Glossary

We feel that if our clients and customers speak our language (a.k.a. "online video speak"), we can produce a better product that matches or exceeds their expectations. Because the mix of video production and technology terms can be a bit confusing, we created this glossary to help you better understand the landscape of Internet video.
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NTSC

A video standard created by the National Television Standards Committee that is used in the U.S., Canada and Japan.


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AV Monitor

A TV monitor used on set during shoots and in post-production houses
with audio and video inputs that allow it to display picture and sound. AV monitors are more more trusted than computer screens when assessing how a video will look on TV monitors. There are certain standard settings for brightness, color and saturation on AV monitors that should be adjusted.


Assembly

A rough stage of an edit where selected video clips are placed in the order but left untrimmed.


Artifacts

Defects in a video image such as pixelation, dots along the edge of graphics
or color rainbows around striped or herringbone patterns. Artifacts can be created during shooting because of faulty or reused tape stock, during capturing because of faulty decks, or in post-production during video compression.


Action Safe Area

As of 2007 most television stations and networks will place information within this area. This area can be considered the “margin” of the television screen in that picture elements are generally kept out of this area to create a buffer around the edge of the screen so elements don’t butt up against the edge of the screen.


Aperture

Also called the F-stop, the aperture is a measure of the width of the opening inside a lens that allows light into the camera. Lower number f-stops or wider apertures (i.e. f-stop 2.0) allow in more light while high number f-stops or smaller apertures (i.e. fstop 8.0) allow less light in but can create larger depth of field.


Boom

An extendable pole used with an attached shotgun microphone to record sound by hanging the microphone and boom pole over the audio source or speaker.


Betacam

A high quality, expensive camcorder cassette. This videotape format records at high tape speed and records separate colors, resulting in high quality images.


Barn Doors

An attachment fitted to the front of a fresnel lantern. The attachment has the appearance of a large set of barn doors, but in fact there are four leaves, two larger and widening on the outside, two smaller and getting narrower towards the outside.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Banding

An artifact effect where brightness or color gradients are separated into stripes in an image when it should look smooth. Banding occurs when not enough bits are used to represent samples of a picture.

courtesy of media.arstechnica.com


Backlight

A light set up behind a subject that is used to intensify the subject’s separation from the background. A backlight is used in conjunction with a key and fill light to create dimensionality of a subject.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Capture

To extract footage from a tape format and transform it into digitized clips that can be manipulated in an editing program such as Final Cut Pro. Capturing is one of the first steps in the editing process. Footage is captured using different kinds of decks depending on the specific tape format. For example, footage shot onto a mini-DV tape will be captured on a different type of deck than footage shot onto a Betacam tape. For HD, since cards storing digital information is used instead of tapes, clips are imported rather than captured.


Continuity

Most productions use a continuity supervisor to ensure that shots are set up to match one another. Keeping track of continuity is especially important when different parts of the same scene are shot on different days. Supervisors keep aware of continuity in terms of scenery details, blocking, use of props, actors’ costumes as well as camera angles and lighting schemes.


Contrast

The relationship of dark or black parts of an image to light or white parts. A high contrast image will have deep blacks and very white whites. A low contrast image will have less range between dark and light, black and white and details may not be as apparent. The contrast of an image can controlled by lighting, how much light is used in a scene and how objects are lit. Contrast can also be controlled in film by using high contrast or low contrast film stock. The settings on a monitor on which an image is being viewed will also affect how one perceives the contrast of an image.


Contrast Ratio

A measure used for video displays, the contrast ratio is the ratio of the brightest white level to that of the darkest color (black) in the image. A 1000:1 contrast ratio, for example, indicates that the brightest white is 1000 times brighter than the darkest black. Generally, the greater the contrast ratio, the better the image’s dynamics.


Cutaway

An interruption of a continuous action with a shot of something else. Using cutaways allows editors to avoid jump cuts. It is usually followed by a cutback to the first shot. For example, if the main shot is of a man walking down an alley, possible cutaways may include a shot of a cat on a nearby dumpster or a shot of a woman watching from a window overhead. It’s most common use in dramatic films are to adjust the pace of the main action, to conceal the deletion of some unwanted part of the main shot, or to allow the joining of parts of two versions of that shot.


dB (Decibel)

A logarithmic ratio that indicates audio signal amplitude and power.


