No, we're not speaking in a foreign language. Here
are some industry terms so you can follow along.
Decibel (dB) - - A unit of measure used to represent audio volume levels.
Deinterlace - - This refers to using hardware or software to process interlaced video. If interlaced material is displayed on current display technologies such as LCD screens, the motion between fields can cause visible tearing. Deinterlacing is an attempt to use every other field, or to join fields to interpolate new in-between lines and reduce some of the tearing anomalies. See also: Interlaced video, Progressive video
Depth of Field (DOF) - - Usually every scene has one area that is the main point of focus for the viewer. Depth of field refers to whether or not images that are physically in front of the main subject and behind it are also in focus or not. A deep DOF will show the objects in front of and behind your main subject to be in focus. You may want this to be the case if you are shooting action sports, for example. If you have a shallow DOF, many or all of those images in front of and behind your main area of focus will be out of focus, and a greater emphasis will be placed on your subject. You may want this to be the case if you are shooting a person against a background like in portrait photography. See also: Bokeh
Diffusion - - The process of creating a type of lighting that can be described as "soft" and doesn't result in harsh shadows. A diffusion effect can also be applied to video clips in editing to add a softening effect to certain areas of the image. In lighting, diffusion material that is semi-transparent can be placed in front of the lighting instrument to soften and widen the light as it lands on the subject.
Digitizing - - The act of taking analog audio and/or video and converting it to digital form. See also: Capture
Dissolve - - A video transition in which one video clip blends into the next over a period of time, usually one-half second to two seconds. This clip can be a footage clip, graphic, logo or other visual element.
Dolly - - A four-wheel, cart-type device on which a tripod/camera is mounted. The dolly is pushed or pulled during the shot for smooth camera movements. Also sometimes called a Doorway Dolly.
Dolly in/Dolly out - - When physically mounting a camera on a dolly, moving the dolly towards the subject is referred to as a dolly in move. Moving the dolly away from the subject is referred to as a dolly out move.
DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) - - The DSLR is simply the present-day digital version of the SLR still camera, and uses a digital sensor to capture the image to a digital storage medium. In the past few years, manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon began to add video recording capability to these still photo cameras. With their typically large sensors and the ability to use high quality lenses, they have become quite popular in video production, although they do have limitations and proper video cameras.
Dub - - For years, in order to distribute a finished video project, a duplication from one tape medium (usually a master tape) to another took place. This was called a dub. Old habits die hard, and sometimes you'll hear us refer to digital copies as dubs, especially those destined for broadcast outlets.
Dutch tilt - - Camera shot where the camera is slanted to one side so that the subject matter is at an angle in the frame. Can also be combined with camera moves such as panning, zooming and tilting. It can be used to create a sense of unease, desperation, frantic action or disorientation.
DVD - - Most people would assume that DVD stands for "Digital Video Disc" but the acronym actually means "Digital Versatile Disc". A DVD can be created that is similar to a CD Rom disc, and is called a DVD Rom. It is useful for storing data. The most common capacity is 4.7 GB, but the double-sided, dual layer version can hold 17GB. When authored as a DVD Video disc, the discs are compatible for video playback on a wide variety of DVD players, Blu-Ray players and computers equipped with DVD drives. DVD Video discs contain standard definition video only, in the older 4 x 3 format, or in 16 x 9 anamorphic standard definition. A DVD Video disc cannot contain high definition video, and a DVD player cannot play a Blu-Ray disc. See also: Blu-Ray
Edge crop - - A technique where the widescreen image is cropped on the outer edges so that just the center portions are viewable. This may be done to air content that originated in widescreen (such as a High Definition TV commercial) on a broadcast outlet that is still only showing 4 x 3 ratio content (such as some cable TV outlets). Some stations may reject a production that does not contain all pertinent visuals and graphics within this 4 x 3 aspect ratio area for this reason. See also: Aspect ratio
Effect - - A key component of our name. And also how we describe the result of processing an audio or video clip to enhance, improve, change, alter and combine them into something that is different than before, usually with the goal of making the result more interesting. Effects can be subtle or quite extensive. See also: Filter
Encode - - To process a digital file in order to apply a compression method and the creation of a resulting file that is smaller in information and file size than the original. Encoding applies a particular Codec and file optimized for specific delivery and playback situations. See also: Codec
Equalize - - In audio, to adjust the tonal quality of an audio clip. Various frequencies from the bass or low end of the audio spectrum to the treble or high end of the audio spectrum can be boosted or cut to alter the signal to a desired effect.
