The Pointillists played with them in France, and now every media technology depends upon them. The most fundamental building block of images today is the pixel. This simple idea allows us to create all the movies, TV shows, graphic art, and games you might experience. This video introduces the humble pixel.
- [Instructor] When we look at a photo, a graphic, a video clip, or any kind of design work created using a computer, we see a whole image and interpret it using our usual faculties for understanding composition, context, color, and light as a whole. This isn't the way the image is formed, though. In reality, we're looking at a number of single dots, which collectively form the image. These dots are referred to as pixels, which is an abbreviation of the words picture and element.
Computer screens have them, TV monitors and projectors have them, and software allows you to work with them. When you make adjustments to visual elements using software, you're making adjustments to pixels. There are many ways of approaching the adjustments you'll make, and the results can vary wildly. But everything you do will ultimately modify individual pixels. If you make an image brighter, you'll actually be making the pixels brighter. If you stretch an image, blur it, sharpen it, change the colors, or add a glow, the result of the adjustment is not produced by modifying a picture.
You're modifying the pixels in the picture. This idea of using dots to form images is far from new. The pointillists had the idea in the late 1800s. Each pixel has values associated with it. These include an aspect ratio, color values, and a position in the image, measured horizontally and vertically from the top-left corner. I find many controls available in creative applications make more sense when I keep in mind the adjustments I'm making are per pixel rather than for the image as a whole.
Understanding this distinction helps explain the differing results and the problems you might encounter with parts of an image.
Get ready to remove the mystery behind terms you've encountered. If you work in a creative profession, this can enhance your command of the tools you use. Learn what a pixel really is, what color channels are, and what audio frequency is. Discover how color channels, bit depth, and video frame rates work. Find out the difference between codecs and file formats, and how compression is involved. By the end of this course, you'll know how to answer common client questions—like, whether a logo should be supplied in vector or bitmap form, and more.
Note: Motion graphics in this course were provided by Chelsea Parrish: chelseaparrish.com.
- What is a pixel?
- Aspect ratios
- Bit depth
- Alpha and transparency
- Light and color channels
- Color modes: RGB, YUV, CMYK
- Camera depth of field
- Chroma Key and Luma Key
- Blend modes
- Color wheels, vectorscopes, and waveforms
- Video compression and codecs
- Frame rates and timecode
- File formats
- Audio amplitude
- Capturing audio tone as frequency
- Audio timing using the phase
Skill Level Beginner
Video Foundations: Cameras and Shootingwith Anthony Q. Artis2h 58m Intermediate
Introduction to Video Dialogue Editingwith Ashley Kennedy3h 14m Intermediate
1. How Do Computers Think?
2. How Cameras and Computers Think about Color
3. The Language of Color
4. The Shape of Your Picture and the Speed of Your Video
5. Storing Everything (Codecs)
6. Color Wheels, Vectorscopes, and Waveforms
Understanding waveforms2m 39s
7. Making Changes
8. Audio Made Simple
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