12 video terms you probably didn’t know



If you’re someone not exactly clued up in all things video or you want to start out in our industry, video terminology can be a little daunting. Some might say it’s like learning a new language. To help you out next time, here’s a list of 12 basic video jargon terms you may come across, so you can show off to all your mates that you know what you’re talking about.



  1. Action axis -

Think of it as an imaginary line - it goes between two objects or subjects to enhance the continuity of the video. It's a good way to ensure that there are no errors. To make things easier, it’s also called the 180 degree rule.


  1. Aspect ratio -

The aspect ratio is the measurement of your video’s dimensions. Primarily using the width and the height, the main ratios are 4:3 and 16:9, with 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 becoming more popular due to advancements within cinema.


  1. Bit rate -

Another measurement - bit rate is the relationship between data and the seconds within your video. The more data used for each second, the better quality the video (and as a consequence, the bandwidth).


  1. Colour grading -

Sounds complicated, but very simple - it’s just changing or improving the colour in a video.


  1. Cyclorama -

In terms of production, this just refers to a background with rounded corners. They’re usually specially built, since it’s pretty hard to magically make a studio’s corners round.


  1. Frame rate -

The more frames on the screen, the higher the frame rate. Basically.


  1. I.S.O. -

The I.S.O. refers to lighting and the sensitivity of a camera’s sensor. If you increase the I.S.O., your camera becomes more sensitive, meaning you can film in lower light conditions (vice versa in bright light). What’s not to love?


  1. Picture profiles -

A picture profile is an in-camera menu, used specifically for altering your video in terms of its contrast, gradation, colouring, saturation and sharpness. You can use these to make your video that extra bit special and to create the right mood or setting you’re after. Plus, you can change it all on the spot as you are filming.


  1. Rack focus -

It’s all about shift with this one - adjusting the focus between the background and foreground is a clever ploy used to divert the audience's’ attention to what is in focus as it shifts.


  1. Rule of thirds -

Imagine dividing an image into nine equal squares. This is rule of thirds - often used as a reference point for a frame, i.e. one of the nine equal squares can be pointed out and properly dissected in the later stages of editing. It keeps it simple so you don’t get confused as to which section of the frame needs a look at.


  1. Stings -

A sting is that bit of animation at the end of a video, usually showcasing the logo of the company. It’s predominantly used for corporate videos, since its last frame is of the logo, leaving a final impression on the audience - all while impressing them.


  1. Wipe -

Quite simply, a wipe is a transition where one shot replaces the next by travelling from one side of the frame to another (just like those good old PowerPoint transitions).


Fingers crossed these 12 definitions helped clear things up a little.

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