Depth of Field

A range of distances between a lens and an object that are in focus. Shallow depth of field will mean objects at close distances to one another will be into focus and objects in the foreground and background will appear out of focus. In contrast, wide depth of field means that many objects at different distances will all be in focus. Changing depth of field is created by using different length lenses.


Digibeta

A high quality tape commonly used in television production and also in high budget productions. S tapes are available with up to 40 minutes running time, and L tapes with up to 124 minutes. The Digital Betacam format records a DCT-compressed component video signal at 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 sampling in NTSC (720×486) or PAL (720×576) resolutions at a bitrate of 90 Mbit/s plus four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz / 20 bit PCM-encoded audio. A fifth analog audio track is available for cueing, and a linear timecode track is also used on the tape. It is a popular digital video cassette format for broadcast use. Its main competitor is the Panasonic DVCPRO50 cassette format.


Dissolve

A gradual transition from one image to another, used to soften jump cuts.


Down Conversion

Transforming video from high-definition format to standard definition.


EDL (Edit Decision List)

A detailed shot list that includes exact time codes for in and out points of clips to be used as well as notes about effects to be used and other details an editor will need to cut a video.


Field

Half of a frame of video in an interlaced system.


Focal Length

The focal length of the lens, usually measured in millimeters, is marked on the front or side of the lens. Focal length is the distance between the lens and the film, sensor or pinhole (depending on the type of camera) when the lens is focused at infinity. Focal length determines how the lens will magnify distant objects. For example, telephoto lenses have extremely long focal length and can magnify objects at a great distance from the camera.


Focus Shift

A camera technique in which you change focus between subjects at different distances in the same shot. Focus shift is also called racking focus and pulling focus and often is assisted.


Follow Focus

A technique to adjust focus in order to keep a subject in motion in focus while it moves towards or away from the camera. Follow focus also refers to a mechanical attachment mounted onto a lens that aids the camera operator in smoothly and precisely performing follow focus.


Fill Light

Used in conjunction with a key light, a fill light is positioned to lighten areas in shadow thereby reducing the contrast of a scene. Fill lights are one of three lights used in the standard three point lighting set up.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Gain

An adjustable setting on a camera that allows you to pick up more image, color saturation and contrast in a low-light environment. The drawback of using a high gain is that it creates digital noise in the image.


HD

High definition video that uses more pixels per frame to render an extremely sharp, high resolution image.


Interlacing

A system that reduces bandwith by half by using an upper and lower field to display each frame of video. One field carries even video lines while the other carries odd video lines. Interlacing is also used in computer graphics in order to display high resolution images on inexpensive monitors. Interlacing can causes flickering and can create jagged edges in parts of an image which can be smoothed out with deinterlacing filters in graphics software or video processing and compression programs.


Jump Cut

A cut between two images that have the same subject in similar but slightly different positions. Jump cuts are often considered unnatural and jarring to the viewer and convey an untraditional sense of the passing of time. More recently, jump cuts have become popular with newer editing aesthetics.


Key Light

The most important light used in a traditional lighting setup. The key light is positioned to create depth of form and dimension of the subject. In a standard three point lighting set up, turning off the key light and leaving the backlight and fill light can create a silhouette of the subject.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Legal Colors

Broadcast requires standardization of certain video characteristics. One such requirement is the range of legal colors. Specifically, values between 7.5 and 100 IRE units are considered broadcast-safe. Colors in this range display on common TV monitors and do not create artifacts such as audio noise and color smearing.


Light Meter

An electronic or analogue device that takes measures the amount of light and is used to determine proper exposure. The light meter uses ISO (or, for film cameras, the film stock’s light sensitivity) and the shutter speed to determine the appropriate f-stop or aperture setting. This reading is then set on the camera to capture an image with proper exposure.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Lighting Ratio

In a standard three point lighting set up, the lighting ratio is a ratio of the key light to the fill light. Lighting ratios are determined by using a light meter to take a reading of the illumination produced by one source while the other is blocked. Lighting ratios describe the amount of contrast in a lighting set up. A high lighting ratio indicates high contrast while a low ratio indicates low contrast.