Export - - When the editor has completed the process of assembling all of the elements within the editing software, those elements are not yet "combined" into a new, original clip until they are sent out of the program in the form of a newly created video. We refer to this as exporting the clip that can then be played back on its own, shared, or uploaded. This resulting file is often referred to as the Master. See also: Master
Extreme close up (XCU) - - A shot composition where the subject matter is very much in the forefront and extreme detail is shown. See also: Close up, Medium close up, Medium shot, Wide shot
Field - - One half of the video information on the screen for interlaced video formats. See also: Interlaced video
Fill light - - When multiple lights are used on a subject, the fill light provides a measured amount of light on a certain area of the subject. When lighting a person, it is often situated at an angle of approximately 45 degrees, and at a brightness that is less than the key light, or a distance that is further so as to retain some natural shadow effect on the area where it is trained. See also: Key light, Back light
Filter - - Some video editing software programs use the term Filter to refer to items that add special effect to an audio or video clip. See also: Effect
Foley - - Background sounds that are created or added during editing that may include very specific sound effects or even dialog replacement to enhance realism.
Footage - - This simply refers to what the camera records. The term comes from the days of shooting on the film format. The reels of film where measured in feet, so thus: footage of film. See also: Raw footage
Format - - There are really multiple definitions for this term. (1) The frame size/resolution, aspect ration, color space and frame rate for a given digital video image. (2) The digital file format (often a container, such as QuickTime or MPEG) for a given image. (3) A physical medium, such as DVD video disc, 35mm film, MiniDV tape format.
FPS - - An abbreviation for "Frames Per Second". See also: Frame, Frame rate
Frame - - A video clip is made up of a sequence of individual video images (frames) that when played back create the appearance of a moving image. By putting a number of these frames together, smooth motion can be achieved (picture one of those flipbooks that show moving images). Video typically is comprised of roughly 30 of these frames for each second of video. Whether it is interlaced or progressive, a frame contains all of the information required for a complete picture. A frame's dimension is determined by the particular video format of the clip. See also: Frame rate, Interlaced video, Progressive video, Format, High Definition, Standard Definition,
Frame rate - - Used to describe the number of times per second that an individual frame is captured or played back per second. Typical frame rates are 24, 29.97, 30 59.94, and 60.
Freeze frame (also called still frame) - - A technique where a particular frame of video is "paused" and can be held on the screen longer than it's very brief original state, and can be exported into a permanent still photo file format such as a .jpeg image. For the resulting image to be in-focus and "clear" the video image itself must not contain much active movement. See also: Frame
Gaffer's tape - - We'll bring this tape along to our shoots and use it to tape down power cords and other items. But don't worry, it's a type of non-damaging tape that doesn't leave any sticky residue behind!
Gain - - In audio, this is the overall output volume. Increasing gain will make a clip louder. Decreasing gain will make it quieter.
Garbage matte - - You may hear us use this term. Without getting too complicated, it merely means we are going to do a "rough" outline around an image in the frame. What we roughly draw around we will keep and process further. The rest (unwanted objects) quickly gets discarded.
Green screen - - A term used to describe the process of using a colored backdrop (typically blue or green) as a background for a subject. The subject could be a person or object. Using software, the green color of the background is removed in the editing process, leaving the subject unaltered. Any desired background can then be placed behind the subject. See also: Blue screen, Key