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Production Glossary

This is a growing list of terms and definitions, acronyms, initialisms, slang, and jargon used in audio, video, lighting, television, film, theater, and radio production.


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¼"‑20

A standardized screw/bolt, with a ¼‑inch major diameter and 20 threads per inch, used for securing and mounting small to medium‑sized cameras and production equipment.

Formally called ¼"‑20 UNC (Unified National Coarse Thread).

Also called Quarter‑Twenty.

⅜"‑16

A standardized screw/bolt, with a ⅜‑inch major diameter and 16 threads per inch, used for securing and mounting medium to large‑sized cameras and production equipment.

Formally called ⅜"‑16 UNC (Unified National Coarse Thread).

¾ Shot

A loosely defined term that can refer to the horizontal angle of a camera shot, from 45º off‑center of the subject, or the frame size of a camera shot that frames a subject or multiple subjects from around the knees up.

See also American Shot.

1st AC

See First Assistant Camera.

1st AD

See First Assistant Director.

1st Assistant Camera

See First Assistant Camera.

1.5G‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 292.

10‑1

An unofficial ten-code referring to a short bathroom break.

Also called 10‑100.

10‑2

An unofficial ten‑code used in film and television production that refers to a long bathroom break.

Also called 10‑200.

10‑4

An official ten‑code that refers to a message received and understood.

Synonyms: affirmative, copy, and roger.

10‑20

An official ten‑code that refers to location.

Example: "What is your 20?" ("What is your location?")

Also called 20.

10‑100

See 10‑1.

10‑200

See 10‑2.

12G‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 2082.

120 V / 120V

See 120 Volts.

120 Volts

The nominal (average or target) voltage provided by main AC electricity in countries where 120 volt power supplies are used.

A list of countries and their voltages

135 Film

A popular format of photographic film with a film gauge of 35mm (1.4 inches) and an image area of 24mm x 36mm.

135 was the designation for 35mm film specific to still photography introduced by Kodak in the 1930s.

The 135 film aspect ratio and image area size were also adopted for full‑frame digital camera sensors.

180 Rule

See 180º Rule.

180º Rule

An unofficial, yet widely accepted guideline that states a camera should remain on one side of an imaginary axis between two characters, where each character remains on their respective side of the frame.

Also called 180‑degree Rule, 180 Rule, or One‑eighty Rule.

1080i

A video format with a spatial resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and an interlaced frame rate.

See also SMPTE ST 292.

1080p

A video format with a spatial resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a progressive frame rate.

Also called FHD and Full HD.

See also SMPTE ST 424.

2 Shot

See Two Shot.

2K

See DCI 2K.

20

See 10‑20.

24G‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 2083.

240 V / 240V

See 240 Volts.

240 Volts

The nominal (average or target) voltage provided by main AC electricity in countries where 240 volt power supplies are used.

A list of countries and their voltages

2160p

A video format with a spatial resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and a progressive frame rate.

Also called 4K UHD, UHD, and Ultra High‑definition.

See also SMPTE ST 2081, SMPTE ST 2082, and SMPTE ST 2083.

3 Shot

See Three Shot.

3G‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 424.

30º Rule

An unofficial, yet widely accepted guideline that states two consecutive camera shots should be at least 30º apart, respective to the subject, in order to prevent a jump cut.

Also called 30‑degree Rule.

35mm Film

See 135 Film.

35mm Movie Film

A popular format of motion picture film with a film gauge approximately 35mm (1.4 inches) and an image area approximately 22mm x 16mm.

3200 K

See Color Temperature.

4.6K

A resolution that is typically 4608 pixels wide. For example, a 4.6K 16:9 resolution is 4608 x 2592.

4:1:1

A representation of chroma subsampling where two chroma components in a video or image (Cb and Cr) are sampled at half the horizontal resolution of the luma component (Y) with each on alternating lines, thus reducing the bandwidth of the signal or file by half.

e.g. 4:4:4=12 while 4:2:0=6

4:2:0

A representation of chroma subsampling where two chroma components in a video or image (Cb and Cr) are sampled at one-quarter the horizontal resolution of the luma component, thus reducing the bandwidth of the signal or file by half.

e.g. 4:4:4=12 while 4:1:1=6

4:2:2

A representation of chroma subsampling where two chroma components in a video or image (Cb and Cr) are sampled at half the horizontal resolution of the luma component, thus reducing the bandwidth of the signal or file by one‑third.

e.g. 4:4:4=12 while 4:2:2=8

4:4:4

A representation of luma and chroma components in a video or image (Y, Cb, and Cr) that all have the same sample rate, thus implying there is no chroma subsampling.

4:4:4:4

A representation of luma, chroma, and alpha channel components in a video or image (Y, Cb, Cr, and A) that all have the same sample rate, thus implying there is no chroma subsampling and an alpha channel is present.

4K

See DCI 4K.

See 4K UHD.

4K UHD

A resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Specified by SMPTE ST 2036–1.

4 Shot

See Four Shot.

5600 K

See Color Temperature.

6G‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 2081.

720p

A video format with a spatial resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a progressive frame rate.

Also called HD.

See also SMPTE ST 292.

8K UHD

A resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels.


A

Action-safe Area

The area of a video frame determined to ensure important action is seen by most viewers.

SMPTE ST 2046-1 and EBU R 95 both define the action-safe area as a rectangle that is 93% of the width and 93% of the height of the production aperture and concentric with it.

For example, a 1920 x 1080 video frame has an action-safe area of 1786 x 1004 pixels that is 67 pixels inside the left and right edges of the frame and 38 pixels inside the top and bottom edges of the frame.

Action-safe Line

A visual reference tool that overlays a marker/line over a video frame that defines the boundary of the action-safe area.

The line is typically used during production or post production and is not seen in the final video.

Affirmative

See 10‑4.

Alpha Channel

A separate channel of visual information in an image or video file, in addition to the standard red, green, and blue channels, that represents the amount of opacity or transparency for all or part of the overall image/video that can be used in alpha compositing and alpha keying.

The name comes from the alpha letter in the linear interpolation formula "αA + (1 - α)B" where alpha represents the amount of interpolation between A and B.

Not all image and video formats support alpha channels. For example, the original JPEG format does not support a fourth alpha channel (RGB only) while the PNG format does (RGBA).

Alpha Compositing

The process of layering two or more image or video files by making portions of the upper layer(s) partially or fully transparent to reveal the layer(s) underneath, resulting in a final single composite image or video.

Alpha Keying

The process of keying a video signal on top of another video signal by using the transparency information from an alpha channel in image or video file.

