logo

Video encyclopedia

Cinematic techniques

Popular in this category (33)

Movies

Animation

Animation is a dynamic medium in which images or objects are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures. The stop motion technique where live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject is known as pixilation.

Movies

Foley (filmmaking)

Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to film, video, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best Foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable.

Movies

Dolly zoom

The dolly zoom is an in-camera effect that appears to undermine normal visual perception.

Movies

Slow motion

Slow motion is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down. It was invented by the Austrian priest August Musger in the early 20th century.

Movies

Flashback (narrative)

A flashback is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point in the story. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story's primary sequence of events to fill in crucial backstory. In the opposite direction, a flashforward reveals events that will occur in the future. Both flashback and flashforward are used to cohere a story, develop a character, or add structure to the narrative. In literature, internal analepsis is a flashback to an earlier point in the narrative; external analepsis is a flashback to a time before the narrative started.

Movies

Bird's-eye view

A bird's-eye view is an elevated view of an object from above, with a perspective as though the observer were a bird, often used in the making of blueprints, floor plans, and maps.

Movies, Art, Hobbies

Panning (camera)

In cinematography and photography panning means swivelling a still or video camera horizontally from a fixed position. This motion is similar to the motion of a person when they turn their head on their neck from left to right. In the resulting image, the view seems to "pass by" the spectator as new material appears on one side of the screen and exits from the other, although perspective lines reveal that the entire image is seen from a fixed point of view.

Movies

Compositing

Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene. Live-action shooting for compositing is variously called "chroma key", "blue screen", "green screen" and other names. Today, most, though not all, compositing is achieved through digital image manipulation. Pre-digital compositing techniques, however, go back as far as the trick films of Georges Méliès in the late 19th century, and some are still in use.

Movies

Jump cut

A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly if at all. This type of edit gives the effect of jumping forwards in time. It is a manipulation of temporal space using the duration of a single shot, and fracturing the duration to move the audience ahead. This kind of cut abruptly communicates the passing of time as opposed to the more seamless dissolve heavily used in films predating Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, when jump cuts were first used extensively. For this reason, jump cuts, while not seen as inherently bad, are considered a violation of classical continuity editing, which aims to give the appearance of continuous time and space in the story-world by de-emphasizing editing. Jump cuts, in contrast, draw attention to the constructed nature of the film.

Movies

Point-of-view shot

A point of view shot is a short film scene that shows what a character is looking at. It is usually established by being positioned between a shot of a character looking at something, and a shot showing the character's reaction. The technique of POV is one of the foundations of film editing.

Movies

Racking focus

A rack focus in filmmaking and television production is the practice of changing the focus of the lens during a shot. The term can refer to small or large changes of focus. If the focus is shallow, then the technique becomes more noticeable. In professional films, a camera assistant called a focus puller is responsible for rack focusing. In his documentary film, The Sinister Saga of Making "The Stunt Man" the director Richard Rush claims he developed the technique in the 1960s. In the commentary to the TV series Firefly, visual effects supervisor Loni Peristere comments that rack focus has been taboo in recent cinematography because such shots cannot be "repaired" in post production.

Movies

Tracking shot

A tracking shot is any shot where the camera moves alongside the object(s) it is recording. In cinematography, the term refers to a shot in which the camera is mounted on a camera dolly that is then placed on rails – like a railroad track. The camera is then pushed along the track while the image is being filmed. A tracking shot generally runs lateral to or alongside its subject since the tracks would be visible in a shot of any distance that moved toward or away from its subject.

Movies

Establishing shot

An establishing shot in filmmaking and television production sets up, or establishes the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures and objects. It is generally a long or extreme-long shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place.

Movies

Match cut

In film, a match cut is a cut from one shot to another where the two shots are matched by the action or subject and subject matter. For example, in a duel a shot can go from a long shot on both contestants via a cut to a medium closeup shot of one of the duellists. The cut matches the two shots and is consistent with the logic of the action. This is a standard practice in Hollywood film-making, to produce a seamless reality-effect.

Movies

Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse is a technique in time-lapse photography that allows the photographer to create motion shots. In its simplest form, a hyperlapse is achieved by manually moving the camera a short distance between each shot. The first film using the hyperlapse technique dates to 1995.