Low Contrast Filter

A filter that is mounted on a lens to reduce contrast by lightening shadows.


Letterbox

Black bars, or mattes, above and below an image. Letterboxing is usually used to display images with widescreen aspect ratio on standard-width video formats while preventing distortion of the image. Some cameras offer an option to shoot in letterbox for aesthetic purposes.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Macro Lens

A lens that is optimized for shooting very small objects or for focusing objects extremely close to the lens.


Master Shot

A wide shot that captures all the action in one scene. Essential to having proper coverage of a scene, the master shot is usually the first set up shot during production.


Master Tape

The original and best-quality tape copy of the final edit. A master may also refer to the original tape on which footage was shot.


Match Frame Edit

An editing choice where shots of different length (close-ups, medium and wide shots, for example) with similar composition are intercut in order to create seamless movement within a scene. Careful attention to frame composition, the appearance of details in the environment, continuity in actors’ performances and rhythm of cutting on movement are key to pairing shots in match frame editing.


Neutral Density (ND) filter

A filter that reduces the amount of light passing through the lens. ND filters are commonly used in extremely bright outdoor scenes that make it hard to adjust aperture.

courtesy of flickr.com


NTSC

A video standard created by the National Television Standards Committee that is used in the U.S., Canada and Japan.


Opacity

In editing, opacity refers to the transparency or visibility of an image which can be manipulated. High opacity makes for less transparency while lowering opacity creates more transparency. Adjusting opacity is often used to superimpose multiple images so that one images underneath another image will show through.


Polarizer (Polarizing filter)

A filter that is used in bright outdoor settings to create more contrast and color saturation. Polarizers increase the color saturation of the sky and contrast between the sky and clouds while maintaining the color and brightness of the clouds. Polarizers are also used to reduce reflected sunlight or to cut out reflections when shooting reflective surfaces such as water, glass and windows.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Post-Production

The various production stages and media manipulation processes that follow shooting. Post-production includes editing video and audio, mixing sound and/or color correcting video. These services are provided by post-production houses.


Progressive

In contrast to the interlaced system, a progressive system has no fields and instead processes each line of a frame continuously from top to bottom. On some video cameras, 24 P refers to 24 fps Progressive, a video setting that mimics the look of film movie cameras.


Public Domain

Some creative works, archival material and songs fall under public domain, meaning that they are legally free to use without paying for rights.


Pixel

The smallest picture element (tiny squares or rectangles) that makes up a digital image. The higher the number of pixels per frame, the greater the visual detail and resolution.


Quicktime

A commonly used type of video clip that can be watched on a computer, imported to use in editing programs or converted into other video clip formats. There are several types of processors that create quicktimes including the popular H264 and Apple Pro Res. Quicktimes can be identified by the extension “.mov” attached at the end of the file name.


Rough Cut

A version of an edited segment that is between the assembly and the fine cut. The rough cut will be close to a fine cut with clips in the correct order but with a lot of fine-tuning left to do.


Rule of Thirds

This is a general rule used to make decisions about the composition of a frame. A frame is split into thirds horizontally and vertically across the frame with a total of nine sections. The rule of thirds says that the subject should never be dead center in the frame but instead one third from the top, bottom or edge of the frame.

courtesy of forums.bit-tech.net


Rendering

Certain digital clip formats and some post-production effects such as transitions require rendering or computer processing. Depending on the type of digital material or the effect, rendering can take a couple seconds or several hours.


Real Time

When an operation processes at the same speed as the running time of the material being processed, it is referred to as real time. For example, tape is digitized in real time, meaning that it takes the length of the tape in time to capture the entire tape.


Radio Mic

Also referred to as a LAV. A small, transportable microphone that uses radio frequency transmitters to send an audio signal from an input source to a separate receptor attached to a camera or a mixer. Radio mics allow a subject to move around and sound to be recorded without wires attaching the subject to a mixer or camera.

courtesy of videogear.co.uk


Saturation

The intensity of color in an image. A totally desaturated image will be black and white.


