Digital Video Techniques

Exam Study Guide

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You should be familiar with information presented in:

  • the Film School in a Box clips, 

  • the Video Production Tips PowerPoint,

  • the Movie Maker Tutorial Exercises, 

  • web terms,

  • class lectures, and,

  • our primary text on Reserve, Digital Video for Dummies.

I have done my best to ensure that the majority of the test information is included in the Terms page on this web. Obviously, it's not practical to include information such as "how do you do this or that" in the terms.

Not all, but most questions will be short-answer, so you will need to be able to provide the information, not just recognize it.

Be able to articulate the advantages of nonlinear editing.

Be familiar with various camera moves, including advantages/disadvantages as applicable, regarding shots where the camera moves and ones where it does not change locations.  For example, zoom in/out v. dolly in/out, or, pan L/R v. truck L/R, etc.

Be familiar with the various camera shots (WS, MS, CU, etc.) and the purpose of each.

Be familiar with three-point lighting.

Know the photographic procedure re shutter speed for taking a still photo of a TV screen.

Be familiar with the three broadcast formats (NTSC, PAL, SECAM), including areas of the world where they are used, and the number of frames per second of each, and the number of screen lines used by each.  (This will be a matching question.  ;-)

Know the trick for preventing a digital video tape, or even a standard audio cassette, from being overwritten.

Know the implications and techniques for the three camera Points of View (POV).  (matching)

Be able to describe the use of camera angles (high, straight-on, low) and their implications.

Be familiar with depth of field.

Be able to describe possible continuity problems that could result in terms of screen direction, action, subject, audio, etc.

Know some ways of improving recorded audio if shooting outdoors on a windy day.

Know why one should set the white balance before beginning a shoot.

Be able to describe the procedure for setting manual focus on a camcorder.

Know what the normal shutter speed is on a camcorder.

Be able to briefly describe the difference between analog and digital video.

Know what defragmenting is, and why one should do it before beginning a video project.

Know what device would be used to import analog video into a computer.

Be familiar with standard and widescreen TV aspect ratios (matching)

Know which camcorder formats are digital and which are analog.  A number of types will be listed.  You will have to indicate the format of each:  (D) or (A).

Know some of the tricks of the trade, such as, what might you use as a light reflector if shooting outdoors on a sunny day.

Be familiar with CD-quality sound sampling and bit depth rates.

Be able to describe some of the common tasks in Movie Maker, such as adding a transition or special effect, adding a title page, splitting a clip into two shorter clips, adding an audio file, inserting a still photo, extracting a still photo, etc.

Be able to briefly describe the process for adding a J-cut or an L-cut into a video.

Understand what codec does for you.

Be familiar with the following terms:

  • blue screen

  • cookie

  • cross-fade

  • cut

  • dolly

  • firewire or IEEE-1394

  • freeze frame

  • gobo

  • lavaliere

  • lens mask

  • model release

  • moiré pattern

  • monopod

  • pan

  • progressive download

  • project file

  • rack focus

  • rule of thirds

  • s-video

  • special effect

  • steadicam

  • storyboard pro

  • streaming video

  • transition

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