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Digital Video Editing /
Common terms from digital video and audio editing and Adobe Premiere, including analog formats, multimedia file and compression formats, and data size and rate measurements.
See the DVD Authoring Glossary for terms from DVD authoring, including DVD and CD optical media formats, DVD video and audio formats, and home theatre and surround-sound audio.
Derived from How to Use Adobe Premiere. Used with permission.
marker -- A placeholder used to mark a specific timecode in a sequence. Use to keep track of changes, events, or synchronization points in a longer sequence. You can use the In and Out point markers to mark a clip to be captured from a source tape, to mark part of a clip to be trimmed, or to mark a portion of the Timeline to be played. See also In Point, Out Point.
mask -- An image that defines areas in a frame to be used as a transparency key or matte. Each pixel in the mask image indicates the degree of transparency to be used for the corresponding pixel position in each frame. See also key, matte.
marker -- A placeholder used to mark a specific timecode in a sequence. Use to keep track of changes, events, or synchronization points in a longer sequence. See also In Point, Out Point.
master -- For video, the original video or audio source, or final video production with analog media, the first tape you create from your PC video file, also known as the first-generation tape. The master tape is a high-quality source to which you should return whenever you want to make more copies. Although you could use the file on your hard drive as a master, you won't want to keep that file forever because it takes up so much storage space. If you're using analog video, however, the PC file is your master source and first generation; the first physical tape you record is considered to be a second-generation tape. See also analog media, DV, digital media.
mask - An image which defines areas in a frame to be used as a transparency key or matte. Each pixel in the mask image indicates the degree of transparency to be used for the corresponding pixel position in each frame. See key, matte.
matte -- An image mask used to define the transparent areas of each frame to be used in superimposing multiple clips. See also key.
MB -- Megabytes - millions of bytes. In computer use, a megabyte actually represents the closest binary power of 2 to a million, or 1024 squared. See also byte, GB, KB.
Mic. -- Microphone audio input. See also Line Level.
Monitor window -- The Premiere window used to preview and edit the Source view of individual video clips and the Program view of the material being assembled on the Timeline. See also Clip window.
mono -- Monophonic audio - a single channel of audio. See also stereo.
motion blur -- The effect of tracking a speeding object and thus blurring the background because of the motion.
MOV -- QuickTime Movie format. See QuickTime.
Movie Capture window -- The Premiere window used to preview and record from DV and analog video and audio devices. Also used for batch capture of a group of clips.
MP3 -- An audio file format, especially popular for downloading songs from the web and for storing music in and portable music players. Named for Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) 1, Layer 3. Uses lossy compression to significantly reduce file size, but often with little perceptible loss in sound quality. Used to store large song collections on hard disc, download audio to portable audio players, and save multiple hours of music to CD. Some consumer audio players and set-top DVD players can play MP3 audio files stored on CD-R/RW discs. See also WAV, Windows Media Audio.
MPEG -- A family of popular multimedia file formats and associated compression schemes defined by the Moving Pictures Expert Group. MPEG-1 video was designed for use on CD-ROMs and provides picture quality somewhat comparable to VHS. MPEG-2 video was designed for consumer video and is used on DVD, and can provide high-quality full-screen full-rate video with smaller file sizes. MPEG-4 video is designed for a broad range of multimedia applications, and is used for web and wireless streaming video. MP3 is a commonly-used audio compression format, especially for web downloads and portable music players.
MPEG-1 -- An older digital video compression format developed in the early 1990s by the Moving Picture Experts Group. MPEG-1 video was designed for lower-resolution video played from CD-ROM and provides picture quality somewhat comparable to VHS (typically 352x240 resolution). Used for Video CD discs.
MPEG-2 -- A TV-quality digital video compression format developed in the mid-1990s by the Moving Picture Experts Group. MPEG-2 video provides high-quality full-screen full-rate video (720x480 resolutiosn for NTSC) with smaller file sizes than MPEG-1. Used for DVD discs, and also scales to high-definition resolution and bitrates.