SECAM (Sequential Colour and Memory)

European video standard with image format 4:3, 625 lines, 50 Hz and 6 Mhz video bandwidth with a total 8 Mhz of video channel width.


Shot Sheet

A list of shots, numbered with relevant information such as scene heading, location, production information and description of shot used during production used to to keep track during shooting. The camera assistant is in charge of the shot sheet.


Shotgun Microphone

A long, skinny microphone that is connected to a camera or mixer to record sound. Shotgun mics are either mounted directly onto the camera body above the lens or they are connected to a boom pole operated by a sound recordist. Shot gun mics vary according to patterns of how the sound is picked up. Three models are omnidirectional, cardioid and super cardioid. The length of the metal extension on a shotgun mic can vary the distance at which sound is picked up but the type of microphone mechanism determines the directionality of the sound recording.

courtesy of wikipedia


Sound Bite

A piece of audio, usually taken from dialogue or an interview, that is selected during post-production.


Tilt

Camera movement up or down along a vertical axis.


Timeline

In a non-linear editing program such as FCP, the timeline is the area where shots are assembled and trimmed. The timeline features markers that indicate frames, seconds, minutes and hours and multiple tracks where image and audio can be placed.


Title Safe Area

The title safe area is a rectangular area that displays in a non-linear editing program. It indicates what part of the frame text and titles will be most visible in television broadcast. This allows editors to adjust text and titles placement to prevent any unwanted cropping.

courtesy of herrklein.com


Timecode

A unique number given to each video frame, comprising of hour, minutes, seconds and frames. Timecode is used to identify each frame as well as required for accurate editing.


Up-res

Although the resolution of an image cannot be increased above the original resolution, pixels can be interpolated to increase the number of pixels. The process of increasing the number of pixels is called Up-res.


Voice Over

Dialogue, narration or interview clips that are paired in editing with separate imagery to visually accompany or illustrate the audio.


Widescreen

A frame that is wider than the broadcast dimensions of 4:3 apsect ratio. Most commonly, widescreen refers to a 16:9 aspect ratio. It can also refer to the film dimensions of 1.85:1 or 2.35:1.

courtesy of demystifyingdigital.com


White Balance

The process of adjusting the color tint in camera recording so that objects which appear white to the naked eye are rendered white in an image. White balancing ensures that other colors do not appear strangely or unnaturally tinted.

courtesy of digitalshotguide.com


Zoom

On a camera, zoom refers to changing the frame size from wide angle to close up or close up to wide angle. A zoom can be achieved in post-production with tools that allow an editor to move closer into a part of a frame with smooth motion or go from a small part of a frame to a wider part of the frame.


Action Safe Area

As of 2007 most television stations and networks will place information within this area. This area can be considered the “margin” of the television screen in that picture elements are generally kept out of this area to create a buffer around the edge of the screen so elements don’t butt up against the edge of the screen.


Aperture

Also called the F-stop, the aperture is a measure of the width of the opening inside a lens that allows light into the camera. Lower number f-stops or wider apertures (i.e. f-stop 2.0) allow in more light while high number f-stops or smaller apertures (i.e. fstop 8.0) allow less light in but can create larger depth of field.


Artifacts

Defects in a video image such as pixelation, dots along the edge of graphics
or color rainbows around striped or herringbone patterns. Artifacts can be created during shooting because of faulty or reused tape stock, during capturing because of faulty decks, or in post-production during video compression.


Assembly

A rough stage of an edit where selected video clips are placed in the order but left untrimmed.


AV Monitor

A TV monitor used on set during shoots and in post-production houses
with audio and video inputs that allow it to display picture and sound. AV monitors are more more trusted than computer screens when assessing how a video will look on TV monitors. There are certain standard settings for brightness, color and saturation on AV monitors that should be adjusted.


