Video Terminology Glossary A:
Video, Filmmaking and Multimedia Words and Terms

A Roll – 1. When shooting a film or video the "A roll" is the material that is shot with the primary camera. 2. In news footage, the "A roll" is the material that is the main focus of the news clip. For example: the person being interviewed. 3. In general, the main subject of the video or film.

A to D Converter – Analog to Digital converter. A converter that electronically converts an analog signal to a digital signal. Many times this will be an expansion card that can be added to a computer. Many of these expansion cards can convert the signal both ways so that the signal can be used in different devices such as a VCR, TV monitor or digital devices such as DVD burners.

A Wind – when handling film the "A" wind means that the emulsion of the film is facing the center of the roll and the perforations on the edge of the film would face outward.

A- Only Edit – this denotes that you want to edit the audio only.

A-PEN – Annealed Polyethylene Naphthalate. Used to make the acetate base for film. It was an improvement on older types of acetate bases as it is stronger, thinner and would lay flatter than the older types. This type of acetate base was originally formulated by Kodak.

A/B Cutting – in film production, this is a method of assembling material into separate rolls. This is done so that optical effects can be created by double printing the separate film rolls. Also see: A/B printing.

A/B Printing – an old method of incorporating optical effects and titles into a movie or film. It's done using two rolls of films with alternating shots and a black opaque leader. Using this technique the film editor could eliminate splice marks from showing up and was able to more easily splice in the optical effects and titles for the film. Also see: A/B Roll.

A/B Roll – the old technique of shooting film footage of outgoing and incoming scenes on separate film rolls. This is done so that the footage could then be spliced together without splice marks showing up and the footage could also easily be cut so that it could include optical effects and titles. Usually the A roll has all the footage down to the outgoing scene for that segment. The B roll is then shot with the incoming scene for the next segment. Film transitions such as dissolves, wipes, special-effects etc. could then be easily spliced in without a lot of intricate cutting. In today's video editing, with the use of Non-Linear Editing software, this technique is no longer used. Also see: A/B Printing.

A/B Story – in film and video production the "A" story is usually the main story or theme of the production and the "B" story refers to the background story.

A/D – Analog to Digital.

A/V Editor – Audio/Video editing software. All video editing software has this capability these days.

Active Pixels – In an image, the active pixels are all the pixels that will be seen in the image. If you're talking about the camera's image sensor however, the active pixels would be the photosites that actually are sensing the incoming light. There are also (black, reference or "inactive") photosites that border the active photosites that set a reference point for the sensor's resolution. In camera reviews you will see specifications that state Active or Effective Pixels (the image forming pixel area) and Total Pixels (a total of all the pixels, active or inactive).  (Also see: Common Questions about Pixels and Resolution ).

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) – a type of lossy digital audio compression. AAC was designed to supplant the MP3 format by offering better sound quality at similar bit rates. The ISO and IEC have standardized this format as part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications.

Aliasing – When an output device, such as a printer or monitor, doesn't have enough resolution to represent a smooth line, the lines will appear jagged. This is called aliasing.  (Also see: The Digital Image: What Are The Basic Components of a Digital Image? ).

Analog – When used to describe an electrical signal or video transmission it is a signal (alternating current usually represented as a series of sine waves) that can be modified by either increasing the strength of the wave or varying its speed. 

Assembly (String-Out) – In film and video editing it is the first version of the production. It is basically just all the scenes organized (in order) per the script.

AV (audiovisual) distribution – Films, movies or videos that are distributed to libraries or schools via DVDs or through digital streaming.

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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