A beginner’s guide to basic video editing terms (part 2)

Now that you’ve learned the common terms in creating or customising your first video from last week’s article, this second part of our guide will focus on the latest video technologies and technical terms you need to know when editing videos using code to help you get started with Shotstack.

This guide will give you a basic understanding of tools, techniques and technologies you can use to take videos to the next level.

Video technologies

What is video automation?

This refers to automating certain video creation or editing aspects, like animations, transitions, and even content generation. This could be done using APIs, predefined templates, or other software tools.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that enables the creation of new content from existing data, such as text, images, audio, or video. Generative AI can be used in video production to create realistic and engaging videos without the need for cameras, microphones, or actors.

Some of the applications of generative AI in video include creating videos from text prompts, transcribing audio, removing background noise and adding effects, and generating voiceovers and hyper-realistic avatars.

What is text-to-speech?

Text-to-speech is a technology that converts written text into spoken audio. Text-to-speech can help users create voice-overs for their videos without recording their own voice or hiring a voice actor. Text-to-speech can also provide users with various voice styles, languages, accents, and emotions options.

What is text-to avatar?

Text-to-avatar technology converts written text into animated avatars that mimic human speech and expressions. Text-to-avatar can help users create engaging and realistic characters for their videos without filming their own faces or hiring an actor. Text-to-avatar can also provide users various options for avatar styles, appearances, emotions, and movements.

What is video personalisation?

This is a technique where video content is customised for individual viewers to improve engagement. This can involve dynamically inserting a viewer's name into a video, tailoring content based on viewer preferences, or adjusting video content based on real-time interactions.

What does creating videos at scale mean?

Creating videos at scale means producing a large number of videos in a short amount of time without compromising on quality or budget.

What are dynamic videos?

Dynamic videos change based on the viewer’s preferences, behaviour, or data. They are also known as personalised or interactive videos. Dynamic videos can increase engagement, retention, and conversion rates by delivering relevant and customised content to each viewer. For example, you can use dynamic videos to show different products, offers, or testimonials based on the viewer’s location, interests, or purchase history.

What is a merge field?

A merge field is a placeholder that can be replaced with dynamic data from a database or spreadsheet. For example, in video, you can use merge fields to insert the viewer’s name, email address, or company name to personalise your content. Apart from text fields, you can use merge fields on any element, from images, video and audio files to transitions and overlays.

What are data-driven images and videos?

These images and videos are created, altered, or chosen based on data. For example, a data-driven video could use user information to personalise content, while a data-driven image could be selected based on performance metrics from previous images.

What is a workflow in video editing?

This refers to the process and sequence of steps involved in editing a video. It typically starts with importing and organising footage, then moves on to rough editing, fine editing, special effects, sound design, and finally, exporting the final product. With certain tools and technologies, video generation workflows can be be automated

Video editing with code

What does it mean to create videos programmatically?

To programmatically create videos means to use code or scripts to define the video editing parameters such as clips, transitions, filters, text, music, and more. Programmatic video creation can help users create videos more flexibly and dynamically by using variables, loops, conditions, and functions.

What are editing SDK’s?

Editing SDKs are software development kits that provide developers with tools and libraries to create video editing applications or features. Editing SDKs can help developers save time and resources by using pre-built components and functionalities for video editing.

What is REST?

REST (Representational State Transfer) is an architectural style for designing web APIs that use HTTP methods (such as GET, POST, PUT, DELETE) to perform operations on resources (such as data or files) identified by URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers). REST APIs aim to be simple, uniform, and stateless.

What is JSON?

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format that uses human-readable text to represent objects, arrays, values, and keys. JSON is commonly used for transmitting and storing data between web applications and servers. JSON is easy to read and write for humans and machines.

What is an API and an API key?

An API or Application Programming Interface is a set of rules and protocols that allow different software applications or systems to communicate and exchange data with each other. An API key is a unique identifier used to authenticate and authorise requests to an API, protecting the API from unauthorised or malicious access.

What is a command line tool?

A command-line tool is a software program or utility that is designed to be executed through a command-line interface (CLI). Users interact with the tool by typing specific commands into the terminal or command prompt, and the tool executes the corresponding actions or operations.

What is a developer sandbox?

A sandbox testing environment isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository. In other words, it’s a place where developers can try things out without affecting the live product.

What is a templates endpoint?

In the context of APIs, an API endpoint is a communication touchpoint where APIs can access resources. A template endpoint, specifically, would provide access to data or functionality related to templates. A video editing API might provide access to predefined video templates.

What are webhooks?

A webhook is a method used to provide other applications with real-time information, delivering data to other applications as it happens, which means you get data immediately. They provide a way for an application to notify other applications when a specified event occurs.

What does file ingesting mean?

In the context of digital media, ingesting files is the process of importing, transferring, loading or processing data for immediate use or storage in a database.

What does it mean to fetch assets from a URL?

To fetch assets from a URL means to retrieve files or resources (such as images, videos, audio files, or data) from a specific web address (URL) using a computer program or script. This is a common operation in web development, app development, and other software projects that require data or media from external sources.

Get started with Shotstack's video editing API in two steps:

  1. Sign up for free to get your API key.
  2. Send an API request to create your video:
    curl --request POST 'https://api.shotstack.io/v1/render' \
    --header 'x-api-key: YOUR_API_KEY' \
    --data-raw '{
    "timeline": {
    "tracks": [
    "clips": [
    "asset": {
    "type": "video",
    "src": "https://shotstack-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/footage/beach-overhead.mp4"
    "start": 0,
    "length": "auto"
    "output": {
    "format": "mp4",
    "size": {
    "width": 1280,
    "height": 720
Kathy Calilao

3rd August 2023

Studio Real Estate
Experience Shotstack for yourself.

You might also like