Friday, September 7, 2007

#35 Video editing concepts

by Jeff Smith

This week, I'm introducing you to the many different
elements of video editing that I will be covering in the
next few weeks. I won't be mentioning software today, just
going over the terminology that you'll need to understand
in order to get a clear picture of what video editing entails.

First, understand that a video file, like any other file is
just made up of ones and zeros. In order to use the ones and
zeros in a video file, your computer must have a codec installed
that can read it. A codec is short for code/decode. Much like
scrambled military radio signals, video files are packed tight
with information. Without the codec, your computer can't make heads
or tails of the file, and therefore cannot play it.
Secondly, recognize that there are both Audio and Video codecs.
A video file will likely contain sound as well as visuals. In
for your PC to correctly play a video, you must have both the audio
and the video codecs that the file is encoded in.
The higher the quality of a video, the higher the bitrate of the file,
and also the bigger the file will be. Bitrate just means amount of
data per second.
Framerate means video frames per second. Much like an old
reel-to-reel projector, video files are made up of thousands of
still pictures that progress through the action being shown.
Re-encoding a video will allow you to change the bitrate,
framerate, and even the codecs for video or audio or both, provided
you have the codec the original is encoded in, and also the codec you
want to convert it to.
Re-encoding a video can make it much smaller, but doing so can possibly
compromise the quality. Re-encoding can only worsen the quality of a video.
It can never create a higher quality video than what is started with.

I think thats enough for this week, let those terms and meanings
roll around in your head for a bit and settle in. You'll be needing
them next week. See you then!

Questions or comments, write me at

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