See Dolby Digital.
ADC (Analog-to-Digital Converter)
The hardware that converts an analog audio or video signal into a digital signal that you can process with a computer.
Accelerated graphics port slot. A connector on a computer’s motherboard for use with a GPU card. See GPU.
Undesirable jagged or stair-stepped appearance of angled lines in an image, graphic, or text.
Stores a matte (also known as a mask), which defines transparent areas of a computer graphic or clip. Color information is stored in the three color channels, red, green, and blue (RGB). See also channel.
Video that consists of a continuous electrical signal. Most TVs and VCRs are analog video devices. To be stored and manipulated on a computer, analog video must be converted to digital video.
The smoothing of edges in an image, graphic, or text. Anti-aliased edges appear blurred up close but smooth at normal viewing distance. Anti-aliasing is important when working with high-quality graphics for broadcast.
Distortion in a picture or a sound signal. With digital video, artifacts can result from overloading the input device with too much signal or from excessive or improper compression.
The ratio of an image’s width to its height. For example, a standard video display has an aspect ratio of 4:3. Most motion pictures use the more elongated aspect ratio of 16:9. See also widescreen.
audio sample rate
The number of samples taken per second to reproduce audio digitally. The higher the sample rate, the higher the quality of the digital audio. A rate of 44,100 samples per second produces CD-quality audio and captures the range of human hearing.
Audio Video Interleave. The standard, uncompressed video file format on the Microsoft® Windows® platform.
An electronic device that converts analog video signals to digital video signals. Compare to DV-to-AV converter.
In digital graphics and video, bit depth indicates the number of colors an image can display. A high-contrast (no gray tones) black and white image is 1bit, meaning it can be off or on, black or white. As bit depth increases, more colors become available. 24-bit color allows for millions of colors to be displayed.
Similarly, in digital audio, bit depth indicates the number of bits per sample. The higher the number, the better the sound quality.
A graphic image comprised of individual pixels, each of which has values that define its brightness and color.
An optical disc format that has five times the storage capacity of DVDs. It can store 25GB on a single-layer disc or 50GB on a dual-layer disc. It gets its name from the blue-violet laser it uses (as opposed to the red laser used by other optical discs).
A digital video camera—that is, a device that records sequences of continuous pictures and generates a signal for display or transfer of video footage.
The process of transferring source video from a camcorder or tape deck to a computer. If the source video is analog, the capture process converts the video to digital.
Sometimes called a capture or video board. A card installed into a computer and used to digitize video. Or, for video that is already digitized, the device that simply transfers the file to the hard disk.
Stores color information for a computer graphic. Each graphic contains three separate channels (red, green, and blue) that can be adjusted independently. Additional channels, called alpha channels, can be added to define transparent areas.
Short for chrominance.
A video effect that removes an area of specific color. This effect is often used during newscasts to insert a weather map behind a meteorologist.
The color information in a video signal that comprises the hue (phase angle) and saturation (amplitude).
A commonly used codec for compression of video files on CD-ROM. Cinepak offers temporal and spatial compression and data-rate limiting.
Short for compressor/decompressor. A device or program that uses algorithms to compress video and sound files, making them easier to work with and store, and to decompress files for playback. Common codecs convert analog video signals to compressed digital video files (for example, MPEG) or analog sound signals to digital sound files (for example, RealAudio®). See also compression.
See NTSC color bars.
The process of altering the color of video, especially if it was shot under less than ideal conditions, such as low light.
The process of reducing data, such as in an audio or video file, into a form that requires less space.
In Adobe Premiere Elements, a gray pointer with a red line in Timeline and Properties, and a gray pointer with a gray line in the Monitor. You drag this indicator to navigate through clips and identify specific frames.
The simplest type of transition, in which the last frame of one clip is followed by the first frame of the next.
Stands for Digital 1, a digital video format that has a 4:3 frame aspect ratio and a 0.9:1 pixel aspect ratio. D1 pixels are rectangular (non-square), unlike analog pixels, which are square. D1 is an international TV standard: D1-NTSC uses a frame size of 720 x 486 pixels, and D1-PAL uses a frame size of 720 x 576 pixels. See also digital video and square-pixel footage.
The amount of data moved over a period of time (for example, 10 MB per second). Often used to describe a hard drive's ability to retrieve and deliver information.
To divide an encoded video signal into its separate components. See also encode.
