No, we're not speaking in a foreign language. Here
are some industry terms so you can follow along.
1080/60i - - One of the two High Definition Broadcast standards. Frame size is 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 pixels tall. This standard operates in interlaced scan mode at 60 fields per second. See also: Interlaced video
16x9 - - (also referred to as 16 by 9, 16:9) The wide-screen format of High Definition video in which the aspect ratio of the screen is 16 units wide by 9 units high.
30p - - A format where 30 frames per second are captured as full frames in the progressive scan mode.
4x3 - - (also referred to as 4 by 3, 4:3) The aspect ratio used for U.S. television broadcasts from its inception to the adoption of High Definition broadcasting; one third wider than it is high (1.33:1). See also: Aspect ratio
60p - - A format where 60 frames per second are captured as full frames in the progressive scan mode.
720/60p - - One of the two High Definition Broadcast standards. Frame size is 1,280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall. This standard operates in progressive mode at 60 frames per second. See also: Progressive video
A/B Roll - - In editing, where one track of video resides in the "A" track, and one track of video resides in the "B" track. Dissolves, wipes and other transitions can be performed between the two tracks.
AIF/AIFF - - This is a Macintosh audio file format for digital audio signals that can be used for audio clips on a computer. It is platform independent can contain multiple channels and can be used for uncompressed and compressed data. See also: WAV
Animation - - Whenever a graphic, title, logo or other elements appear on the screen, they can either be static (don't move) or they can change their size and position. When these objects move they are known as animations. If the objects include depth in addition to the two dimensions of height and width, they are known as 3D animations.
Archive - - At Full Effect Productions we retain all of our digital project files, source media and other elements used in any given project. Two distinct copies of the project are stored on different hard drives. One drive is kept off-site. This Archive makes it possible to make changes to the work months and years after the original work was produced. This system provides redundancy and a solid strategy for the safe-keeping of data. However, hard drives do fail and projects that are more than a few years old may or may not function properly in the advancing versions of the software they were created in. In other words, these project archives won't last forever and at some point we may not be able to work with a very old project. Time to do a new video! See also: Backup
Artifacts - - Refers to video blemishes, noise or other visual elements that are regarded as unwanted and distracting.
Aspect ratio - - The shape of an image or frame, expressed as the width-to-height ratio. High Definition widescreen video uses a 16:9 aspect ratio (1.78:1). Movies use a slightly different widescreen aspect ratio. The legacy television broadcast format that was in place before High Definition, known as Standard Definition uses a 4:3 aspect ratio (1.33:1). When producing material to be aired on Broadcast Television, any pertinent visual material must reside within the 4:3 area of the 16:9 frame. This is due to the fact that some digital sub-channels and cable companies still distribute 4:3 material and "cutt off" the edges of the widescreen frame.
Audio waveform - - A representation of the audio signal levels which tend to look like "waves" going up and down. Louder portions of the signal rise higher than softer parts.
AVI - - A multimedia file format used in the Windows operating system environment. The acronym stands for Audio Video Interleave. While widely used in the past, it has largely been replaced by more modern formats, such as Windows Media Video. See also: Windows Media Video, Video for Windows
Back light - - A small lighting instrument placed behind a subject (an interviewee, for example), that helps to separate the subject from the background. It creates lighter areas that trace around their hair and shoulders, helping to add dimension and appeal to the shot. See also: Key light, Fill light
Backup - - At Full Effect Productions, we refer to backups as on-going copies of files and projects existing on a separate hard drive from the main "work in progress" hard drive. This way, should the main "work in progress" hard drive fail, an up-to-date "emergency backup" copy exists. This differs from an Archive, which is a term we use to describe permanent storage of a completed project.
Bandwidth - - Used in the discussion of sending data over wires or lines linking communication devices. It refers to the speed and volume of data throughput over the device. The greater the bandwidth, the larger the amount of data that can be transferred over the network.
Bit rate - - In video, the bit rate is the amount of data used for each second of video. This data rate can be either constant (CBR) or variable (VBR) and is measured in bits or kilobits per second.
Blue 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 blue 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: Key, Green screen
Blu-Ray - - This is a disc format developed by the Blu-Ray Disc Association, and was designed to improve upon the DVD format. The disc is the same size as a DVD, but can contain much more data. Single layer discs can contain 25GB and dual layer discs can contain 50GB. This large capacity allows discs to contain high definition video at higher quality than typical HD broadcast formats, such as a full 1920 x 1080 60p high definition video. It can also support higher quality audio formats, all the way up to DTS-HD Master audio at 192 kHz.
Bokeh - - (Pronounced bo as in bow and arrow and ke as in kettle) In a video or photo image, you will often see the desired subject in focus and sharp. If the background and/or foreground objects are blurry, Bokeh refers to the character and qualities of the blur. Desirable Bokeh often renders points of light as soft, fuzzy circles.