Backlight

A light set up behind a subject that is used to intensify the subject’s separation from the background. A backlight is used in conjunction with a key and fill light to create dimensionality of a subject.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Banding

An artifact effect where brightness or color gradients are separated into stripes in an image when it should look smooth. Banding occurs when not enough bits are used to represent samples of a picture.

courtesy of media.arstechnica.com


Barn Doors

An attachment fitted to the front of a fresnel lantern. The attachment has the appearance of a large set of barn doors, but in fact there are four leaves, two larger and widening on the outside, two smaller and getting narrower towards the outside.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Betacam

A high quality, expensive camcorder cassette. This videotape format records at high tape speed and records separate colors, resulting in high quality images.


BetaSP

SP stands for “superior performance”. This popular videotape format is an improved version of Betacam and it is downwardly compatible with Betacam.


Boom

An extendable pole used with an attached shotgun microphone to record sound by hanging the microphone and boom pole over the audio source or speaker.


Capture

To extract footage from a tape format and transform it into digitized clips that can be manipulated in an editing program such as Final Cut Pro. Capturing is one of the first steps in the editing process. Footage is captured using different kinds of decks depending on the specific tape format. For example, footage shot onto a mini-DV tape will be captured on a different type of deck than footage shot onto a Betacam tape. For HD, since cards storing digital information is used instead of tapes, clips are imported rather than captured.


Color Temperature

Depending on the source of light used to light a scene, every image has a color tint either on the reddish or blueish spectrum, called the color temperature. The color temperature of different light sources is measured using a scientific temperature scale called the Kelvin scale. A scene lit with natural, outdoor light, for example, will have a blue color temperature and that natural light has a high range of 5,200 to 12,000 degrees Kelvin, but will average 5,600 degrees Kelvin. A scene lit with incandescent lights will have a yellow or orange color temperature and those lights will have a low range of 2,800 to 3,400 degrees Kelvin, usually averaging 3,200 degrees Kelvin. While the human eye automatically adjusts in different light to see perceive white objects as white, videocameras must be adjusted in different light by setting the white balance. Proper adjustment of white balance will create images with accurate color ranges. Neglecting to set the white balance while shooting in different lighting conditions (moving from an indoor to an outdoor scene, for example) may result in an image appearing too blue or too red.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Continuity

Most productions use a continuity supervisor to ensure that shots are set up to match one another. Keeping track of continuity is especially important when different parts of the same scene are shot on different days. Supervisors keep aware of continuity in terms of scenery details, blocking, use of props, actors’ costumes as well as camera angles and lighting schemes.


Contrast

The relationship of dark or black parts of an image to light or white parts. A high contrast image will have deep blacks and very white whites. A low contrast image will have less range between dark and light, black and white and details may not be as apparent. The contrast of an image can controlled by lighting, how much light is used in a scene and how objects are lit. Contrast can also be controlled in film by using high contrast or low contrast film stock. The settings on a monitor on which an image is being viewed will also affect how one perceives the contrast of an image.


Contrast Ratio

A measure used for video displays, the contrast ratio is the ratio of the brightest white level to that of the darkest color (black) in the image. A 1000:1 contrast ratio, for example, indicates that the brightest white is 1000 times brighter than the darkest black. Generally, the greater the contrast ratio, the better the image’s dynamics.


Cutaway

An interruption of a continuous action with a shot of something else. Using cutaways allows editors to avoid jump cuts. It is usually followed by a cutback to the first shot. For example, if the main shot is of a man walking down an alley, possible cutaways may include a shot of a cat on a nearby dumpster or a shot of a woman watching from a window overhead. It’s most common use in dramatic films are to adjust the pace of the main action, to conceal the deletion of some unwanted part of the main shot, or to allow the joining of parts of two versions of that shot.


dB (Decibel)

A logarithmic ratio that indicates audio signal amplitude and power.


Depth of Field

A range of distances between a lens and an object that are in focus. Shallow depth of field will mean objects at close distances to one another will be into focus and objects in the foreground and background will appear out of focus. In contrast, wide depth of field means that many objects at different distances will all be in focus. Changing depth of field is created by using different length lenses.