MPEG-4 -- A digital multimedia compression format developed in the late 1990s by the Moving Picture Experts Group, that includes video, audio, and interactivity. MPEG-4 video is designed for interactive multimedia across networks, and works well for web and wireless streaming video.
narration -- A voice that explains what is happening on a video. Voiceover narration can add tremendous value to a video by explaining the situation being shown to viewers.
Navigator palette -- A small floating window along the right side of the Premiere workspace that displays a miniature view of the current Timeline work area within the overall program. Used to scroll and zoom the program in the Timeline view.
NTSC -- A television video format used in the United States and elsewhere. Displayed 525 lines of resolution at 60 fields per second, 30 frames per second (actually a fractional value near 29.97). Named for the National Television Standards Committee. See also PAL.
NTSC safe colors -- Colors that are inside the safe region for NTSC television video. Title colors that are outside this range can display badly and bleed on NTSC televisions. See also safe area.
opaque -- Regions of a superimposed image that are solid (not transparent), and therefore cover over the underlying image. See also transparent.
Out point -- A placeholder used to mark a specific timecode as the end point of a segment in a longer sequence. You can use In and Out points to mark a clip to be captured from a source tape, to mark part of a clip to be trimmed, or to mark a portion of the Timeline to be played. See also marker, In point.
overscan -- The outer edges of a video image that are typically cut off by consumer television sets in order to ensure that the image fills the entire display. See also safe area.
PAL -- Acronym for Phase Alternation Line. A television video format used in Europe and elsewhere. Displayed with 625 lines of resolution at 50 fields per second, 25 frames per second. See also NTSC.
palette windows -- Small floating Premiere windows that provide convenient access to information, options, and commands used in video editing. Palettes can be adjusted, hidden, and docked as desired to accommodate your editing style.
pan -- To move the apparent location of a mono audio track to position it between the left and right stereo channels. With stereo clips, you adjust the balance between the two channels. See also balance.
perceptual compression -- A compression technique that takes advantage of knowledge of how humans perceive; that is, by eliminating visual detail that the eye cannot easily see or audio frequencies that the ear cannot easily hear.
Phono connector -- See RCA connector.
PICT -- The standard Apple Macintosh still image Picture file format.
pixel -- The individual picture elements, or "dots" of color, that are arranged in a two-dimensional array to define a digital image or video frame. The dimensions or resolution of an image are described in terms of the horizontal and vertical pixel count.
preroll -- To start a tape spinning up to speed before beginning playback or capture to ensure that the operation is synchronized properly.
preview -- To play a program on the Timeline and view the appearance of the final production, including transitions and effects. See also scrub.
preview file -- Temporary file created by Premiere to save the results of rendering a portion of the Timeline. With these files, Premiere can preview the results of your editing on the Timeline at full playback rate, including transitions and effects. See also scratch disk.
Program view -- The Monitor window view that displays the production being assembled on the Timeline. Depending on the current settings, this can be a simple preview of the cuts between adjacent clips, or a fully rendered preview with transitions and effects. See also Source view.
progressive download -- A technique for downloading Internet video and/or audio clips so that they can be viewed at the same time that they are being transferred to your computer. This provides some of the benefits of streaming media without requiring a special streaming server. See also streaming media.
progressive scan -- Video display in which the entire screen in refreshed (redrawn) at once. Typically used for computer monitors and high-end video systems. See also interlaced video.
progressive video -- Video consisting of complete frames, not interlaced fields. Each individual frame is a coherent image captured by the camera at a single moment in time. See also interlaced video.
Project window -- The main Premiere window, used to import and save clips used in the program you are editing and organize them into bins. You save each editing activity in a separate Project file, including the imported material and editing context.
QuickTime -- Multiplatform, multimedia Movie file format from Apple Computers (.MOV).