With baseband video switchers and keyers, the alpha channel from image and video files must be split out into a separate key video signal while the standard red, green, and blue color channels are sent as their own fill video signal.

Ambience

Background sound present within an environment.

Ambient

Completely surrounding, or present within, an environment.

See Ambience and Ambient Light.

Ambient Light

All of the light visible within a defined area coming from all sources.

Natural and/or pre‑existing light visible within a scene or space before light sources are added.

Ambient Sound

See Ambience.

American Shot

Translated from the French phrase Plan Américain, a camera shot that frames a subject or multiple subjects from mid‑thigh up.

It was made popular in early American cinema by allowing a cowboy's face and gun holster to be seen in the same camera shot (from where we get the term Cowboy Shot).

It also allows multiple subjects to be framed together within a single camera shot or allows more of a scene/setting to be revealed around a subject.

While usually slightly tighter, it is similar to a Medium Long Shot.

Also called Cowboy Shot and Plan Américain.

Angle of Coverage

The angular measurement that defines the extents of a scene visible through a lens.

Angle of View

In photography and video, angle of view is the angular measurement that defines the extents of a scene visible through a lens and sensor pair.

Often confused with and mislabeled as Field of View.

Also called AOV.

AOV

See Angle of View.

APS‑C

A camera sensor format with an active surface area approximately 25mm x 16.7mm, similar in size to an Advanced Photo System Classic frame of photographic film.

Short for Advanced Photo System type‑C.

Similar to the Super 35 camera sensor format for digital video and cinema.

Atmos

See Ambience.

Atmosphere

See Ambience.

Aperture

A hole or opening, often adjustable, within a lens system that limits the amount of light allowed to pass through.

Also called entrance pupil.

See also F‑number.

Auto Button

A physical button on production switchers and vision mixers that triggers an automatic transition when pressed.

Automatic Transition

A transition performed without human intervention that is pre‑determined with a specified duration and other parameters.

Automatic White Balance

The process of performing a white balance using a pre‑determined algorithm on an image or video.

AWB

See Automatic White Balance.


B

B4 Mount

A locking lens mount, standardized in 1992, used on 2/3" broadcast cameras and lenses.

BTA S‑1005B defines the physical mount and its optical and electrical properties.

Background

See Ambience.

Backlighting

The process of illuminating a subject or subjects from above and behind, usually creating a hard edge around hair and shoulders, to set them apart from the background.

Also referred to as rim lighting or shoulder lighting.

Often confused with kicker and hair lighting.

Barn Doors

A lighting modifier comprised of hinged adjustable flaps, usually made of metal, that is placed in front of a lighting fixture to block and modify the direction of its light output.

Bit

The smallest unit of information used in computing and digital communications, consisting of either 0 or 1. Alternative representations include yes or no, true or false, on or off, and + or -.

Short for Binary Digit.

Represented by a lowercase "b" in abbreviations.

Blocking

The placement and movement of actors within a scene.

In theater, it is the placement and movements of actors on stage.

In cinematography, it is the placement and movements of actors and the camera in relation to each other.

Blonde

A 2,000 watt open face flood light with a reflector, often found in a yellow housing.

Blue Hour

The period of twilight (in the morning or evening, around the nautical stage) when the Sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade.

In the morning, it is the period immediately before Golden Hour. In the evening, it is the period immediately after Golden Hour.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

The intentional violation of the fourth wall convention by a performer that is accomplished by the performer directly referring to or acknowledging the audience, the fictionality of the performance, or the characters' fictionality.

Brevity Codes

Codes used in amateur radio, maritime, aviation and military communications to convey complex information with less words or codes.

See Ten‑codes.

Bus

The physical infrastructure used to pass data from one device to another.

Short for Omnibus.

Byte

A unit of digital information consisting of eight bits, historically used to represent a single character of text in computing.

Represented by an uppercase "B" in abbreviations.

1 byte = 8 bits


C

C‑47

A spring‑type wooden clothespin used to attach gels, diffusion, black foil, and other types of expendable materials to light fixtures or modifiers.

C‑74

A C‑47 that has been reversed to form spring‑type wooden tweezers, used to grab and remove hot scrims and gel holders from lighting fixtures.

Camera Left

The left side, or movement towards the left, of a camera shot in film and video production.

Similar to House Left, Screen Left, and Stage Right.

Camera Right

The right side, or movement towards the right, of a camera shot in film and video production.

Similar to House Right, Screen Right, and Stage Left.

Chroma

See Chrominance.

Chroma Keying

The process of compositing or keying an image or video over another by removing a specified color hue (chroma) value or range of color hue (chroma) values from the upper image or video.

Chroma Subsampling

The process of encoding and compressing video and images by using less chroma information than luma information.

See 4:2:2, 4:2:0, and 4:1:1.

Chrominance

The representation of all color information in video.

In video signals, it is commonly represented as two color‑difference components in YUV signals where Y is luma, U = B′ − Y′ (blue − luma), and V = R′ − Y′ (red − luma).

Close‑up Shot

A camera shot size that shows only a subject's face.

Color Balance

The adjustment of one or more color intensities (typically red, green, and blue) in an image or video.

See also White Balance.

Color Gel

See Lighting Gel.

Color Temperature

A description of the color of visible light measured in kelvins (K), based upon the principle that a black body radiator emits light with a frequency distribution characteristic of its temperature.

Lower color temperatures (approximately 4000 K and under) appear more red or warm while higher color temperatures appear more blue or cool.

5600 K is an informal industry standard that closely matches the color temperature of mid-day sun through a clear sky.

3200 K is an informal industry standard that closely matches the color temperature of a tungsten filament burning at full brightness.

Other informal color temperatures include 1850 K for a single candle flame, 6500 K for a mid-day overcast sky, and 15,000-27,000 K for a clear blue sky.

Color Temperature Blue Gel

A lighting gel used to shift or correct the color temperature of a light source to a higher kelvin (K) or more blue color.

Approximate color temperature shifts:

  • Quarter color temperature blue = 3200 K to 3600 K
  • Half color temperature blue = 3200 K to 4300 K
  • Full color temperature blue = 3200 K to 5700 K
  • Double color temperature blue = 3200 K to 26000 K

Also called CTB.

Color Temperature Orange Gel

A lighting gel used to shift or correct the color temperature of a light source to a lower kelvin (K) or more red/orange color.

Approximate color temperature shifts:

  • Quarter color temperature blue = 6500 K to 4600 K
  • Half color temperature blue = 6500 K to 3800 K
  • Full color temperature blue = 6500 K to 3200 K

Also called CTO.

Color Temperature Straw Gel

A lighting gel similar to color temperature orange gel with more of a yellow bias.

Also called CTS.

Compositing

The process of combining visual elements from two or more images or videos together, usually in layers, into a single final image or video.

Compound Lens

A lens that consists of multiple simple lens elements (simple lenses), usually arranged along a single axis.

Multiple lens elements within a compound lens help minimize and correct undesirable characteristics like chromatic aberration that can easily occur in simple lenses.

A majority of lenses used for cinema, photography, and video are compound lenses.

The compound camera lens was invented by Joseph Petzval (Wikipedia).

Control‑by‑wire

A physical control that is mechanically de‑coupled from the mechanism or element it controls.

Focus‑by‑wire translates the movements of the focus ring to electronic signals and pass that information to the autofocus mechanism.

Zoom‑by‑wire translates the movements of a zoom ring to electronic signals and pass that information to a servo zoom mechanism.

Coo‑koo

See Cucoloris.

Cookaloris

See Cucoloris.

See Cucoloris.

Copy

See 10‑4.

Cowboy Shot

See American Shot.

CP‑47

A wooden clothes peg (without a spring) used to attach gels, diffusion, black foil, and other types of expendable materials to light fixtures or modifiers.

Similar to a C‑47.

Crash Zoom

See Whip Zoom.

Cross Conversion

The process of converting video from one standard to another, usually with the same resolution or parent standard.

For example, converting 1080i59.94 to 1080p25 or converting 720p59.94 to 1080i50.

Cross Convert

See Cross Conversion.

Cross Converter

A hardware device that can apply cross conversion to a video input signal before passing it to the video output(s).

Cross Dissolve

See Dissolve.

Crossfade

A transition between two audio signals where the audio level of one signal increases while the audio level of the other signal decreases over the same length of time.

A transition between two lighting looks where the intensity of one lighting look increases while the intensity of the other lighting look decreases over the same length of time.

A transition between two videos where the opacity of one video increases while the opacity of the other video decreases over the same length of time.

CTB

See Color Temperature Blue Gel.

CTO

See Color Temperature Orange Gel.

CTS

See Color Temperature Straw Gel.

Cucalorus

See Cucoloris.

Cucoloris

A device for casting shadows or silhouettes to produce patterned illumination, often made from plywood, poster board, foam core, or wire mesh materials.

Also referred to as a Cookaloris, Cookie, Coo‑Koo, Cucalorus, Cuculoris, Kook, and Kookaloris.

Cuculoris

See Cucoloris.

Cut

The most basic type of transition, it is a binary process where a video source and/or audio source instantly replaces another with no shifts or changes in between.


D

DA

See Digital‑to‑Analog.

See Distribution Amplifier.

DAC

See Digital‑to‑Analog Converter.

Data Rate

The amount of data that moves between two points in a given time.

dB

See Decibel.

DCI 2K

A resolution of 2048 x 1080 pixels specified by Digital Cinema Initiatives.

DCI 4K

A resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels specified by Digital Cinema Initiatives.

Decibel

A relative unit of measurement that expresses ratios of power or intensity as an exponential function, equal to one tenth of a Bel (B).

Decibels are often used in measuring telecommunication signals and electric audio signals.

Power or intensity roughly doubles every 3 decibels.

Diffusion

The process of evenly scattering or softening light or sound waves.

Digital Cinema Initiatives

A consortium of motion picture studios that establishes open architecture and system specifications for digital cinema production, post-production, and delivery.

Digital‑to‑Analog

The process of converting digital signals to analog signals.

Also called DA.

Digital‑to‑Analog Converter

A system that converts a digital signal into an analog signal.

Also called DAC.

Dissolve

A video and film transition that gradually lowers the opacity of a video or image to reveal another video or image.

Distribution Amplifier

A device that accepts a single input signal and repeats the same signal to multiple isolated outputs, usually with amplification circuitry between input and outputs.

Also called DA.

Double

A lighting modifier consisting of a mesh screen material that cuts the amount of light by two full stops.

Downconversion

The process of converting a video's resolution to a lower resolution using a scaler.

For example, converting 1920 x 1080 to 1280 x 720.

Downconvert

See Downconversion.

Downconverter

A hardware device that can apply downconversion to a video input signal before passing it to the video output(s).

Downstage

The front half of a stage closest to the audience.

The opposite of Upstage.

DUC

Initialism for Down, Up, and Cross.

See Up/Down/Cross Converter.


E

ECU

See Extreme Close‑up Shot.

Egg Crate

A lighting modifier comprised of vertical flat panel strips arranged in a horizontal grid that is used to control the direction of light, usually from a soft box or panel light.

Electronic Field Production

Any video production that takes place outside of a standard studio environment, often involving the use of both Electronic News Gathering and studio techniques and equipment.

Also called EFP.

Electronic Journalism

See Electronic News Gathering.

Electronic News Gathering

The process of using electronic video cameras instead of film cameras to gather and present news.

Also called ENG.

ELS

See Extreme Long Shot.

Encode

To convert into a coded form.

ENG

See Electronic News Gathering.

Entrance Pupil

See Aperture.

Establishing Shot

The first camera shot in a scene that shows the setting and environment for the action. Often accomplished using Extreme Long Shots or Long Shots.

EWS

See Extreme Long Shot.

Exposure

The amount of light reaching the surface of an electronic image sensor, or a frame of photographic film, determined by shutter speed, lens F‑number, film or sensor sensitivity (ISO or ASA), and scene luminance.

It is also a common term referring to a single shutter cycle in a camera. For example, a long exposure is a single shutter cycle with a slow shutter speed and a multiple exposure uses two or more shutter cycles combined together to form a single image.

eXtended Graphics Array

Originally the name for a graphics card created by IBM for the PS/2 line of personal computers in 1990.

It has since become synonymous with the resolution of 1024 x 768 defined with the associated display standard.

Also referred to as XGA.

Extreme Close‑up Shot

A camera shot size that fills the composition with only the subject’s face.

Also called ECU, XCU, Extreme Close‑up Shot, and Extreme Tight Shot.

Extreme Long Shot

A camera shot size that shows a subject from a distance within their environment. Often used as an Establishing Shot.

Also called ELS, EWS, Extreme Wide Shot, XLS, or XWS.

Extreme Wide Shot

See Extreme Long Shot.


F

F‑number

The ratio of the focal length of a lens to the diameter of the entrance pupil. A dimensionless number that is a numerical representation or measurement of lens speed.

Practically speaking it represents the size of the lens aperture, and therefore, how much light is allowed through the lens. The higher the f‑number, the smaller the lens' aperture and the less light is allowed through.

Commonly indicated using a lower‑case hooked f with the format f/N, where N is the f‑number (e.g. f/2.8).

F‑ratio

See F‑number.

F‑stop

See F‑number.

Fade

A gradual increase or decrease in audio level over time.

A gradual increase or decrease in light intensity over time.

A gradual increase or decrease in video opacity over time.

Fade In

A gradual increase in audio level, usually from silence, over time.

A gradual increase in light intensity, usually from darkness, over time.

A gradual increase in video opacity, usually from black, over time.

Fade Out

A gradual decrease in audio level, usually to silence, over time.

A gradual decrease in light intensity, usually to darkness, over time.

A gradual decrease in video opacity, usually to black, over time.

Fade‑to‑black

A gradual decrease in light intensity to darkness over time.

A gradual decrease in video opacity to black over time.

Fader Bar

See Transition Lever.

FFL

See Fixed Focal Length Lens.

FHD

See 1080p.

Field of View

In photography and video, field of view is the width and height of a perpendicular plane captured by a camera and lens for a specified distance.

Often confused with and mislabeled as Angle of View.

Also called FOV.

Fill Light

The secondary front light used to illuminate the subject or subjects in a three-point lighting setup, used to "fill" in shadows created by the key light.

Fill light can either by created using a separate light fixture or by reflecting/bouncing light from the key light.

The opposite of negative fill.

First AC

See First Assistant Camera.

First AD

See First Assistant Director.

First Assistant Camera

A crew member that manages camera equipment and camera accessories of a production.

A crew member usually in charge of adjusting and controlling lens focus during filming.

Also called First AC, 1st AC, 1st Assistant Camera, and Focus Puller.

First Assistant Director

A crew member that manages the logistics of a production as an intermediary between the director, cast, and crew.

Fixed Focal Length Lens

See Prime Lens.

FIZ

Initialism for Focus, Iris, and Zoom.

See also FIZ System.

FIZ System

A modular system consisting of one or more servomotor units and one or more controller units that allow smooth and precise remote controlled adjustments of focus, aperture (iris), and/or zoom rings on a lens.

Flag

A lighting modifier usually made from a rigid opaque material used to block light.

Floppy

A flag that includes an additional piece(s) of soft folding material to block or shape light.

Focus

The point in which light rays originating from a single point on an object converge to a single point after passing through a lens or lens system.

Also called image point.

Focus‑by‑wire

See Control‑by‑wire.

Focus Peaking

A real‑time focusing aid in the live preview or electronic viewfinders of many digital cameras that highlights peak contrast areas of the image with a false‑color overlay.

Focus Puller

See First Assistant Camera.

Four Shot

A camera shot that shows four subjects within the same frame.

Fourth Wall

A rule or convention in dramatic performance and cinema that states an imaginary and invisible wall separates the actors and action from the audience.

See also Breaking the Fourth Wall.

FOV

See Field of View.

Frame Sync

See Frame Synchronizer.

Frame Synchronization

The process of synchronizing video scanning of multiple devices to a single synchronization source.

Frame Synchronizer

A system or device that performs a frame synchronization process.

FS

See Full Shot.

FTB

See Fade‑to‑Black.

Full‑frame

A camera sensor format with an active surface area approximately 36mm x 24mm, similar in size to a frame of photographic 135 film.

Full HD

See 1080p.

Full Shot

A camera shot size that shows the entirety of a subject or multiple subjects with the head(s) near the top of frame and feet near the bottom of frame.

Also called Head‑to‑toe Shot.


G

Gaffer

The head electrician on a set or production, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan.

Gaffer Tape

A high strength, high performance tape with a coated cotton cloth backing and a rubber based adhesive. It is highly conformable, hand‑tearable, abrasion resistant, heat resistant (usually up to 180‑200ºF), weather resistant, and removes cleanly from most surfaces.

See my recommendations for The Best Gaffer Tape.

Gel

See Lighting Gel.

Golden Hour

The period of daytime immediately surrounding sunrise or sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. This light is usually more pleasant looking when shooting photos or video outside.

In the morning, it is the period immediately after Blue Hour. In the evening, it is the period immediately before Blue Hour.

Also called Magic Hour.

Graphics-safe Area

See Title-safe Area.


H

Hair Lighting

The process of illuminating only the hair of a subject or subjects from above, usually with a soft light source, to add color and/or detail to the hair.

Often confused with backlighting.

HD

See 720p and 1080i.

HD‑SDI

See SMPTE ST 292.

Head‑to‑toe Shot

See Full Shot.

Hertz

The unit of frequency (how often something occurs) in the International System of Units that is equivalent to a single cycle or event per second.

Used to describe periodic waveforms, musical tones, and clock speeds for computer processors and other electronics.

High‑definition Video

A generalized term referring to video with any spatial resolution higher than standard‑definition.

Commonly used to refer to 720p and 1080i formats.

House Left

The left half, or movement towards the left, of a room from the perspective of a live audience.

Similar to Camera Left, Screen Left, and Stage Right.

House Right

The right half, or movement towards the right, of a room from the perspective of a live audience.

Similar to Camera Right, Screen Right, and Stage Left.

Hz

See Hertz.


I

IEEE

See Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Image Circle

See Focus.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

A professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering (and associated disciplines). Formed in 1963 from the unification of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. In addition to publishing journals and hosting conferences, the IEEE also publishes tutorials and standards that are produced by its standardization committees.

Interlaced Scanning

A method of storing, transmitting, and displaying video in which alternating lines of a video frame are drawn in two separate sequences. For example, every odd numbered line is drawn in the first sequence to create a field and then every even numbered line is drawn in a second sequence to create the next field.

A technique used to double the perceived frame rate without using extra bandwidth.

In contrast to Progressive Scanning.

Internet Protocol

The network‑level protocol within the Internet protocol suite that defines and standardizes the packaging and delivery of datagrams within local networks, across public and private network boundaries, and across the public Internet.

IP

See Internet Protocol.

Invisible Area

The area of a video image between the outside edge of the frame and the safe area that is determined to be "invisible" on some/all displays.


J

Jacket

The outer covering of a cable, providing moisture, mechanical, flame, UV, and chemical protection for the shielding and conductors within.

Jib

A boom device, typically mounted on a stand or tripod fulcrum, used to affix a camera on one end and camera controls and counterweight on the opposite end, allowing the camera to be moved horizontally and/or vertically.

Also called camera crane or camera jib.

Jimmy Jib

A brand of camera jib manufactured by Stanton Video that ranges in lengths from 6 to 40 feet.

Jump Cut

A cut transition in film and video that creates the effect of skipping forward in time by breaking a sequential camera shot into two parts while the camera maintains similar positioning between the two shots.


K

kB

See Kilobyte.

kb

See Kilobit.

kB/s

See Kilobytes Per Second.

kb/s

See Kilobits Per Second.

kBps

See Kilobytes Per Second.

kbps

See Kilobits Per Second.

Key Light

The main/principle front light used to illuminate the subject or subjects in a three-point lighting setup.

In stage lighting, key light is often confused with a stage wash.

Keying

The process of layering two or more video signals by making portions of the upper layer(s) partially and/or fully transparent to reveal the bottom or background layer underneath, resulting in a final single composited video signal.

The two most common methods are luma keying and chroma keying.

Kick

See Kicker.

Kicker

The process of illuminating the sides of a subject or subjects from behind, usually as a type of fill light.

Also referred to as kick.

Often confused with backlighting.

Kilobit

One thousand or 103 bits.

Kilobits Per Second

A data rate of one thousand or 103 bits per second.

Kilobyte

One thousand or 103 bytes.

Kilobytes Per Second

A data rate of one thousand or 103 bytes per second.

Kook

See Cucoloris.

Kookaloris

See Cucoloris.


L

Lead Room

The practice of placing a subject slightly left or right of the center of a frame to reveal more space in front of the subject or in the direction which the subject is moving.

Also referred to as Nose Room or Looking Space.

Lean

When a Lean‑In is followed by a Lean‑Out.

Lean‑In

A sequence of camera shots, often in a scene of dialogue, that starts with wider shots and ends with close‑ups.

Lean‑Out

A sequence of camera shots, often in a scene with dialogue, that starts with close‑ups and ends with wider shots.

LED

See Light-emitting Diode.

LED Wall

A large dot matrix display that uses LEDs to form pixels.

Lens

A transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction.

Lens Element

A single piece of transparent material found within a lens.

Light-emitting Diode

A small, electronic semiconductor that acts as a transducer, converting electrical current into visible light.

The design of the semiconductor and the type of chemical compound used both determine characteristics like color, brightness, and efficiency.

LEDs require less power, emit less heat, are more robust, and have faster switching capability than incandescent light sources.

Lighting Gel

A thin sheet of polycarbonate, polyester, or plastic used to alter or modify the color, intensity, or diffusion of a light source.

  • Color gels block all visible wavelengths of color except for a specified range of color
  • Color correction gels shift the overall color temperature of the light source or remove unwanted colors
  • Diffusion gels scatter the light emitting from a light source
  • Neutral density gels lower the intensity of a light source by blocking a percentage of all visible wavelengths
  • Polarizing gels linearly polarize the light emitting from a light source to help minimize or eliminate glare and reflections
  • UV gels can either block or pass only the wavelengths in the ultraviolet spectrum
Limbo

A type of background and setting that shows a subject or multiple subjects, usually in a camera framing that reveals the full body, against a solid color background with no shadows or other details.

Live Stream

Video and/or audio that is streamed in real time.

Live-stream

See Live Stream.

Livestream

A video live streaming platform owned by Vimeo.

See also Live Stream.

Looking Space

See Lead Room.

Luma

The achromatic (non‑color) representation of brightness information in video.

Paired with chrominance to achieve the final overall image.

Luma Keying

The process of compositing or keying an image or video over another by removing a specified luma value or range of luma values from the upper image or video.


M

Magic Hour

See Golden Hour.

MB

See Megabyte.

Mb

See Megabit.

MB/s

See Megabytes Per Second.

Mb/s

See Megabits Per Second.

MBps

See Megabytes Per Second.

Mbps

See Megabits Per Second.

MCU

See Medium Close‑up Shot.

Medium Shot

A camera shot size that shows a subject or multiple subjects from the waist up.

Also called Tight Shot and Waist Shot.

Medium Close‑up Shot

A camera shot size that shows a subject or multiple subjects from the chest up, halfway between a Medium Shot and a Close‑up Shot.

Also called Bust Shot and MCU.

Medium Full Shot

See Medium Long Shot.

Medium Long Shot

A camera shot size that shows a subject or multiple subjects from the knees up, halfway between a Full Shot and a Medium Shot.

Similar to an American Shot.

Also called Medium Full Shot, MFS, and MLS.

Megabit

One million or 106 bits.

One thousand or 103 kilobits.

Megabits Per Second

A data rate of one million or 106 bits per second.

A data rate of one thousand or 103 kilobits per second.

Megabyte

One million or 106 bytes.

One thousand or 103 kilobytes.

Megabytes Per Second

A data rate of one million or 106 bytes per second.

A data rate of one thousand or 103 kilobytes per second.

Mickey

See Mickey‑Mole.

Mickey‑Mole

A 1,000 watt tungsten open face focusing flood light made by Mole‑Richardson.

Also called Mickey.

Mighty

See Mighty‑Mole.

Mighty‑Mole

A 2,000 watt tungsten open face focusing flood light made by Mole‑Richardson.

Also called Mighty.

Modifier

An object used to alter, block, minimize, or redirect a light source.

MS

See Medium Shot.


N

Negative Fill

The process of blocking, minimizing, or diffusing the intensity of a light source in a lighting setup, often accomplished by using a flag, floppy, net, scrim, or between the source of light and the subject(s).

The opposite of fill light.

NEMA 5

3‑wire grounded electrical plugs and receptacles rated for a maximum 125V standardized by NEMA.

The 5‑15R and 5‑20R are by far the most common electrical connector and receptacle in North America in buildings built since the mid‑twentieth century, characterized by having two flat blades and a semi‑round ground pin.

Electrical connector most commonly found on stingers.

Also referred to as a PBG (Parallel Blade with Ground), U‑ground, Edison, or Hubbell connector.

See the NEMA connector Wikipedia page for details and a chart of all NEMA plugs and receptacles.

NEMA 5‑15R

See NEMA 5.

NEMA 5‑20R

See NEMA 5.

Net

A lighting modifier made with a mesh screen material that is used to reduce or minimize the intensity of a light source.

Neutral Density Filter

A filter that reduces the intensity of all wavelengths of light equally to minimize the amount of light entering a camera lens or hitting a camera sensor.

Nose Room

See Lead Room.


O

Off‑Camera

Anything that occurs outside the view of the camera but still within the context of the camera shot.

Examples include the noise of unseen traffic outside or the voice of an interviewer not seen on camera.

Omnibus

See Bus.

One‑eighty Rule

See 180º Rule.


P

Pan and Scan

The technique of showing wider aspect ratio video or images on a narrower aspect ratio screen format by filling the vertical space of the screen with content while allowing the side(s) to be cropped out of view.

When desired, areas of the widescreen content that are off screen can be brought into view by the process of panning the content.

Pan

Rotating a camera left or right on the horizontal axis from a fixed pivot point.

The process used in the pan and scan technique of moving a wider video/image left or right across a narrower screen to reveal certain areas of the image that may be cropped out of view.

Taken from the word panorama, meaning "a wide view", and derived from the Ancient Greek prefix pan, meaning "all".

Parafocal Lens

See Parfocal Lens.

Parfocal Lens

A zoom lens that maintains the same focus distance/plane when focal length is adjusted.

Opposite of a Varifocal Lens.

Peaking

See Focus Peaking.

Phenakistiscope

A device that consists of a disc with a sequence of images on the surface arrayed radially around the center that, when viewed as the disc spins, give the illusion or perception of motion.

From the Greek root words phenakizein (cheat or imposter) and óps (eye or face).

Also called Fantascope, phénakisticope, phenakistoscope, and Stroboscopische Scheiben.

Pixel

The smallest addressable unit of a raster image or dot matrix display.

Short for picture element.

Plan Américain Shot

See American Shot.

Plenum Space

The part of a building that facilitates the circulation of air for heating and air conditioning systems.

Cables installed in or through plenum spaces must often be rated for such use per fire codes.

Prime Lens

A lens with a single, fixed focal length.

The term prime is generally understood as being the opposite of zoom, and a prime lens as being the alternative to a zoom lens.

The primary lens in a combination lens system.

Progressive Scanning

A method of storing, transmitting, and displaying video in which each line of a video frame is drawn in sequence.

In contrast to Interlaced Scanning.


Q

QTFF

See QuickTime File Format.

Quarter Twenty

See ¼"‑20.

QuickTime File Format

A computer file format used natively by the QuickTime framework. A multimedia container file that contains one or more tracks, each of which stores a particular type of data: audio, video, or text (e.g. for subtitles).


R

Rack

A frame or enclosure for mounting electronic equipment.

See also Rack Unit.

Rack Unit

A unit of measure defined as 1.75 inches in height. Most frequently used as a measurement of the overall height of 19‑inch and 23‑inch rack frames, as well as the height of equipment that mounts in these frames.

The height of a rack frame or equipment is expressed as multiples of rack units. For example, a 2 unit (2RU or 2U) device will measure 3.5 inches tall. A full rack typically measures 42 units (42RU or 42U) tall.

RU

See Rack Unit.

Redhead

A 1,000 watt open face flood light with a reflector, often found in a reddish brown housing.

REMI

See Remote Integration Model.

Remote Integration Model

The method of transmitting and receiving live video, audio, and/or other communication signals between remote outside sources and a centralized production facility for integration into a single broadcast or feed.

Reverse Pan and Scan

The technique of showing narrower aspect ratio video or images on a wider aspect ratio screen format by filling the horizontal space of the screen with content while allowing the top and/or bottom to be cropped out of view.

When desired, areas of the content that are off screen can be brought into view by the process of repositioning the content vertically.

Roger

See 10‑4.

Run‑through

Rehearsal of a script, production, or process. Usually done without breaking or pausing.


S

Safe Area

The areas of a video frame determined to ensure important parts of the image are seen by a majority of viewers.

The practice began as a way to account for older display technologies that used a technique called overscan to hide irregularities or misalignment in the unseen borders of a display. However, the practice is still commonly used to account for devices with screens that have notches, rounded corners, status bars, islands, and other anomalies.

Safe areas are generally specified as a percentage of the overall width and height of the frame.

SMPTE ST 2046-1 defines a standard for safe area dimensions and placement.

SMPTE RP 2046-2 defines a recommended practice for safe area dimensions and placement for composing 16:9 images that will be presented on both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio displays.

NOTE: The Wikipedia article for Safe area (television) is outdated and has inaccurate information about this topic.

Safe Action Area

See Action-safe Area.

Safe Title Area

See Title-safe Area.

Screen Left

The left side, or movement towards the left, of screen in film and video post production.

Similar to Camera Left, House Left, and Stage Right.

Screen Right

The right side, or movement towards the right, of screen in film and video post production.

Similar to Camera Right, House Right, and Stage Left.

Scrim

A lighting modifier, usually created as an insert for a lighting fixture's gel frame or scrim holder, made with a mesh screen material that is used to reduce or minimize the intensity of light.

SDI

See Serial Digital Interface.

Sequential

A process of performing or using in sequence.

Serial Digital Interface

A family of interfaces first standardized by SMPTE in 1989 for the transmission and reception of uncompressed, unencrypted digital video signals using serial communication. The various standards provide details on acceptable video resolutions, frame rates, data rates, color spaces, timecode, timing reference signals, ancillary data, and more. SDI signals can be transmitted over 75 ohm coaxial cabling with BNC connectors or over fiber optic cabling.

Servo

See Servomechanism.

Servo Lens

A lens equipped with one or more servo motors that provide electronic manipulation of focus, zoom, and/or aperture.

Servo Zoom

The process of manipulating the focal length of a zoom lens with an electronic servo motor to achieve smooth and precise zooms.

The servo motor may be coupled to an internal zoom mechanism or an external zoom ring of the lens.

Control of the servo motor may be achieved through controls built into the lens, controls built into a servo unit attached to the outside of the lens, or through a variety of remote control protocols and control units.

Also referred to as Power Zoom.

Servomechanism

A control system, that often includes a servomotor, for the position and velocity of a mechanical system.

Also referred to as Servo System or simply Servo.

Servomotor

A rotary or linear actuator that provides precise control of angular or linear position, velocity, and acceleration of a mechanical system.

Shutter

The physical part of a camera that opens for a specified amount of time to let light in, exposing a photosensitive imaging sensor or photographic film to light so an image can be captured.

The physical part of a projector that can open and allow light to exit or close and block light from exiting.

Shutter Cycle

The process of a shutter opening, closing, and resetting before it another shutter cycle can begin.

Silk

A lighting modifier, usually made with a stretched translucent silk or a silk-like material, that is used to diffuse light.

Simple Lens

A lens that consists of a single piece of transparent material.

Single

A lighting modifier consisting of a mesh screen material that cuts the amount of light by one full stop.

SJOOW

A specific designation of multi‑conductor cable used for portable extension cords and stingers.

Letter codes:

  • SJ
    • Junior Severe Service – 300 volts (also 120 or 120/208 or 120/240 or 240 or 277, but not 277/480)
  • OO
    • Oil‑Resistant Outer Jacket and Oil‑Resistant Interior Insulation
  • W
    • Weather and Water Resistant (UL and CSA approved for indoor and outdoor use)
SMPTE

See Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

SMPTE ST 292

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines the transmission of uncompressed digital video and audio payloads up to a nominal 1.5 Gbps over coaxial cable.

Two bitrates are defined; 1.485 Gbit/s and 1.485/1.001 Gbit/s. The 1.485/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 1.485 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard:

  • 1280x720 at 50, 59.94, and 60 progressive frames per second
  • 1920x1080 at 50, 59.94, and 60 interlaced frames per second

Also called HD‑SDI and 1.5G‑SDI.

SMPTE ST 424

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines the transmission of uncompressed digital video and audio payloads up to a nominal 3 Gbps over coaxial cable.

Two bitrates are defined; 2.970 Gbit/s and 2.970/1.001 Gbit/s. The 2.970/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 2.970 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

There are three different mapping schemes within the standard:

  1. Level A: direct mapping of uncompressed 1080p up to 60 fps to a single 3 Gbps signal transmitted over a single cable
  2. Level B‑DL: direct mapping of dual‑link 1.5 Gbps video streams combined into a single 3 Gbps signal transmitted over a single cable
  3. Level B‑DS: direct mapping of two independent dual‑stream 1.5 Gbps video signals transmitted over a single cable

Common video formats defined by this standard:

  • 1920x1080 at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, and 60 progressive frames per second

Also called 3G‑SDI.

SMPTE ST 2081

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines the transmission of uncompressed digital video and audio payloads up to a nominal 6 Gbps over coaxial cable.

Two bitrates are defined; 5.940 Gbit/s and 5.940/1.001 Gbit/s. The 5.940/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 5.940 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard:

  • 1920x1080 at 100, 119.88, and 120 progressive frames per second
  • 2048x1080 at 100, 119.88, and 120 progressive frames per second
  • 3840x2160 at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 progressive frames per second
  • 4096x2160 at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 progressive frames per second

Also called 6G‑SDI.

SMPTE ST 2082

A standard published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines the transmission of uncompressed digital video and audio payloads up to a nominal 12 Gbps over coaxial cable.

Two bitrates are defined; 11.88 Gbit/s and 11.88/1.001 Gbit/s. The 11.88/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 11.88 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard:

  • 3840x2160 at 50, 59.94, and 60 progressive frames per second
  • 4096x2160 at 50, 59.94, and 60 progressive frames per second

Also called 12G‑SDI.

SMPTE ST 2083

A standard currently under development by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) that defines the transmission of uncompressed digital video and audio payloads up to a nominal 24 Gbps over coaxial cable.

Two bitrates are defined; 23.76 Gbit/s and 23.76/1.001 Gbit/s. The 23.76/1.001 Gbit/s bitrate is provided to support frame rates of 59.94 Hz, 29.97 Hz, and 23.98 Hz, in order to be upwards compatible with existing NTSC systems. The 23.76 Gbit/s bitrate supports other frame rates in widespread use, including 60 Hz, 50 Hz, 30 Hz, 25 Hz, and 24 Hz.

Common video formats defined by this standard:

  • 3840x2160 at 100, 119.88, and 120 progressive frames per second
  • 4096x2160 at 100, 119.88, and 120 progressive frames per second
  • 7680x4320 at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 progressive frames per second
  • 8192x2160 at 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 progressive frames per second

Also called 24G‑SDI.

SMPTE ST 2110

A suite of standards published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers that defines the transmission of digital video, audio, and ancillary data signals over IP infrastructure.

Snap Zoom

See Whip Zoom.

Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

A global professional association of engineers, technologists, and executives working in the media and entertainment industry. As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE has published more than 800 technical standards for broadcast, filmmaking, digital cinema, audio recording, information technology (IT), and medical imaging.

SOOW

A specific designation of multi‑conductor cable used for portable extension cords and stingers.

Letter codes:

  • S
    • Severe Service Cord – 600 volts (also 277/480 or 480) – May be utilized in place of SJ or SV in extra‑severe service
  • OO
    • Oil‑Resistant Outer Jacket and Oil‑Resistant Interior Insulation
  • W
    • Weather and Water Resistant (UL and CSA approved for indoor and outdoor use)
Sound Unit

Any acoustic unit of sound measurement.

Common units in production include Decibel (dB) and Hertz (Hz).

Source

A thing from which something else comes.

An input signal or internal signal generator within a production switcher or router.

Stage Left

The left half, or movement towards the left, of a stage from the perspective of one standing on stage and facing the audience.

Similar to Camera Right, House Right, and Screen Right.

Stage Right

The right half, or movement towards the right, of a stage from the perspective of one standing on stage and facing the audience.

Similar to Camera Left, House Left, and Screen Left.

Stage Wash

The main/principle front light used to illuminate the subject or subjects on stage, often created using multiple lighting fixtures to "wash" a large area.

Often confused with a key light in a three-point lighting setup.

Standard

A document published by an authority that defines criteria necessary for effective interchange/interconnection within a system.

Stanton Video

A manufacturer of the Jimmy Jib camera jib brand of products that range in lengths from 6 to 40 feet.

Stinger

An electrical extension cord constructed of 12‑gauge 3‑wire rubber SJOOW or SOOW wire and NEMA 5 plugs on either end.

Used in television and film to power up to 2000 watts of lights and/or other equipment.

Stop

When referring to light, one stop is double or half the amount of light in respect to exposure.

See F‑number.

Streaming

The process of transmitting video and/or audio content over the Internet or IP infrastructure.

Super 35

A motion picture film format with an active surface area approximately 24.9mm x 18.7mm. It uses the same film stock as 35mm movie film, but captures a slightly larger image by using the space normally reserved for the sound track.

Also used to describe the camera sensor format with a similar active surface area.

Originally known as Superscope 235.

Similar to the APS‑C camera sensor format for digital photography.

Super eXtended Graphics Array

A standard display resolution of 1280 x 1024 created as an update to XGA.

The resolution itself is a 5:4 aspect ratio, so physical displays used rectangular pixels to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Also referred to as SXGA.

Sustained

Continued for an extended period without interruption.

SXGA

See Super eXtended Graphics Array.


T

T‑bar

See Transition Lever.

Ten‑codes

A series of brevity codes that start with the number ten followed by another number that are used by law enforcement and in citizens band radio transmissions to represent common phrases or ideas.

Ten Signals

See Ten‑codes.

Three-point Lighting

A lighting method used in 3D modeling, film, photography, theater, and video that comprises of three separate light sources around a subject or subjects: a key light, fill light, and back light.

In theater, a three-point lighting setup may include two matching key lights on opposing left/right angles instead of separate key and fill intensities and/or colors.

Three Shot

A camera shot that shows three subjects within the same frame.

Throughput

The amount of data that moves through a component or system in a given time.

Tilt

Rotating a camera up or down on the vertical axis from a fixed pivot point to reveal areas of the scene above or below the current camera shot.

Tilt and Scan

See Reverse Pan and Scan.

Title-safe Area

The area of a video frame determined to ensure important textual and graphic content is seen by most viewers.

SMPTE ST 2046-1 and EBU R 95 both define the title-safe area as a rectangle that is 90% of the width and 90% of the height of the production aperture and concentric with it.

For example, a 1920 x 1080 video frame has a title-safe area of 1728 x 972 pixels that is 96 pixels inside the left and right edges of the frame and 54 pixels inside the top and bottom edges of the frame.

Also referred to as Graphics-safe Area.

Title-safe Line

A visual reference tool that overlays a marker/line over a video frame that defines the boundary of the title-safe area.

The line is typically used during production or post production and is not seen in the final video.

Transition

The process of changing from one video and/or audio source to another.

A segment connecting one scene to another.

Transition Lever

A physical lever that is used to perform a transition between two buses on a video production switcher or vision mixer. Common transitions include dissolves and pattern wipes.

Levers typically include a horizontal handle on top making it look like the capital letter T.

Also referred to as a T‑bar or fader bar.

Triple

A double lighting modifier and single lighting modifier stacked together that cuts the amount of light by approximately three full stops.

Tripod

A three‑legged stand used for supporting and maintaining the stability of the payload placed on top.

Two Shot

A camera shot that shows two subjects within the same frame.


U

U

See Rack Unit.

UDC

Initialism for Up, Down, and Cross.

See Up/Down/Cross Converter.

Up/Down/Cross Converter

A hardware device that can apply upconversion, downconversion, or cross conversion to a video input signal before passing it to the video output(s).

Upconversion

The process of converting a video's resolution to a higher resolution using a scaler.

For example, converting 1280 x 720 to 1920 x 1080.

Upconvert

See Upconversion.

Upconverter

A hardware device that can apply upconversion to a video input signal before passing it to the video output(s).

Upstage

The back half of a stage furthest from the audience.

The opposite of Downstage.

Upstaging

A type of blocking where an actor positions themselves upstage and causes another actor, or multiple other actors, to turn their backs to the audience.

Diverting attention away from others and towards oneself.


V

V‑flat

A lighting modifier that consists of two foam panels (or other similar types of paneling or plywood) that are connected and hinged together along one edge. When unfolded anywhere short of 180 degrees, they can stand up on a flat floor or surface without stands or additional support.

V‑flats can be used to reflect or block light from a lighting setup, create partitions, or can be used as backdrops or set decoration.

VAC

See Volts AC.

Varifocal Lens

A zoom lens that shifts the focus distance/plane when focal length is adjusted.

Opposite of a Parfocal Lens.

VESA

See Video Electronics Standards Association.

VGA

See Video Graphics Array.

Video Electronics Standards Association

An international non‑profit technical standards organization that publishes interface and display standards for the PC, workstation, and consumer electronics industries.

Video Graphics Array

A video display controller and set of associated graphics standards created by IBM in 1987.

The standards defined a 15-pin D-subminiature connector and a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, both of which have become synonymous with the VGA term.

Video On Demand

A form of media distribution that allows the viewer to access and playback video content at any time.

Video Tape Recorder

An electronic hardware unit designed to record video and audio material on magnetic tape and play back audio and video material already stored on magnetic tape.

A term still commonly used to refer to any type of hardware unit that can record and play back video and audio material.

VOD

See Video On Demand.

Volts AC

A unit of measurement, usually preceded by a number (e.g. 120 or 230) that refers to the voltage available from an alternating current power supply.

VTR

See Video Tape Recorder.


W

Walk‑through

Rehearsal of a script, production, or process.

Whip Zoom

The process of zooming in and/or out quickly.

It can be used by a camera operator to quickly focus on a subject in a live production or used in filmmaking for a dramatic style of shot.

Also referred to as a crash zoom or snap zoom.

White Balance

A type of color balancing used to make white objects appear white and not a shade of any other color.

Wide eXtended Graphics Array

A set of non-standard resolutions created by widening the 1024 x 768 resolution defined by XGA.

The two resolutions include 1366 x 768 and 1280 x 800.

These formats are often found in display panels manufactured for computer monitors and projectors.

Also referred to as WXGA.

WXGA

See Wide eXtended Graphics Array.


X

XCU

See Extreme Close‑up Shot.

XGA

See eXtended Graphics Array.

XLS

See Extreme Long Shot.

XWS

See Extreme Long Shot.


Y

YCbCr

A type of color encoding and compression used in digital video and image pipelines where Y represents the luma component, Cb represents the blue‑difference component, and Cr represents the red‑difference component.

See 4:2:2, 4:2:0, 4:1:1, and Chroma Subsampling.

Yoke

A U‑shaped mount used for mounting lighting fixtures that attaches to the fixture at two points, on each side of the fixture, providing an axis of rotation. The base of the yoke is typically a single mounting point around which the yoke can also be rotated, providing a second axis of rotation. When combined, these two axes allow the fixture to point nearly anywhere in a spherical range of motion encircling the yoke.


Z

Zebra Patterning

A feature found in many cinema and video cameras that overlays a striped or cross‑hatch pattern to areas of an image that exceed a specific exposure threshold.

For example, a zebra pattern with a threshold of 80% will overlay a pattern on all parts of the image that are brighter than 80% luminance.

Zebra Stripes

See Zebra Patterning.

Zebras

See Zebra Patterning.

Zoetrope

A device that consists of a cylinder with a sequence of images on the inner wall that, when viewed through small slits in the cylinder's wall as the cylinder spins, give the illusion or perception of motion.

From the Greek root words zoe (life) and tropos (turning).

Zoom

The process of changing the focal length within a varifocal lens to achieve a different angle of view.

The process of increasing or decreasing the size of what is shown on a screen or display.

Zoom‑by‑wire

See Control‑by‑wire.

Zoom Lens

A lens system comprised of multiple lens elements that can be manipulated to change the lens focal length.

A general term that can apply to a Varifocal Lens or a Parfocal Lens.

Zoom Ratio

The ratio between the shortest focal length and the longest focal length within a zoom lens.

Example: a 100mm to 400mm zoom lens has a zoom ratio of 4:1 or 4x.

Zoom Ring

The physical ring located on the exterior of a zoom lens that allows one to mechanically or electronically change the focal length.

Zoptic

A front projection effects process, created and patented by Zoran Perisic for the 1978 Superman movie, that involves the synchronization of zoom lenses on the projector and camera to zoom in and out simultaneously, allowing the projected image to appear unchanged as the camera lens changes zoom.

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