Digibeta

A high quality tape commonly used in television production and also in high budget productions. S tapes are available with up to 40 minutes running time, and L tapes with up to 124 minutes. The Digital Betacam format records a DCT-compressed component video signal at 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 sampling in NTSC (720×486) or PAL (720×576) resolutions at a bitrate of 90 Mbit/s plus four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz / 20 bit PCM-encoded audio. A fifth analog audio track is available for cueing, and a linear timecode track is also used on the tape. It is a popular digital video cassette format for broadcast use. Its main competitor is the Panasonic DVCPRO50 cassette format.


Digitize

The process of converting analog video or audio into a digital format that can be used by a computer. (ex. capturing footage from tape formats onto a computer hard-drive or external hard-drive in preparation for editing.)


Dissolve

A gradual transition from one image to another, used to soften jump cuts.


Down Conversion

Transforming video from high-definition format to standard definition.


Drop Out

Brief loss in image or audio resulting from a defect in tape stock such as missing magnetic particle coating or the presence of tape debris. The result is white specks or streaks appearing in the image.


Drop Shadow

A graphic effect used to position a shadow on the edge of text that will make it look three dimensional. Drop shadow often makes text much easier to read.


DV (Digital Video)

A high quality digital video cassette format (includes miniDV & DVCam)


DVCPRO

A tape format based on DVC that has a wider track and faster tape speed in order to record more data and reduce compression.


EDL (Edit Decision List)

A detailed shot list that includes exact time codes for in and out points of clips to be used as well as notes about effects to be used and other details an editor will need to cut a video.


Field

Half of a frame of video in an interlaced system.


Fill Light

Used in conjunction with a key light, a fill light is positioned to lighten areas in shadow thereby reducing the contrast of a scene. Fill lights are one of three lights used in the standard three point lighting set up.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Focal Length

The focal length of the lens, usually measured in millimeters, is marked on the front or side of the lens. Focal length is the distance between the lens and the film, sensor or pinhole (depending on the type of camera) when the lens is focused at infinity. Focal length determines how the lens will magnify distant objects. For example, telephoto lenses have extremely long focal length and can magnify objects at a great distance from the camera.


Focus Shift

A camera technique in which you change focus between subjects at different distances in the same shot. Focus shift is also called racking focus and pulling focus and often is assisted.


Follow Focus

A technique to adjust focus in order to keep a subject in motion in focus while it moves towards or away from the camera. Follow focus also refers to a mechanical attachment mounted onto a lens that aids the camera operator in smoothly and precisely performing follow focus.


FPS (frames per second)

The number of frames, or complete images, produced per second by a camera. Commonly used FPS is 29.97 or 30 in video and 24 in film cameras. HD cameras have 60, 120, 300 and even 600 FPS settings that allows for incredibly smooth and precise slow motion shooting.


Gain

An adjustable setting on a camera that allows you to pick up more image, color saturation and contrast in a low-light environment. The drawback of using a high gain is that it creates digital noise in the image.


HD

High definition video that uses more pixels per frame to render an extremely sharp, high resolution image.


Interlacing

A system that reduces bandwith by half by using an upper and lower field to display each frame of video. One field carries even video lines while the other carries odd video lines. Interlacing is also used in computer graphics in order to display high resolution images on inexpensive monitors. Interlacing can causes flickering and can create jagged edges in parts of an image which can be smoothed out with deinterlacing filters in graphics software or video processing and compression programs.


Jump Cut

A cut between two images that have the same subject in similar but slightly different positions. Jump cuts are often considered unnatural and jarring to the viewer and convey an untraditional sense of the passing of time. More recently, jump cuts have become popular with newer editing aesthetics.


Key Light

The most important light used in a traditional lighting setup. The key light is positioned to create depth of form and dimension of the subject. In a standard three point lighting set up, turning off the key light and leaving the backlight and fill light can create a silhouette of the subject.

image courtesy of Wikipedia


Legal Colors

Broadcast requires standardization of certain video characteristics. One such requirement is the range of legal colors. Specifically, values between 7.5 and 100 IRE units are considered broadcast-safe. Colors in this range display on common TV monitors and do not create artifacts such as audio noise and color smearing.