RCA connector -- A connector with a single central plug, commonly used for audio signals and composite and component video. Also called a phono connector. See also BNC connector, F connector, FireWire connector, S-Video connector.
real-time preview -- To play back a program in the Timeline at full rate, while showing edits such as transitions, effects, overlays, and titles. Allows viewing the effects of edits immediately, without the need to wait and render the program each time. Premiere simulates the frame rate and appearance of the final program as possible depending on the complexity of the program and the system performance.
RealMedia -- Multiplatform, multimedia Web streaming file format from Real Networks (.RM, .RAM).
render -- To generate a video production in its final form, including transitions, effects, and superimposed tracks. You can render portions of a Timeline in order to preview your edits at that point, or render the entire production before exporting it in its final form, to a disk file or out to tape.
render-scrub -- To preview a program in the Premiere Timeline and display the visual effects of transitions or other effects but not at full playback speed. Used to preview a portion of the Timeline before rendering it. See also scrub, real-time preview.
resolution -- The dimensions of an image, in pixels, typically expressed as the number of horizontal pixels across and the number of vertical pixels down. See also aspect ratio.
reverb -- An audio effect that simulates the ambience of a room of a specific size and with different sound-absorbent properties.
RF video -- Acronym for Radio Frequency. A composite video signal that has been modulated with audio onto a high-frequency radio wave that could be transmitted from an antenna. Typically connected to the antenna input of a TV receiver, and received on channel 3 or 4. The simplest and lowest-quality video signal connection. See also component video, composite video, DV, S-Video.
RGB -- Acronym for Red, Green, Blue. Full-color video signal format, consisting of three elements. See also YUV.
ripple edit -- A method of editing in the Timeline so that when new material is inserted, or existing material is deleted, other material is adjusted to fit. In a ripple edit, the change ripples through the rest of the material, as the existing clips slide apart to make room for the new material, or slide together to fill a gap. See also rolling edit, slide edit, slip edit.
roll -- To scroll lines of title text vertically up or down the screen. See also crawl.
rolling edit -- A method of editing in the Timeline by adjusting and trimming two adjacent clips. When you roll the cut point between the adjacent clips, the durations of the two clips are adjusted to keep the overall program duration unchanged. The Out point of the first clip is changed in tandem with the In point of the second clip so that, as one increases in duration, the other decreases to match it. See also ripple edit, slide edit, slip edit.
rough cut -- A quick assembly of raw clips to approximate the desired final program. As a first step in editing, arranging a collection of clips in the desired order as a storyboard of the production.
safe area -- Also known as the safe zone. Margins left around the edge of the image. Used when working with material intended for display on television. Safe margins keep titles from bleeding off the screen. See also overscan.
sample rate -- The rate at which samples of a continuous signal, such as music or a sound, are captured into a digital representation of the original signal. A higher audio sampling rate, with more samples per second, creates a more accurate representation of the original sound. See also frame rate, Hz.
scale -- To reduce or enlarge an image or video sequence by squeezing or stretching the entire image to a smaller or larger image resolution.
scene -- A single video sequence, typically shot in one continuous take. For editing purposes, it is useful to capture or trim your video material so that each scene is stored as an individual clip that can then be edited on the Timeline. See also clip.
scratch disk -- A dedicated work area on hard disk. Used by Premiere for temporary storage and for saving preview files.
scrub -- To play a program in the Premiere Timeline by dragging the edit line. You can also render-scrub to show the visual effects of transitions or other effects, but not at full playback speed. See also real-time preview.
shuttle -- To move rapidly through a program, as with scan forward or scan reverse VCR controls. Use the Premiere shuttle slider control to scan rapidly through a clip or program to move to a general area in the material. See also jog.
single-track editing -- A style of editing in which the Timeline is condensed to a single row per track. In Premiere, the Single-Track Editing workspace configures a dual-view Monitor window and a collapsed Timeline window showing a single row per track, without a separate transition track. This is the Premiere workspace used most often by video professionals. See also A/B editing.
slide edit -- A method of editing in the Timeline by moving a clip and trimming neighboring clips to adjust to the change. When you slide a clip earlier or later in the program, the neighboring clips are trimmed accordingly by changing their In and Out points so that the duration of the overall program remains unchanged. See also ripple edit, rolling edit, slip edit.
slip edit -- A method of editing in the Timeline by changing the trim points in a clip. When you slip the trim points earlier or later in a clip, the In and Out points are adjusted correspondingly so that the duration of the clip is unchanged. A slip edit also does not affect the rest of the program on the Timeline. See also ripple edit, rolling edit, slip edit.