To remove artifacts that result from interlaced video. See also interlacing.
Alternating the colors of adjacent pixels to approximate intermediate colors. (For example, displaying adjacent blue and yellow pixels to approximate green.) Dithering enables monitors to approximate colors they are unable to display.
Standard lossy audio format for DVD video. Supports mono and stereo audio, but is most commonly used to compress 5.1 surround sound with the AC-3 codec. See also lossy.
An area of magnetic tape where information is missing. Drop-outs may occur due to dust, overuse, or physical damage. They can cause random, flashing color pixels in affected frames. To avoid drop-outs, use a head-cleaning tape regularly in your camcorder.
Missing frames lost during the process of digitizing or capturing video. Dropped frames can be caused by a hard drive with a low data transfer rate.
An electronic device that converts digital video signals into analog video signals. Compare to AV-to-DV converter.
Generally refers to digital video, but also connotes the type of compression used by DV systems and formats. DV also describes the tape cartridge used in DV camcorders and tape decks.
Abbreviation for digital video disc and digital versatile disc. DVDs look like CDs, but have a much larger storage capacity—more than enough for a feature-length film compressed with MPEG-2. DVDs require special drives for playback.
DVD burners support one or more of the following disc formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, and DVD-R DL. (Note that -R and +R are different, as are -RW and +RW.) R discs let you record once to the disc. RW discs let you rerecord repeatedly. DL discs are dual layer. Use R discs for broadest compatibility; not all DVD players can read RW discs.
The timecode system created by the European Broadcasting Union and based on SECAM or PAL video signals.
To merge the individual video signals (for example, red, green, and blue) into a combined signal, or to convert a video file to a different format using a codec.
Federal Communications Commission, the bureau that regulates radio and TV broadcast standards in the United States.
The sets of alternating horizontal lines that create an interlaced image on a TV screen. A complete TV frame consists of two fields: The odd-numbered lines of field one are interlaced with the even-numbered lines of field two. See also interlacing.
The final video production, assembled from high-quality clips, and ready for export to the selected delivery media. Compare to rough cut.
The Apple® Computer trade name for IEEE 1394.
Frames per second; the standard for measuring the rate of video playback. At 15 fps and lower, the human eye can detect individual frames, causing video to appear jerky.
A single still image in a sequence of images that, when displayed in rapid succession, creates the illusion of motion. The more frames per second (fps), the smoother the motion appears.
frames per second
The number of audio cycles per second, expressed in hertz (Hz). Frequency determines the pitch of a sound.
The range of color or brightness values allowed for a video signal. Values that exceed the gamut may cause distortion.
The series of visual tones that range from true black to true white. In video applications, grayscale is usually expressed in 10 steps.
Graphics processing unit. A microprocessor with built-in capabilities for handling 3D graphics more efficiently than a CPU (central processing unit).
High Definition TV. A broadcast format that allows for a higher resolution signal than the traditional formats, NTSC, PAL, and SECAM.
The distinction between colors (for example, red, yellow, and blue). White, black, and gray tones are not considered hues.
The interface standard that enables direct transfer of DV between devices, such as a DV camcorder and a computer. IEEE 1394 also describes the cables and connectors utilizing this standard. Also called FireWire or i.LINK. See also USB.
Also referred to as electronic image stabilizer. A technique used to remove the movement caused by camera shake.
A compression scheme, such as MPEG, that reduces the amount of video information by storing only the differences between a frame and those preceding it.
A system developed for early TV and still in use in standard TV displays. An electron gun illuminates the phosphors coating the inside of the screen, first drawing the even, and then drawing the odd horizontal lines across the screen. By the time the even lines are dimming, the odd lines are illuminated. We perceive these interlaced fields as complete pictures.
An edit in which the audio starts before the video, giving the video a dramatic introduction. Also known as an audio lead.
Joint Photographic Experts Group. Also, a file format defined by that group for compressing still images. Because video is a sequence of still images, JPEG compression can be used to compress video. See also MJPEG.
Replacing part of one TV image with video from another image. Also called blue screen. See also chroma key.
An edit in which the video ends before the audio, which acts as a subtle transition from one scene to the next. To perform an L-cut in the Timeline window, hold down the Alt key and drag the right edge of the video to the left; the result looks like the letter L.
A technique used to preserve the original aspect ratio of a motion picture when played on a TV. Letterboxing adds black bars to the top and bottom of the screen.
