Glossary of Editing Terms

editing Uses two video sources played simultaneously, to be mixed or cut between.

assemble edit
Recording video and/or audio clips in sequence immediately following previous material; does not break control track. Consecutive edits form complete program. [See edit, insert edit.]

Superimposing multiple layers of video. Each layer may move independently.

[1:visual] Logical succession of recorded or edited events, necessitating consistent placement of props, use of wardrobe, positioning of characters, and progression of time.

[2:directional] Consistency in camera-subject relationships, to avoid confusing a viewer’s perspective.

Instantaneous change from one shot to another.

A shot of something other than the principal action (but related), frequently used as transitional footage or to avoid a jump cut.

digital video effects (DVE)
Electronic picture modification yielding specialty image patterns and maneuvers: tumbling, strobing, page turning, mosaic, posterization, solarization, etc.

Image transition effect where one picture gradually disappears as another appears. Analogous to audio and lighting cross-fades. Also known as a cross-fade.

Process or result of selectively recording video and/or audio on finished videotape. Typically involves reviewing raw footage and transferring desired segments from master tape(s) onto new tape in a predetermined sequence.

edit decision list (EDL)
Handwritten or computer-generated compilation of all post-production edits to be executed in a video work.

generation loss
Degradation in picture and sound quality resulting from duplication of original master video recording. Copying a copy and all successive duplication compounds generational loss.

insert edit
Feature allowing a VCR to record a new video and/or audio segment in the middle of a program, without breaking the control track or disturbing what precedes and follows. [See edit, assemble edit.]

jump cut
Unnatural, abrupt switch from and to shots identical in subject but slightly different in screen location. Awkward progression makes subject appear to jump from one screen location to another. Remedied with cutaway.

linear editing
Analog, tape-based editing. Called linear because scenes are laid in a line along the tape. Has many disadvantages, such as the need to rewind and fast forward and the inability to insert footage without re-recording everything that follows.

nonlinear editing (NLE)
Digital "cut and paste" editing that uses a hard drive instead of tape to store images. Random access allows easy arrangement of scenes in any order. Also eliminates the need for rewinding and allows for multiple dubs without generation loss.

Slight backing-up function of camcorders and VCRs when preparing for tape recording; ensures smooth, uninterrupted transitions between scenes.

rendering time
The time it takes an NLE computer to composite source elements and commands in it’s edit decision list into a single video file so the sequence, including titles and transition effects, can be played in full motion (30 frames per second).

time code
Synchronization system, like a clock recorded on your videotape, assigning a corresponding hours; minutes; seconds; frame-number designation to each frame. Expedites indexing and editing precision.

time line editing
A nonlinear method of editing in which video and audio clips are represented on a screen by bars proportional to the length of the clip. These bars can be moved and resized along a grid whose horizontal length corresponds with the duration of the program.

Transition from one shot to another wherein the new shot is revealed by a moving line or pattern. In simplest form, simulates a window shade being drawn.

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.

Related Content