Source view -- The Monitor window view that displays a source clip for viewing and editing on the Timeline. The source clip can be from a bin in the Project window, or from a track on the Timeline. See also Program view.
split edit -- To adjust the video and audio portions of a clip separately so that they start or end at different times. Used for audio cross-fading so that the audio can lead in or fade out independently from the cut in the video. See also L-cut and J-cut.
split-screen -- A divided display that shows two clips, or portions of clips, side by side.
stereo -- Two-channel audio, with left and right channels. See also mono, surround sound.
still frame -- A single image or single frame of a video clip. See also freeze frame.
storyboard -- In video production, a series of cartoonlike panels drawn to describe a movie, shot by shot. In video editing, an interface that allows you to organize the sequential flow of your production by arranging thumbnails of each video clip. See also Timeline.
Storyboard window -- The Premiere window used to organize a group of clips into a sequence. You can use this window to quickly lay out the scenes to include in your production into a rough cut and then move them into the Timeline for further editing. See also Timeline window.
streaming media -- Internet video and/or audio clips that can play directly over the Internet, without needing to be downloaded first onto a computer. Used to view and hear broadcasts, and to interactively play and seek in stored clips. See also progressive download.
stripe -- To prepare a new videotape for a recording by prerecording a consistent timecode over the full length of the tape.
subtitle -- A text overlay on video materials, typically used to display the audio dialog in various languages, or to transcribe hard-to-understand speech.
superimpose -- To layer multiple tracks onto the Timeline. To composite portions of multiple clips into the final production by overlaying clips with transparent regions to allow the underlying tracks to show through. See also key.
superimpose track -- In video editing, the Video 2 track and above, which can include titles, logos, and other material to be overlaid on the bottom Video 1 track.
sweeten -- To use audio effects to enhance and manipulate the audio sound.
S-Video -- A video signal that transmits the brightness (luminance or luma) and the color (chrominance or chroma) information separately. Actually uses a single cable, but with two wires in the cable. Because the luma and chroma are separate, S-Video provides higher quality than composite video. Requires a separate audio signal and connector. Also called Y/C, or sometimes (incorrectly) called S-VHS. See also composite video, component video, DV, RF video.
S-Video connector -- A specialized connector used for S-Video signals. Contains multiple pins for the separate video components. See also BNC connector, F connector, FireWire connector, RCA connector, S-Video.
synchronize -- To keep two sequences playing at the same rate (in sync). A slide show or a series of video clips can be synced to the beat on an audio track. A talking-head video needs to maintain lip-sync, so that the audio matches the mouth movements of the speaker.
talking head -- A clip that shows just the head and shoulders of a person who is talking. This tight focus is often used in interview situations where the background is not as important as the talking subject. It is also convenient in a movie destined for the Web because the small amount of movement in a talking-head shot compresses well for the Internet.
three-point edit -- A method of setting In and Out points to precisely control where and how frames are inserted into a Timeline. In a three-point edit, you set any three such markers, and Premiere determines the fourth to match the specified duration. See also four-point edit.
TIFF -- A lossless image file format designed for photographic images that compresses the image size while preserving all the image quality. The resulting files are therefore larger than those with JPEG compression, which sacrifices some detail in order to significantly reduce the image size.
time ruler -- The time display row along the top of the Timeline, showing the time code along the production. See also edit line.
timecode -- An exact time used to identify a specific frame in a clip or production. Measured in hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. See also duration.
timecode log -- See batch list.
timeline -- In video editing, an interface that allows you to assemble a collection of clips into a production with multiple overlapping tracks. A timeline provides a view of multiple sources being combined over time, with separate tracks for video, audio, and superimposed video, as well as transitions and effects. See also storyboard.