A compression scheme that doesn’t affect signal quality, such as the transfer of DV via an IEEE 1394 connection.
A compression scheme that degrades quality. Lossy algorithms compress digital data by eliminating the data least sensitive to the human eye, and offer the highest compression rates available.
A method for creating movies that combines traditional filmmaking, animation, and virtual 3D gaming technology. Machinima is the combined form of “machine/cinema” or “machine/animation.”
DVD markers indicate chapters, scenes, and stop points for a DVD menu. In Premiere Elements, DVD markers are also called scene markers. Clip markers signify important points within a clip. Timeline markers indicate scenes, locations for titles, or other significant points within an entire movie. Clip markers and timeline markers are used for positioning and trimming clips.
The transparent area of an image, typically defined by a graphic shape or a bluescreen background. Also called a mask.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A standard used to share data between electronic music equipment and computers.
A timeline that appears at the bottom of the Monitor panel when the Sceneline is displayed. (See also timeline.)
Motion JPEG. A compression standard used to convert each video frame into a compressed JPEG image. MJPEG is best suited for broadcast-quality video, and is preferable over MPEG for footage that contains a great deal of movement. See also MPEG.
A DVD menu that has a moving background image instead of a still image, animated buttons, or both.
Motion Pictures Expert Group. Also, a type of compression and a video format. Unlike JPEG, where individual frames are compressed, MPEG compression calculates and encodes only the differences between one frame and its preceding frame.
Compression standard used to convert analog video for use in digital applications. It was designed to deliver near-broadcast-quality video through a standard speed CD-ROM. The compression ratio is about 100:1.
Extension of the MPEG-1 standard. It was designed to meet the requirements of TV broadcast studios. MPEG-2 is the broadcast-quality video found on DVDs and requires a decoder for playback.
Developed for HDTV but became obsolete when MPEG-2 was discovered to adequately meet HDTV requirements. Often confused with MP3.
Builds on previous MPEG standards, adding support for streaming video and improved compression schemes. Often used for video podcasting.
Refers to editing originally captured clips, both DV and HDV, at their original, uncompressed quality.
The range of grays, from black to white, that have no color. For neutral color areas, RGB values are equal.
Timecode method that uses the color TV frame rate of 29.97 fps. Non-drop-frame timecode is preferred for nonbroadcast applications and most of low-end videotape formats. Compare to drop-frame.
Random-access editing of video and audio on a computer, enabling edits at any point in the timeline. By contrast, traditional videotape editors are linear because they require editing video sequentially, from beginning to end.
National Television Standards Committee. Standard for color TV transmission used in North America, Japan, Central America, and some countries in South America. NTSC incorporates an interlaced display with 60 fields per second, 29.97 frames per second (fps).
NTSC color bars
The pattern of eight equal-width color bars used to check broadcast transmission paths, recording quality, playback quality, and monitor alignment.
Interlaced red, green, and blue video signals that meet NTSC standards and represent the primary colors of an image.
Editing a rough cut using low-quality clips, and then producing the final cut with high-quality clips, usually on a more sophisticated editing system than that used for developing the rough.
Doing all editing (including the rough cut) on the same clips that will be used to produce the final cut.
Phase alternating line. The TV standard used in most European and South American countries. PAL uses an interlaced display with 50 fields per second, 25 frames per second.
A connection slot for expansion cards found in most computers. Most video capture cards require a PCI slot.
A cache file that contains the waveform image of an audio file. Peak files allow a program to open, save, and redraw audio files more quickly because the program doesn’t have to reread the waveform data each time it opens or displays an audio file. Peak files (*.pk) can be deleted without affecting the original audio files.
An abbreviation for picture element, the smallest display element on a computer monitor—a point with a specific color and intensity level. Graphics programs use square pixels. However, NTSC and PAL video pixels are rectangular, so computer graphics displayed on a TV screen will be distorted (for example, a circle will appear as an oval) unless the aspect ratio of the graphics is adjusted for video.
In 3D graphics, a program that a GPU uses to render the lighting and color of individual pixels, creating realistic-looking surfaces. (Not all GPUs support pixel shaders.) Pixel shaders are commonly used in creating graphics for computer games.
A software module that can extend the features of a software application. In Adobe Premiere Elements, for example, you can use VST plug-ins to add audio effects.