Letterbox

Black bars, or mattes, above and below an image. Letterboxing is usually used to display images with widescreen aspect ratio on standard-width video formats while preventing distortion of the image. Some cameras offer an option to shoot in letterbox for aesthetic purposes.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Light Meter

An electronic or analogue device that takes measures the amount of light and is used to determine proper exposure. The light meter uses ISO (or, for film cameras, the film stock’s light sensitivity) and the shutter speed to determine the appropriate f-stop or aperture setting. This reading is then set on the camera to capture an image with proper exposure.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Lighting Ratio

In a standard three point lighting set up, the lighting ratio is a ratio of the key light to the fill light. Lighting ratios are determined by using a light meter to take a reading of the illumination produced by one source while the other is blocked. Lighting ratios describe the amount of contrast in a lighting set up. A high lighting ratio indicates high contrast while a low ratio indicates low contrast.


Low Contrast Filter

A filter that is mounted on a lens to reduce contrast by lightening shadows.


Macro Lens

A lens that is optimized for shooting very small objects or for focusing objects extremely close to the lens.


Master Shot

A wide shot that captures all the action in one scene. Essential to having proper coverage of a scene, the master shot is usually the first set up shot during production.


Master Tape

The original and best-quality tape copy of the final edit. A master may also refer to the original tape on which footage was shot.


Match Frame Edit

An editing choice where shots of different length (close-ups, medium and wide shots, for example) with similar composition are intercut in order to create seamless movement within a scene. Careful attention to frame composition, the appearance of details in the environment, continuity in actors’ performances and rhythm of cutting on movement are key to pairing shots in match frame editing.


Neutral Density (ND) filter

A filter that reduces the amount of light passing through the lens. ND filters are commonly used in extremely bright outdoor scenes that make it hard to adjust aperture.

courtesy of flickr.com


NTSC

A video standard created by the National Television Standards Committee that is used in the U.S., Canada and Japan.


Opacity

In editing, opacity refers to the transparency or visibility of an image which can be manipulated. High opacity makes for less transparency while lowering opacity creates more transparency. Adjusting opacity is often used to superimpose multiple images so that one images underneath another image will show through.


PAL

A video system used in the UK, Europe and Australia. PAL stands for Phase Alternating Line. It is a color-encoding system that alternates phase color information on the video signal line by line so as to correct phase errors in broadcast signal transmission. PAL TV sets do not need manual settings for hue control.


Pixel

The smallest picture element (tiny squares or rectangles) that makes up a digital image. The higher the number of pixels per frame, the greater the visual detail and resolution.


Polarizer (Polarizing filter)

A filter that is used in bright outdoor settings to create more contrast and color saturation. Polarizers increase the color saturation of the sky and contrast between the sky and clouds while maintaining the color and brightness of the clouds. Polarizers are also used to reduce reflected sunlight or to cut out reflections when shooting reflective surfaces such as water, glass and windows.

courtesy of Wikipedia


Post-Production

The various production stages and media manipulation processes that follow shooting. Post-production includes editing video and audio, mixing sound and/or color correcting video. These services are provided by post-production houses.


Progressive

In contrast to the interlaced system, a progressive system has no fields and instead processes each line of a frame continuously from top to bottom. On some video cameras, 24 P refers to 24 fps Progressive, a video setting that mimics the look of film movie cameras.


Public Domain

Some creative works, archival material and songs fall under public domain, meaning that they are legally free to use without paying for rights.


Quicktime

A commonly used type of video clip that can be watched on a computer, imported to use in editing programs or converted into other video clip formats. There are several types of processors that create quicktimes including the popular H264 and Apple Pro Res. Quicktimes can be identified by the extension “.mov” attached at the end of the file name.


Radio Mic

Also referred to as a LAV. A small, transportable microphone that uses radio frequency transmitters to send an audio signal from an input source to a separate receptor attached to a camera or a mixer. Radio mics allow a subject to move around and sound to be recorded without wires attaching the subject to a mixer or camera.

courtesy of videogear.co.uk


Real Time

When an operation processes at the same speed as the running time of the material being processed, it is referred to as real time. For example, tape is digitized in real time, meaning that it takes the length of the tape in time to capture the entire tape.


