Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Important video terms and concepts, part of Making Video 2: Teach Something.
- Now that you have a basic understanding of process, let's talk about some basic video terms that will be useful to know. First up, I want to talk about video resolution. The resolution of video is represented by the number of horizontal lines contained within the video frame. Until the last fifteen years or so most video was standard definition or SD. Several SD formats include NTSC, with a visible resolution of 720 pixels by 480 pixels, so it contained 480 lines of resolution, as well as PAL with 576 lines of resolution.
Again this was the general standard for more than 50 years. Then HD came onto the scene with two more main standards. There's 720 HD, which has a resolution of 1280 by 720, and 1080 HD with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. As you can see, HD video grew the size of the video frame by quite a bit. In recent years, ultra high def video has increased video resolutions even more. As you can see 4K increases the video frame by about four times that of HD, then there's even higher resolutions, like 8K and beyond, but you get the picture.
You can see how much more information 4K video has from standard def, which is where we were at a mere 15 years ago. With more lines of information comes more detail, a crisper image, and better variation in light and color values. Recording at higher resolutions also gives you the ability to use so many more parts of the frame. You can punch into a close up in post production rather than needing to shoot something again in order to obtain that closer image. Smartphones have been capable of recording higher and higher resolutions lately.
In the most recent iPhone you can record at 720p, 1080p, or 4K in the native camera app, and even many more resolutions with apps like Filmic Pro, which is what we'll be using for most of this course. As video resolutions increase, so to the size of the video files that you record, so when you choose those higher options you need to be sure you have the storage for larger files. Frame rates are the number of video frames per second. Essentially video is equivalent to taking a bunch of very quick photos in succession and when played one right after another, it results in a smooth moving picture.
There are several standards for frame rates. Mainly 24, 25, 30, and 60 frames per second, along with several variations of these. This introductory movie is too basic to go too deeply into the main differences, but in a sentence, many people say that 24 frames per second is more cinematic looking, where 30 frames per second is more real looking. That's because 24 frames per second contains less information per second, resulting in slightly more motion blur, which is how we've traditionally been conditioned to watching movies, and because 30 frames per second has more information per second the image is a bit crisper and defined, 60 frames per second records double the number of frames, so it produces an even smoother result.
While we're talking about frame rates, I should mention slow motion and fast motion. For example, on smartphones slow motion is often recorded at either 120 or 240 frames per second. The reason that slow motion works, is that if you record an action at 240 frames per second, it means that in one second the phone takes 240 pictures in a row, then when the video is played back at a standard frame rate, like 30 frames per second, then each one of those frames takes eight times longer to play, so basically an action that takes one second in real time takes eight seconds when played back in slow motion, but because there are so many pictures, the resulting motion is nice and smooth.
Another video term I want to talk about is aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is simply the shape of the video frame as defined by the length versus height. Most HD video today has an aspect ratio of 16 by nine, which means that no matter how large the video frame, the proportion of length to height is 16 by nine. Standard definition comes in a couple of different aspect ratios. The most common is four by three. As you can see it's quite a different shape compared to 16 by nine, much more square.
Phones haven't recorded four by three video for quite a few years, but most often you'll come across it if you're using older standard definition footage that you need to incorporate with the rest of your 16 by nine footage, and unless you want the video looking like this, you need to know how to handle it. As you can see, this is a popular option. It results in scaling up the image and pillar boxing the left and right edges of the video frame so the video keeps its shape. Another popular option is to punch in so that there aren't any noticeable pillar boxes.
Now since we're talking about phones it would be negligent for me to not mention vertical phone resolution. If you hold your phone vertically, you record video at exactly the opposite resolution of normal video resolution. the only place this type of video looks normal, is, well, on a phone. If you're looking at it on YouTube or within a normal video environment, the vertical phone recorded video is drastically out of place because of the big difference in aspect ratio.
Here are a few solutions people have come up with over the years, which you've likely seen many times. The first is simply to pillar box the video, just like I showed you before. The other is to place an out of focus, blown up version of the same video behind the vertical video to fill in the left and right gaps. In my opinion neither is a great option, so my advice for you is to please shoot your video in the horizontal orientation so that you capture that standard 16 by nine video.
Dealing with resizing, rescaling, and hack solutions just isn't worth it. Okay, so those are a few important terms and concepts that will serve as a nice foundation for making our video. Now let's move on to some more important audio concepts.
- Video workflow and techniques
- Teaching on camera
- Writing the script
- Shooting on location
- Editing video in HitFilm Express
- Adding music and graphics