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Semantic AudiovisuaL Entertainment
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Postproduction Terms

Academy Aperture
A film aspect ratio where the original image capture area is 1.37 (typical working image resolution 1828 x 1332) although it is often masked during projection to 1.85.
Anamorphic
A wide-screen film format that horizontally squeezes the image area captured on the negative by using an anamorphic lens. During projection the image is unsqueezed by the inverse amount to make it look "normal" again. Original image capture area is .838" x .7". Usually projected with a 2.35.1 aspect ratio. Cinemascope is the tradename of an anamorphic technique. (see also: Aspect Ratio)
Aspect Ratio
The ratio of width to height of a displayed image. (see also: Academy Aperture; Anamorphic; Vista Vision)
Background Plate
The primary plate over which all foreground elements are composited. Usually live action.
Blue/Greenscreen
Blue/Green Screen Elements are often filmed in front of a uniformly lit blue, green or red screen. This forms a clear, bright color from which a matte can be extracted. This process separates into layers elements from the original image. (see also: Chroma Key)
Calibration
The adjustment of a display device to show colors as closely as possible to the way they will appear in their final viewing format. At Cinesite this usually refers to workstation monitors. Color Lookup Tables (CLUTs) are created which show the values of colors on the monitor and how they will look on projected film.
Character Animation
To animate an object in order to give it personality and to appear alive and fluid in motion.
Chroma Key
A matte extraction technique that separates a subject from its background based on a color that is unique to either the foreground or the background image. A pure color which has a strong “chroma” yields the best results. (see also: Matte, Blue/Greenscreen)
Cineon File Format
The most common file format, developed by Kodak, used to store and represent images scanned from original film for visual effects work.
Cineon Lightning Recorder
The Cineon Lightning laser recorder uses proprietary optics for optimal digital picture to film image transfer. The red, green and blue lasers expose the Eastman EXR color intermediate 5242 film without adding more grain to the film and matching the quality of the original negative. (see also: Cineon Lightning Scanner)
Cineon Lightning Scanner
The Cineon scanner uses proprietary CCD (image capture chips) sensor technology for optimal film to digital picture image transfer. This technology is designed to scan 35mm film frames in all film aspect ratios and formats (including Vista Vision) at one-quarter, one-half or full film resolution. (see also: Cineon Lightning Recorder)
Cinespeed
A program offered in Cineon compositing software that modifies the length of sequences by subtracting or adding frames i.e. it is often used for lengthening and shortening shots.
Clean Plate
A clean plate (a plate with no subject in frame) is used to replace some portion of a shot. i.e. a clean plate might be used in a wire-removal to provide the image area that was obscured in original live action photography.
Compositing
The digital blending together of a background plate and one or more foreground elements to create one seamless, integrated film image.
Color Correction
Changing the degree of contrast, highlights, color saturation and shadows in a shot. Color correction allows for the delicate adjustment of aspects that a cinematographer controls when shooting a film.
Crowd Replication
Small groups of actors or extras can be replicated digitally in a scene, creating on illusion of many people; often used in stadium, crowd or audience shots.
DataCine Master
This term is commonly used by people who work with a Spirit DataCine to complete a film transfer to data. It refers specificly to the use of a DataCine device for scanning of film. (see also: Telecine Master; Digital Master; Digital Film Master)
Digital Film Master
This term, which is preferable to "Digital Master", clarifies the confusion that often surrounds the term. This term also refers to the complete process as described under Digital Master. (see also: Digital Master; Digital Intermediate)
Digital Intermediate
The term used to describe the digitally mastered data created by scanning footage shot on film, before it is recorded back to film for projection i.e. the intermediate stage of the circular process. During this digital intermediate stage colorisation, reframing, non-linear editing etc. can be carried out. The term Digital Intermediate seems to be a concoction of a "digital" process with a filmout onto an "intermediate" film stock. (see also: Digital Film Master)
Dirt Fixing
The process of digitally removing particles of dust and dirt from film stock. (see also: Dustbusting)
Dustbusting
The process of digitally removing particles of dust and dirt from film stock. (see also: Dirt Fixing)
Element
Sometimes called plates. Individual layers of images used to create a digital composite.
Fire
An on-line, non-compressed creative digital editing tool for video postproduction from Autodesk Discreet. (see also: Non-linear Editing)
Flame/Inferno
Autodesk Discreet systems for creating high-end compositing and effects for film and video postproduction.
Grain
Tiny silver halide crystals in the original film negative capture light which exposes the film. Once film has been scanned these tiny pixels comprise the total digital image. Heavy grain gives a textured look to the film, finer grain makes images appear much smoother. It is possible to alter the grain in an image digitally. (see also: Resolution)
HDTV
Stands for High Definition Television. A high resolution broadcast standard. Typical HDTV resolution is 1920 x 1080.
Image Processing
Blurring, sharpening or touching up images digitally to enhance or correct a filmed scene.
In Camera Effect
Action which is filmed in camera using practical special effects techniques, or effects which do not need any post production enhancement or image processing.