Rendering

Certain digital clip formats and some post-production effects such as transitions require rendering or computer processing. Depending on the type of digital material or the effect, rendering can take a couple seconds or several hours.


Rough Cut

A version of an edited segment that is between the assembly and the fine cut. The rough cut will be close to a fine cut with clips in the correct order but with a lot of fine-tuning left to do.


Rule of Thirds

This is a general rule used to make decisions about the composition of a frame. A frame is split into thirds horizontally and vertically across the frame with a total of nine sections. The rule of thirds says that the subject should never be dead center in the frame but instead one third from the top, bottom or edge of the frame.

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Saturation

The intensity of color in an image. A totally desaturated image will be black and white.


SECAM (Sequential Colour and Memory)

European video standard with image format 4:3, 625 lines, 50 Hz and 6 Mhz video bandwidth with a total 8 Mhz of video channel width.


Shot Sheet

A list of shots, numbered with relevant information such as scene heading, location, production information and description of shot used during production used to to keep track during shooting. The camera assistant is in charge of the shot sheet.


Shotgun Microphone

A long, skinny microphone that is connected to a camera or mixer to record sound. Shotgun mics are either mounted directly onto the camera body above the lens or they are connected to a boom pole operated by a sound recordist. Shot gun mics vary according to patterns of how the sound is picked up. Three models are omnidirectional, cardioid and super cardioid. The length of the metal extension on a shotgun mic can vary the distance at which sound is picked up but the type of microphone mechanism determines the directionality of the sound recording.

courtesy of wikipedia


Slate

An indication of the scene and take number at the beginning or end of a take made using a clapboard, a written sign or a verbal announcement.


Sound Bite

A piece of audio, usually taken from dialogue or an interview, that is selected during post-production.


Sound Mix

In a film or video’s final stage, trained sound designers and technicians work on the audio tracks to create the sound mix. There are several steps in the process of creating a sound mix. A sound designer will add sound effects or supervise the re-recording of dialogue (known as ADR). A musical composer will write and create a score for various scenes. Finally, a sound mixer will take all the audio tracks of the project and adjust the levels and tone to create a dynamic, seamless and rich sounding sound mix.


Stereo

Audio is stereo when there are two tracks, one designed to imitate the right ear and the other to imitate the left.


Story Board

A visual representation of the story shot by shot for each scene. Story boards look similar to comic strips sometimes with technical notes added for lighting and camera.

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Swish Pan

A camera movement that pans so rapidly that the image appears streaked.


Tilt

Camera movement up or down along a vertical axis.


Timecode

A unique number given to each video frame, comprising of hour, minutes, seconds and frames. Timecode is used to identify each frame as well as required for accurate editing.


Timeline

In a non-linear editing program such as FCP, the timeline is the area where shots are assembled and trimmed. The timeline features markers that indicate frames, seconds, minutes and hours and multiple tracks where image and audio can be placed.


Title Safe Area

The title safe area is a rectangular area that displays in a non-linear editing program. It indicates what part of the frame text and titles will be most visible in television broadcast. This allows editors to adjust text and titles placement to prevent any unwanted cropping.

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Up-res

Although the resolution of an image cannot be increased above the original resolution, pixels can be interpolated to increase the number of pixels. The process of increasing the number of pixels is called Up-res.


Voice Over

Dialogue, narration or interview clips that are paired in editing with separate imagery to visually accompany or illustrate the audio.


White Balance

The process of adjusting the color tint in camera recording so that objects which appear white to the naked eye are rendered white in an image. White balancing ensures that other colors do not appear strangely or unnaturally tinted.

courtesy of digitalshotguide.com


Widescreen

A frame that is wider than the broadcast dimensions of 4:3 apsect ratio. Most commonly, widescreen refers to a 16:9 aspect ratio. It can also refer to the film dimensions of 1.85:1 or 2.35:1.

courtesy of demystifyingdigital.com


Zoom

On a camera, zoom refers to changing the frame size from wide angle to close up or close up to wide angle. A zoom can be achieved in post-production with tools that allow an editor to move closer into a part of a frame with smooth motion or go from a small part of a frame to a wider part of the frame.