A beginner’s guide to basic video editing terms (part 1)

As digital video consumption grows, video editing is an important skill to learn but it can be intimidating for beginners. If you’re new to the world of video editing, there’s a good chance you feel overwhelmed by all the technical jargon and tools available in the market.

Understanding the core concepts of video editing is crucial for producing visually appealing and captivating content. Moreover, as technology advances rapidly, new tools and innovations continue to shape the world of video editing so it’s also important to keep up with the latest trends and technologies that can elevate your videos.

In this mini-blog series, we will demystify the complexities of video editing and provide you with a solid foundation to get started. Whether you're a content creator, a budding filmmaker, or someone looking to enhance their video projects, we've got you covered.

For the first part of our blog series, we will cover common terms you need to know to create and customise your first video. Let’s get started!

Video Editing

What is a video template?

A video template is a video project file that is designed to be customisable. It typically includes graphics, transitions, sound effects and other elements that can be tailored to fit a style, theme or brand. It provides a starting point for a video project so users don’t need to start from scratch every time.

In Shotstack, users can design their own templates or choose from professionally-designed pre-built templates.

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What are slideshow videos?

Slideshow videos are created by combining multiple static images, often with transitions and music. They are a simple and effective way of telling a story or sharing information without the need for filming or animation.

What is bitrate in videos?

Bitrate refers to the amount of data being transferred into audio and video per second. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality of the video, but it also means a larger file size.

What is a picture-in-picture video?

A picture-in-picture video is a type of video that shows two or more videos simultaneously on the same screen. One video is usually displayed in full screen while the other videos are displayed in smaller windows on top of it. A picture-in-picture video can help users show multiple perspectives, comparisons, or interactions in their content.

Video Elements and Effects

What is a lower third?

Lower thirds is a graphic element that appears at the lower third of a video screen and displays information such as names, titles, logos, or captions. It can also include logos, branding or other elements.

What are luma mattes?

Luma mattes are a type of alpha channel that use the brightness or luminance of one layer to control the transparency of another layer in video editing. Luma mattes can create various effects, such as revealing or hiding parts of a layer, blending layers together, or creating transitions. For example, users can use a luma matte to make a text appear or disappear gradually based on the brightness of a background image.

What is an overlay?

An overlay is a layer placed on top of another layer in video editing. Overlays can add various elements or effects to a video, such as text, images, graphics, animations, or filters. Overlays can also change the appearance or mood of a video by adjusting the opacity, blending mode, or position of the overlay layer.

What is a shuffle transition?

A shuffle transition is a type of transition that splits a video clip into multiple segments and shuffles them randomly before revealing the following clip. A shuffle transition can help users create dynamic and surprising effects for their videos by adding randomness, variety, and excitement to their content.

What is After Effects?

After Effects is a software application that allows users to create motion graphics, visual effects, animations, and compositing for film, TV, video, and the web. After Effects is widely used by professionals and beginners for creating stunning and creative videos.

Shotstack has recently introduced an After Effects integration that allows users to import templates or assets created in After Effects into Shotstack to make editing multiple videos easier. This integration feature is currently in alpha stage.

What is a Ken Burns slideshow effect?

The Ken Burns effect is a popular technique used in video and slideshow presentations. It involves panning and zooming on still images to create a sense of motion and engagement. The effect is named after the American documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who often used this technique in his documentaries. By slowly zooming in or out and panning across the image, the Ken Burns effect adds a dynamic and visually appealing element to otherwise static images.

What is a kinetic text?

Kinetic text, also known as motion typography or animated text, refers to text elements in videos or presentations that move and change position, size, or appearance over time. This technique is commonly used to emphasize key points, create visual interest, and improve overall engagement in multimedia content.

What is a padded table?

In video editing, a padded table refers to a technique where black bars or padding are added to the sides of a video to create a specific aspect ratio, typically to match the desired dimensions or maintain consistency with other media elements in the project. This is often done when working with videos of different aspect ratios, such as fitting a widescreen video into a standard 4:3 aspect ratio without stretching or distorting the image.

What are colour mattes?

Colour mattes, in the context of video editing, are solid colour clips or layers used to fill the space between two video clips or as background elements in a video project. They are typically used to create a visual separation between different segments, add visual interest, or serve as placeholders for graphics or text.

What is a text flat drop shadow?

A text flat drop shadow is a shadow effect added to text in graphic design or video editing. The drop shadow is "flat" in the sense that it doesn't have any blur or gradient, creating a sharp and distinct shadow that appears directly below or behind the text. This technique adds depth to the text and makes it stand out from the background, giving it a more three-dimensional appearance.

What is a flat box shadow?

A flat box shadow, similar to the text flat drop shadow, is a shadow effect applied to a box or element in graphic design or user interface design. It is called "flat" because it lacks any blur or gradient, resulting in a sharp and well-defined shadow around the edges of the box. Flat box shadows are commonly used in modern design to provide subtle visual depth and separation between elements.

What is text blur drop shadow?

A text blur drop shadow is a shadow effect applied to text that has a blur effect, creating a softer and more diffused shadow around the text. This type of drop shadow is often used to create a more subtle and natural-looking shadow, as opposed to the sharp and defined appearance of a flat drop shadow.

Audio Effects

What is an audio stitch?

In audio editing, audio stitching refers to the process of seamlessly combining or merging two or more audio clips together. This is commonly done to create a continuous and smooth audio track, especially when working with recorded dialogue or music that has been split into multiple parts.

What is a multiple-volume audio?

A multiple-volume audio typically refers to an audio recording that is divided into several separate parts or files, each representing a portion of the entire recording. This could be done for organizational purposes, storage convenience, or to manage large audio projects more effectively.

Video Processing:

What does transcoding mean?

Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital conversion of one encoding to another, such as for movie data files. This is usually done in cases where a target device does not support the format or has limited storage capacity that mandates a reduced file size or converts incompatible or obsolete data to a better-supported or modern format.

What is asset caching mean?

In digital media, asset caching refers to the process of storing digital assets (like images, videos, or other media files) in a cache (a storage location), so they can be reused quickly without needing to be reloaded or re-computed. This helps speed up processes and reduce the load on servers.

What is render scaling?

Render scaling is a technique that allows users to render a video at a lower resolution than the original resolution and then upscale it to the desired resolution. Render scaling can help users save time and resources by reducing the rendering load and improving the performance of the video editing software. Render scaling can also enhance the quality of some effects or filters applied to the video.

What does video rendering mean?

Video rendering converts raw video footage into a final video file that can be played on different devices and platforms. Video rendering involves applying effects, transitions, colour correction, compression, and encoding to the video.

Kathy Calilao

3rd August 2023

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