Videomaker’s Glossary of Desktop Video Terms

animation: Visual special effect whereby still progressive images displayed in rapid succession create the illusion of movement.

ASF (Advanced Streaming Format): Microsoft’s multimedia extension intended to replace .AVI and .WAV files, and make video and sound easier to stream over the internet.

aspect ratio: Proportional height and width of a picture on screen. The current NTSC standard for conventional receiver or monitor is four by three (4:3); 16:9 for HDTV.

.AVI (Audio-Video Interleave): The file extension of the Video for Windows format.

chromakey: Method of electronically replacing a specific color (usually blue or green) within a video image with the image from a different video source. Frequently used on news programs to display graphics behind talent.

compositing :Combining multiple layers of video using a special effect. Each layer may move independently.

compression: Reducing the digital data in a video frame, typically from nearly one megabyte to 50 kilobytes or less, by throwing away information the eye can’t see. Compression makes it possible to store reasonably large amounts of video on a hard disk. JPEG, Motion JPEG, MPEG, DVI, Indeo, Fractals and Wavelets are all common compression schemes.

desktop video: Fusion of personal computers and home video components for elaborate videomaking capabilities.

digital audio: Sounds that have been converted to digital information.

digital effects: Special visual effects, such as mirror, strobe, freeze frame, mosaic, etc.

digitization: The process of converting a continuous analog video or audio signal to digital data (ones and zeros) for computer storage.

encoder: Device that combines or translates a video signal into a different format , RGB to composite. Horizontal and vertical sync information joins individual red/green/blue components.

frame-grabber: Digitizer capable of capturing video images one frame at a time. Used for capturing still frames.

frame rate: The number of frames in a second of video. Thirty Frames Per Second (FPS) is considered full-motion.

full-motion video: Video playback on a computer that is smooth-flowing, normal-speed video (30fps), similar to a VCR or television.

genlock (generator locking): Synchronizes two video sources, allowing part or all of their signals to be displayed together. Necessary for overlaying computer graphics with video.

hard disk: Common digital storage component in a computer.

linear editing: Analog, tape-based editing. Called linear because once the program is edited scene lengths can not be changed without re-editing all scenes that follow it. Compare with nonlinear editing.

nonlinear editing: Digital "cut and paste" editing that uses computer hard drives 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 generational loss.

nonsynchronous sound: Audio without precisely-matched visuals. Usually recorded separately, includes wild sound, sound effects, or music incorporated in post production.

pixel: Shorthand for "picture element." A camcorder’s CCD consists of several hundred thousand pixels, each one building up a tiny charge of electricity in response to the light that falls on it. More pixels on a CCD will improve resolution.

post production (post): Any video production activity following the initial recording. Typically involves editing, addition of background music, voiceover, sound effects, titles, and/or various electronic visual effects.

real time: The playing of a video clip or series of clips and transition effects without the need for prior rendering.

rendering time: The time it takes a DTV computer to compute and create a wipe, DVE or computer created image.

resolution: The number of pixels in a computer screen. Expressed 640×480, which is a screen 640 pixels across and 480 pixels vertically.

special effects (F/X): Tricks and illusions, electronic or on-camera. Employed in film and video to define, distort or defy reality.

streaming: To be able to receive data as it is sent. With Internet video, it allows you to watch a movie as it is downloading.

time line editing: A computer-based method of editing in which video and audio clips are represented on a computer screen by bars proportional to the length of the clip. These bars can be moved and resized along a grid whose horizontal axis relates to the time of the program.

titling: The process or result of incorporating on-screen text as credits, captions or any other alphanumeric communication to video viewers.

.WAV: The file extension of an Audio for Windows sound file.

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