Timeline window -- The Premiere window used to assemble, trim, arrange, and superimpose video, audio, and image clips into a program. See also Storyboard window.
title -- Onscreen text (and associated graphics) that can be used to add information to your production. Used as a title screen at the beginning of your production, for subtitles superimposed under the video, and for rolling credits at the end.
Title window -- The Premiere window used to lay out and design title text and graphics.
track -- A sequence of video or audio clips in the a video editing timeline that are to be combined and superimposed into a final production.
transcode -- To convert from one compression format to another (that is, from DV video from a camcorder to MPEG-2 for DVD). Preferably done intelligently to minimize loss of quality from repeated compression, and not requiring fully decompressing the input and then recompressing to the output.
transition -- A visual effect to segue from the end of one clip or scene and the start of the next. The most basic transition is a cut, in which the last frame of one clip is immediately followed by the first frame of the next clip. More interesting transition effects include fades, dissolves, and wipes between adjacent clips.
Transitions palette -- A small floating window along the right side of the Premiere workspace that lists the available video transitions, grouped by type. Used to access transitions to be applied to the Timeline. You can also reorganize and customize the list.
transparent -- Regions of a superimposed image that are invisible, and therefore show through to the underlying image, as used for logo overlays and blue-screen effects. May be defined using a key color or alpha mask. Technically, overlays also can be translucent, and blend portions of the two images. See also opaque.
trim -- To cut out a segment of a clip by removing frames from the beginning and/or end. To adjust the In or Out points of a clip to identify the portion to be used in the final production.
VBR -- Acronym for Variable Bit Rate. A compression scheme in which each unit of input material can be compressed to different sizes. For MPEG-2 video, for example, this means that "easier" sequences (that is, with no motion) can compress to very small sizes, whereas "hard" sequences (with lots of motion and scene cuts) can compress to much larger sizes. VBR compression can take better advantage of the overall available bandwidth of a video transmission or DVD player by allocating the available bits intelligently to the difficult parts of a sequence. See also CBR.
Video Effects palette -- A small floating window along the right side of the Premiere workspace that lists the available video effects, grouped by type. Used to access effects to be applied to a video clip. You can also reorganize and customize the list.
Video for Windows -- The media file format used with Microsoft Windows (.AVI). Supports many different video and audio compression formats (codecs). See also Windows Media.
VTR -- Video Tape Recorder. Also called VCR (Video Cassette Recorder).
VU meter -- An audio mixer's display of audio levels for each track.
watermark -- A small, semitransparent graphic that identifies a scene or speaker. Many TV broadcasts use a watermark to let you know what channel you're watching.
WAV -- The uncompressed Wave audio file format used with Microsoft Windows. See also AIFF, MP3, WAV, Windows Media Audio.
widescreen -- A wide picture format for film at 16:9 aspect ratio. See also aspect ratio.
Windows Media -- The multimedia platform built into Microsoft Windows, and a series of formats for storing and transmitting video and audio. Uses ASF, WMA, and WMF file types. See also Video for Windows, Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video.
Windows Media Audio (WMA) -- The Microsoft Windows Media native audio file format. Used for compressing, storing, and organizing CDs and downloaded audio in albums on disk. Also used to download audio to portable audio players. Some consumer audio players and set-top DVD players can play WMA audio files stored on CD-R/RW discs. See also MP3, WAV, Windows Media.
Windows Media Video (WMV) -- The Microsoft Windows Media format for compressed video and audio files on CD and DVD discs. See also Windows Media Audio.
wipe -- A video transition in which the new video physically moves into the frame while displacing the old video.
YUV -- Full-color video signal format, consisting of three elements: Y (luminance), and U and V (chrominance). See also RGB.