Video Production and Editing - Glossary of Terms

We've combined some of the most common video production, film production and post production terms in this glossary.
Terms are grouped alphabetically - Please select from the list below.



Dailies - The workprint, before it has been edited, so called because the minority of labs will have it ready later the same day it was dropped off (if you are a client to whom they give some type of priority). Also known as rushes

Daylight Balanced - The color temperature of daylight which is 5,400K on the color temperature scale (it does vary during the day, being higher at noon and lower in the earlier and later parts of the day). Color film for outdoor shooting is balanced for daylight, otherwise the image would appear blue in hue. If daylight balanced film is used indoors without a correction filter the image will have a orange hue

Decompose - AVID uses this term when managing sequences. If you decompose a sequence, you create new clip references for every clip in a sequence. A typical operation would be: The offline is finished and ready to online. The sequence would be duplicated for the online. Audio removed ( unless you need to re conform audio ), Now decompose the sequence ( with or without handles as needed ) . New reference clips are now created with no media linked. Note all tapes needed and collect. Open Digitize tool and select online resolution. Select all new clips then select Batch digitize. When finished, edit sound back from offline. This method is better than selecting the sequence and selecting batch digitize as you can digitize Video only, see what tapes are needed, and see what clips / rolls have been skipped if any.

Depth of Field - Range in front of a camera's lens in which objects appear in focus. Depth of field varies with subject-to-camera distance, focal length of a camera lens and a camera's aperture setting.

Device Control Software - A software module that controls a video deck to allow the capture of source clips to the hard drive of a computer.

Diffusion - A filter used on the camera to create a soft focus effect. OR A white or pearlecent sheet of material used on a movie light to soften the shadows.

Digital Zoom - A zoom created by electronically enlarging / zooming in the image.

Diopter - The diopter is part of the viewfinding system of a camera that can be adjusted to compensate for your own particular eyesight, allowing you to see the groundglass clearly.

Digital8 - Sony's proprietary digital camcorder format, which records digital video onto standard 8mm and Hi8 tapes.

Digi Slate - A clapper board which displays timecode information. This is usually the code from an audio playback device, eg music when filming a music video. The editor can use the timecode display to sync the takes, and multiple cameras during editing.
Digitize - To convert an analog video or audio signal into a digital signal that can be used by a computer.

Dissolve Transition - A transition in which the end of one clip gradually blends with the beginning of the next.

Dolly Shot - A dolly shot is one where the camera is placed on a dolly and is moved while filmming. Also known as a tracking shot.

Double Perf - 16mm film with a row of perforations running along both edges. On the film can this will be indicated by 2R appearing on the label.

Dropout - Videotape signal 'voids', which are visible as white specks or streaks. Normally the result of tiny bare spots on a tape's magnetic particle coating, or tape debris covering particles and blocking signals.

Drop Frame Timecode - Timecode that is accurate relative to actual video running time. The numerical reference drops two numbers every minute to allow for the fact that there are actually 29.97 frames of video per second, rather than 30 frames per second.

Drop Shadow - A shadow that is offset from an object or text in a video.

Dutch Tilt - A composition with the camera viewing the scene at a diagonal. Same as a canted angle.

DVE Effects - A digital video effect (DVE) is created by taking any existing video source and manipulating its position within the video frame.

DVCPRO HD - Based on the standard definition of DVCPRO format, the DVCPRO HD from Panasonic uses a data rate of 120 MBps and intraframe compression, both of which will provide strong protection from generational loss.