Files that store information about tracks and effects in a project. Preview files are created during the rendering process and stored on the hard drive. They save time during the final export of a movie because the video edition application can use the information in the preview files rather than render clips again.
Instantaneous processing of data. In video, real time refers to effects and transitions you can preview without interrupting the rendering process.
The number of pixels in each frame of video (for example, 640 x 480). All other things being equal, a higher resolution will result in a better-quality image.
Red, green, blue. The three primary colors, which are used to display color on a computer monitor or TV screen.
The automatic forward or backward movement of clips in the Timeline in relation to an inserted or deleted clip.
The automatic change in the duration of an adjoining clip when a clip is inserted or extracted, or when the duration of a clip is altered.
A preliminary version of a video production, often assembled from lower quality clips than those used for the final cut.
In digital audio, the number of samples per second. The higher the number, the better the sound quality.
The strength or purity of a color. Saturation represents the amount of gray in proportion to the hue, measured as a percentage from 0% (gray) to 100% (fully saturated).
Automatic detection of scene changes in video clips. You can use scene detection when capturing video (though not when capturing HDV), or you can use it on captured clips. Premiere Elements supports image-based scene detection.
Provides a visual layout of media clips so you can quickly arrange your clips, as well as add titles, transitions, and effects.
Systeme Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire, a TV format used mainly in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Africa. In these countries, TVs support both SECAM and PAL, but DV camcorders and DVD players use only PAL. Therefore, Adobe Premiere Elements users in these countries should use the PAL preset for projects and DVDs.
signal-to-noise ratio (S/N)
Expressed in decibels (dB), the ratio of noise relative to the desired video or audio signal. The higher the value, the clearer the picture and sound.
An editing feature that adjusts the Out point of the previous clip and the In point of the next clip without affecting the center clip or program duration. Compare to slip edit.
An editing feature that adjusts the In and Out points of a clip without affecting the adjacent clips or program duration. Compare to slide edit.
Random noise on a video screen, often the result of a dirty videotape head or poor TV reception.
A compression method that reduces the data contained within a single video frame by identifying areas of similar color and eliminating the redundancy. See also codec.
A special effect that displays two or more scenes simultaneously on different parts of the screen.
Footage that has a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio, typically analog video. Most computer graphics have a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio. See also D1.
A series of images representing each clip in a movie. You rearrange the images to change the order in which clips appear. In Adobe Premiere Elements, storyboard-style editing occurs in the Sceneline. (See Sceneline overview.)
The most common edit; consecutive clips placed one after another in the Timeline window. Straight cuts are preferable to transitions when the scenes are similar and you don’t want edits to be noticeable.
The process of playing video from the web as it is received, rather than waiting for an entire file to download prior to playback.
Preparing a tape for editing by recording a video signal (for example, black) with a control track and timecode to ensure proper playback. Also known as black stripe.
Combining images, where one or more layers involve transparency. See also compositing.
Super-Video. A technology used to transmit video by dividing the video information into two separate signals: one for luminance (brightness) and one for chrominance (color).
A compression method that identifies similar areas across video frames and eliminates the redundancy. See also codec.
The graphical element in a video-editing program on which video, audio, and graphics clips are arranged. (See also mini-timeline.)
Changing the position of objects (for example, text or graphics) by moving, rotating, aligning, or distributing them.
A change in video from one clip to another. Often these visual changes involve effects in which elements of one clip are blended with another.
A feature that fills in the frames between two images so movement appears smoother. See also keyframes.
Universal Serial Bus. The interface standard that allows a plug-and-play experience, where you can add a new device to your computer without having to install an adapter card or configuring other elements. See also IEEE 1394.
In 3D graphics, a program that a GPU uses to render effects realistically, relative to an object’s position in space. (Not all GPUs support vertex shaders.) Vertex shaders are commonly used in creating graphics for computer games.
video capture card
See capture card.
A standard that determines the way a video signal is recorded on videotape. Standards include DV, 8-mm, Beta, and VHS.
DVD Video Object. The VOB format is commonly used to distribute movies on DVDs; video, audio, title streams, and menu contents are combined in a single file. The video stream is typically MPEG-2.
Any aspect ratio for film and video wider than the standard 4:3 format; previously used to refer to wide-aspect film formats; now typically used to refer to the 16:9 format that has become standard widescreen for DVD, because this is the aspect ratio specified for HDTV.