Boom microphones - - Getting their name from the fact that they are often mounted on a long pole (boom), these microphones are usually fairly long and are highly directional, meaning they can pick up audio from distances other microphones cannot.
Bounce - - Bounce lighting refers to using a reflective material to literally bounce or reflect light onto your subject. Often used outdoors, where the sun can be reflected onto the subject without harsh shadows. It's a good way to disperse light in a variety of situations so that it doesn't appear to come from one source. A bounce card is an item that is white or reflective and is used to perform this function, also sometimes called a reflector.
Broadcast quality - - Refers to footage or a finished program that meets the high technical standards for over the air or cable network broadcasts. These standards vary from country to country and sometimes even from network to network. Standards could include frame size, frame rate, data rate, compression method, color space, audio format and other parameters.
B-roll - - This is supporting footage that can be used to fill in details and offer greater flexibility when editing video. Many times it is gathered so that we can occasionally show some footage that relates to what a subject may be saying in an interview. In this case it is also helpful because we can shorten the interview if necessary without causing a jump cut. See also: Jump cut
Capture - - For quite a few years, video was recorded to a tape format. Capture refers to the process of using computer hardware to digitize the material as it is being played from the tape. Once it is digitized it can be used in various video editing software programs. May also refer to the process of capturing video of what is being displayed on a computer screen, usually called screen capture.
CG - - This acronym stands for "computer graphics". We'll often use this term to refer to any words on the screen, such as names, numbers, facts, supportive text, chapter titles, etc. Logos technically are also computer graphics.
Chroma key - - See: Key
Clip - - A short piece of video and/or audio. The term comes from the fact that in the days of editing film, the editor would “clip” a piece of film he or she wanted to use and splice it into the desired place in the finished piece. In today's digital editing software these various shortened digital clips are assembled in the software to play in the desired order, with transitions between them and other added effects.
Close-up (CU) - - A shot composition where a certain feature takes up the whole frame. When shooting a person, this would primarily include the person's head. See also: Extreme close up, Medium close up, Medium shot, Wide shot
Codec - - The Internet, computer networks and even computers themselves have limited bandwidth. Because video and audio files are very large, and would be very difficult or impossible to transfer across these networks in their native states, they must first be compressed, then delivered, and then decompressed. A codec is the compression/decompression component of multimedia software that performs this function. It is important to note that the file's format is not a codec itself. There file formats that act as "containers" for the codec, such .mp4, .wmv, .mov. Some popular codecs include H.264, DV and MPEG-2.
Color correction - - When an editor digitally manipulates colors it is referred to color correction or sometimes color grading. A scene might be "corrected" to reflect more accurate colors than what was captured in the raw footage, or it could be drastically altered for a desired "look" or "effect".
Compositing - - The process of combining multiple elements on top of each other. These elements can include video footage, words and text, logos, colored backgrounds, special effects and various moving (animated) elements, all interacting with each other and combining to create the desired final piece. Many of these elements will have transparent regions to allow the underlying tracks to show through.
Compression - - Converting video and audio data through the use of a compression scheme (see codec) into a more compact form for transmission or storage. See also: Encode
Cover shot - - Refers to a shot specifically captured for the purpose of "covering up" portions of the interview subject or on-camera talent while they are talking.
Crane - - Also called a Jib, this is a device used to allow the camera to be moved in usually very dramatic fashion. The camera is mounted on the end of an arm, and some counterweights are attached to the other end. The arm may extend a few feet, or up to as much as 30 feet, allowing for many very high camera shots and sweeping camera moves.
Crawl - - To scroll a line of title text sideways, left or right across the screen. See also: Roll
Cross-fade - - Usually refers to audio, where the current sounds source begins to fade out, and a second, different sound source begins to fade in.
CRT - - An acronym for "Cathode Ray Tube". These are the older TVs we all viewed before High Definition televisions and the accompanying technologies of plasma, LCD and LED arrived.
C-Stand - - A stand that can be used to mount boom microphones, bounce cards, lighting instruments, diffusion material and other items for a video shoot. See also: Boom microphone, Bounce card, Diffusion
Cut - - This is how we refer to an instant change between two sources of video. This term originates from the days of editing film, where the filmstrip was physically cut and then spliced with another clip to create the edit. The cut is the most basic kind of transition for changing from one image to the next.
Cutaway shot - - This is similar to a cover shot, or B roll shot, where we refer to a shot that is used when the audio of the person talking on the camera continues, but a shot is inserted showing a different scene in place of seeing the actual person who is doing the talking.
Cyc wall - - Cyc is short for cyclorama. The infinity cyclorama in video studios is a wall that curves smoothly at the bottom where it meets the floor. With no corners and careful lighting, the illusion is created of a space that goes on infinitely with no visual borders.