Tech TV’s Video Production Jargon Buster: Part 2

Last month, we brought you our Tech TV Jargon Buster; where translated different video production terms and buzzwords. Now we’re back with part 2; where we will aim to clear up some more video production terms that leave some ordinary folk scratching their heads.

Pull Focus – “Can you pull focus from the foreground to the background?”

A pull focus, or rack focus, is a popular camera technique where the camera operator will shift the focus of the lens from one subject to another. Often used in cinema, it’s a way of forcing the viewer to see exactly what the filmmaker wants them to see.

Steadicam – “Let’s set up the steadicam and get some more shots.”

A steadicam is a piece of camera equipment which allows the user to capture super smooth video. It’s not simply ‘pick up and play’, it takes quite a bit of practice and skill to pull off as the steadicam will only do so much of the work. The whole premise of how they work is that they perfectly balance the attached camera and then isolate the operators movements.

There are two types of steadicams; motorized and non-motorized. Motorized steadicams use battery-powered motors to balance the camera, whilst more traditional steadicams use weights for balancing. Traditional ones can take a lot longer to balance correctly.

Motion Tracking – “Once we’re start editing we’ll add the motion tracked text.”

Motion tracking is a technique used in post production where one asset is ‘attached’ to another; mimicking it’s movement.

So say you wanted to motion track some text to a person walking. You would select a tracking point in the video and the software will analyze and follow this point. It’ll then attach the text to the person, giving the illusion that the text is attached to the person.

Light Leaks – “The shots have some really nice light leaks on them.”

Traditionally, light leaks were an undesirable mistake. It would be a result of holes or gaps in the camera where light is able to ‘leak’ into the, normally light-tight, chamber. This then exposes the sensor with extra light.

But times have changed and now this is such a desirable effect that most light leaks you see in videos are pre-recorded, downloadable content.

Call Outs – “We can use some nice call outs to show your messaging.”

Call outs are assets used in post production that pop up over your video. They usually consist of some text, connected by a line or arrow, which helps draw attention to something within the video.

Call outs are becoming extremely popular within corporate video, as they’re a great way to convey extra information to the viewer in a stylish way.

 Aliasing – “We’re picking up some aliasing in this shot.”

This is something that you can see quite a lot in videos, but is something that is quite difficult to avoid and fix. Aliasing (or Moiré) is an unwanted distortion that can happen in video. One of the more common examples of this is where you will see a rainbow of colours across quite a fine repeated pattern.

Ever seen an interview where the person’s tie or shirt is causing some crazy effect on screen. That’ll probably be because the fine pattern on the shirt or tie is causing havoc with the camera’s sensor. Usually the easiest way to avoid this is to let your interviewee know not to where a shirt or tie with a fine pattern.