Interpolation
A method of creating new in-between data (this might be frames or image areas), based on calculating intermediate values between surrounding key frames or image control points. (see also: Cinespeed)
Interpositive
A positive print is made from the original negative. Interpositives are used to create an internegative, which is the source for release prints used for cinema projection.
The principle behind creating internegatives is to ensure that the original negative is accessed and used less, with the result that it is less likely to be damaged.
Key
Another word for Matte. (see also: Matte)
Lidar
An optical scanning device that uses lasers to capture objects in 3D space. Often used to aid modelling for CGI.
Maya
Software used for modelling and creation of computer generated imagery.
Matte
Creating a matte often involves rotoscoping, or separating an area of an image in order to create a channel. A greyscale matte is then used to create articulate mattes or garbage mattes, which isolate unwanted areas of shots. Note: another word often used for matte is key. (see also: Key)
Motion Capture
A system in which live movement of an actor can be captured, either by using magnetic sensors attached to the subject, or by analysing tracking markers placed on the actor during post production. This information, once recorded, can then be applied to a CGI character to give realistic movement.
Motion Control
A camera whose motion and settings are controlled by a computer and mechanism that can continuously repeat precisely the same move. This is often used for multiple passes of an object, to ensure that the various passes and elements filmed match in the compositing stage.
Non-linear Editing
A flexible editing method that allows for sequences to be cut out of order and to be arranged in a "cut and paste" style. (see also: FIRE)
NTSC
American video format (different NTSC version in Asia). Contains a width of 720 pixels and height of 486 pixels (525 lines of information). 30 Frames per second. NTSC stands for National Television System Committee. (see also: PAL)
Off-line editing
A preliminary edit, usually completed on a low-cost editing system. From an Off-line edit, an EDL is usually created which is then used for the on-line edit. (see also: Non-linear Editing)
PAL
British (and most of Europe) video format. Contains a width of 720 pixels and height of 576 pixels (625 lines of information). 25 frames per second. PAL stands for Phase Alternate Line. (see also: NTSC)
Particle System
A 3D animation technique which involves writing scripts which mimic the behaviour of natural phenomenons like smoke, fire, flocking animals etc.
Pixel
The term Pixel is made up from the two words Picture and Element. A pixel is the smallest individual dot which makes up any image. The larger the number of pixels per area, the higher the resolution of an image. (see also: Grain; Resolution)
Plate
Live action and stage photography elements that are used to create a digital composite. These frames are often an important guide to the realistic lighting or color in a final shot, or are often used for matte painting references. (see also: Element)
Rendering
The process of turning 3D information into a 2D image (elements involved in this process might include camera, objects in the shot, lighting, etc.) Rendering calculates how 3D objects and layers are visible, obscured, colored, lit, textured etc. in 3D space, and projects them into a 2D image.
Resolution
The number of pixels making up the horizontal and vertical dimensions of a digital image. A term often used when referring to image sharpness and quality. (see also: Pixel; Grain)
Rotoscoping
Rotoscoping refers to the process by which elements are outlined (to create a matte) in order that they might be isolated, removed, duplicated or composited into a different background. (See bluescreen) (see also: Matte; Key; Composite)
Scanning
The process of converting an original negative into digital information, which readies the image for manipulation in a computer workstation. (see also: Cineon Lightning Scanner)
Shake
Compositing software by Apple Computer, Inc. (formerly by Nothing Real, Inc.) (see also: Compositing)
Super 16mm
A 16mm film that uses an image area that extends beyond the sound track. Each frame is approximately 40% larger than regular 16mm. 16mm is sometimes called one perf. (see also: Super 35mm)
Super 35mm
The super 35 format is a 35mm film that uses the full aperture of the negative to capture its images. It is most commonly used for films that intend to be projected with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Super 35mm is sometimes called Cinemascope. (see also: Super 16mm)
Telecine Master
Used by those who come from a video background. The term "telecine" should be reserved for video transfers. This process does not transfer to video; it transfers to high resolution data (2k or 4k). (see also: Datacine Master; Digital Master; Digital Film Master)
Tracking "(Motion Tracking)"
2D motion tracking is used for weave or jitter, to match elements, and for tracking features or objects within the film frame. 3D motion tracking defines the camera position within the 3D space of the shot, which allows the artist to integrate computer-generated elements. (see also: Tracking Marker)
Tracking Marker
Highly visible markers which are placed into a scene before it is filmed to serve as positional references for tracking the plate in post production.
These markers can be used for 2D tracking, or additional physical positional information can be obtained on set in order to create 3D tracking information, which may then be used to create 3D camera moves. (see also: Tracking)
Vista Vision
A film format which runs standard 35mm film stock through the projector in a horizontal direction rather than vertically.
Vista Vision frames are twice that of standard 35mm ones and they use eight film perforations per frame (sometimes it is called eight-perf). The aspect ratio of a captured VW frame is 1.5 and a typical working resolution is 3072x2048.
Wire Removal
The process of digitally removing wires or cables attached to stunt people, vehicles or other objects in a filmed scene.
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