit. Refer to instruction manuals for your specific software and camera to learn how to import and edit.

In the editing process of multi-shot videos, consider opening your video with a shot establishing the location of the site (for example, an establishing shot for a video of Grand Central Terminal could be of the front of the building with surrounding buildings).

Do not include narration or titles, which will render the video incompatible with similar articles in other languages, as stated previously. Additionally, do not include transitions or special effects (with the exception of image control effects), in order to support further re-editing.

When finished, export your video. When exporting, be sure to select any options that support web streaming.

Converting videoEdit

After exporting the video, you must convert the file to VP8 or VP9 in the WebM container or Theora in the Ogg container. VP9 is preferred for new uploads; however, do not convert from VP8 or Theora, as converting will reduce the quality. It is not necessary to reduce the size of the video; lower-resolution versions are generated automatically after you've uploaded a high-resolution video.

Uploading videoEdit

Visit Special:UploadWizard to upload videos. After uploading video, you will be given a link which you can insert into a Wikipedia page to embed the video you uploaded.

We recommend releasing your video using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


The process of embedding of videos on Wikipedia articles is similar to that for embedding images.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit