Demystifying Video Editing Jargon: A Glossary for Beginners 

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Every industry has it’s jargon. If you’ve ever been told to synergize your ROI during your scrum, you know what we are talking about. 

Getting in to video editing can be overwhelming when you are faced with a large amount of technical terms and jargon. Understanding this language is crucial for navigating editing software and expressing your creative vision effectively.  

In this blog, we’ll demystify video editing jargon with a beginner-friendly glossary, providing clarity on some key terms and concepts. 

1. A-roll 
A-roll refers to the main audio and video, and it typically consists of one or more persons talking about a topic or telling a story. 

2. Aspect ratio 
Aspect ration indicates the orientation of a video by providing the proportion of width to height as measured in pixels. For example, the resolution 1920 px by 1080 has an aspect ratio of 16:9. 

3. B-roll 
B-roll is the footage that visually supports the A-Roll. If the A-Roll narrative talks about sports, then the B-Roll might show a baseball game. 

4. Bumper 
Bumpers are short pieces of music, max ~15 seconds, that are used during intros, outros, and transitions. They inform the audience about the beginning, end or other interruption. 

5. Clean plate 
A clean plate is a “blank” piece of video or a still picture of your scene with the same composition, lighting, and movement as the final clip. A clean plate is the backdrop of your set, without your subjects. 

6. Codec 
Codec stands for “compressor-decompressor.” It is a software or hardware tool that compresses and decompresses video files. Common codecs include H.264 and H.265. 

7. Compression 
Compression is a method of removing unnecessary and non-functional data from the original file in order to get the file smaller and easier to transfer. 

8. Crossfade 
A crossfade is a transition where one clip gradually fades out as another fades in. It creates a smooth and gradual transition between two shots. 

9. Cut 
A cut refers to the point where one shot ends and another begins. It is the most basic and common type of transition used in film and television. The cut serves to move from one scene to another, or to different viewpoints within the same scene. It’s the simplest way to transition between scenes or shots in your video. 

10. Cut-in 
A cut-in is a close-up shot of the items that the actor is manipulating. 

11. Export 
Exporting is the process of saving your edited video as a new file. This final video file can be shared, uploaded, or played on various devices. 

12. Foley 
Foley is the art of adding sound effects in post-production to enhance the auditory experience of a video. It includes footsteps, door creaks, and other ambient sounds. 

13. Frame Rate 
Frame rate is the number of individual frames displayed per second in a video. Common frame rates include 24fps (frames per second) for a cinematic look and 30fps or 60fps for smoother motion. 

14. Keyframe 
Keyframes are markers that define the start and end points of an animation or change in a video effect. By setting keyframes, you can create dynamic changes in parameters like position, scale, or opacity. 

15. L-Cut and J-Cut: 
An L-cut is when the audio from the preceding scene continues into the next, creating a natural flow. A J-cut is the reverse, where the audio from the next scene precedes the video. 

16. Render 
Rendering is the process of generating the final output of your edited video. This includes applying effects, transitions, and any changes made during the editing process. 

17. Resolution 
Resolution refers to the number of pixels in a video. Common resolutions include 720p (HD), 1080p (Full HD), and 4K. Higher resolutions generally result in sharper and more detailed video. 

18. Timeline 
The timeline is the graphical representation of your video’s structure. It displays the sequence of video and audio clips, allowing you to arrange, cut, and edit them in a specific order. 

19. Transition 
Transitions are effects that connect one clip to another. Common transitions include cuts, fades, dissolves, and wipes, each offering a distinct visual transition between scenes. 

20. Trim 
Trimming involves adjusting the in and out points of a clip on the timeline. This allows you to shorten or extend the duration of a clip without changing its content. 

Understanding these common video editing terms provides a solid foundation for diving into the creative world of video production. As you explore and practice with these concepts, you’ll gain confidence in using video editing software and expressing your unique vision through your projects.  

To try easy-to-use video editing software, check out Digital Joy Studio today. 

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