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Preparing Digital Visual Information (VI) for submission

Please read this before submitting DoD VI for the first time.

All visual information selects, including publicly released and For Official Use Only (FOUO), as defined in DoD Instruction 5040.02, must be submitted as a high-resolution file, complete with a caption and metadata, for archiving. This includes all VI of known or probable interest to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or any of the DoD services, as well as all VI used in DoD social media settings.

Do not alter official VI records in contravention of DoDI 5040.02, Enclosure 10, or Chapter 8 of the DoD Visual Information Style Guide.

Examples of required VI submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Current operations

  • Contingencies of all types

  • Major exercises, particularly joint and combined exercises

  • Deployment/redeployment of troops, equipment and weapons systems

  • Weapons systems in use (especially new systems)

  • Significant events that would be of interest to others

  • Major accidents

  • Major construction projects, from start to finish

  • Daily life in the military, particularly for deployed forces

  • Any original VI used in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (Note: VI used in social media MUST be properly released by an authorized release authority, such as a PAO or designate)

LogoWhat do you need to know?

Do this first:

Set your camera date and time to your location.

Ensure all individual files are captioned, and accurate metadata entered, in accordance with the DoD VISG.


  • Only submit the high-resolution versions of VI.
    • Do not submit social media versions of VI, as they are automatically reduced to a much lower resolution.
    • Still photos should be in JPEG format.
    • Video products should be Quicktime or MPEG-4/H.264 (full HD).

  • Ensure individual photographers and videographers have a VISION ID and use it correctly.

 Digital Stills


  • Ensure all individual files are captioned and metadata is recorded in accordance with the VISG.
  • Still photos must be sent as high-resolution JPEG files.
    • Quality level: 10 or higher
    • Format Options: Base Optimized
    • Filename: Use the VIRIN as the filename. This must match the VIRIN entered in the IPTC metadata.

  • Entering IPTC Content.
    • This is a critical point; when media files are posted, the processing automatically takes embedded International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) and/or XMP header information from the files and indexes the metadata and VI into a fully searchable database.

    • A captioning cross-reference that lists the names of fields in many popular applications and the data required for each field is available in the Metadata Cross Reference section of the DoD Visual Information Style Guide.

 Digital Video



  • Ensure all video products have embedded caption and metadata information in accordance with the DoD Visual Information Style Guide.

  • Slates and form DD2537 are no longer required for video products. (If slates are used, metadata must still be embedded)

  • B-roll must remain unedited and provide sufficient lead and trailer for inclusion in other products.

  • Edited productions should be sent in completed form. All b-roll clips used to create the product should be sent separately.

  • Format: Quicktime or MPEG-4/H.264
    • Resolution: 1920x1080 (Full HD)
    • Pixel Aspect ratio: Square pixels
    • Field Order: Progressive
    • Frame Rate: Up to 60 fps
    • Bit rate: 2-Pass Variable Bit Rate; 3,000 kbps (for low bandwidth capability) or 10,000 kbps (for high bandwidth capability)

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