FAT – FAT is an acronym for File Allocation Table. It is a table that the system builds on a hard disk to keep track of what sectors are bad, are in use and by what file and in what sequence. Damage to the fat is catastrophic. FAT-format disks have been replaced, especially in Windows, by NTFS format disks.
FB – Fiber-ased, as in Fiber-Based paper (see below).
FC-AL – an acronym for Fibre Channel – Arbitrated Loop. An architecture used to maintain high data-rate transfer rates over long distances. It allows storage arrays to be separated by as much as 120 kilometers (12.5 miles), connected by one (1) non-amplified fibre channel optical link.
FC-drives – these drives use the copper version of the fibre channel interface with a scsi protocol. The maximum data rate is 4 GBps.
FCC – a certificate with the acronym for Frame Count Cuing. This describes the process of tracking scene changes within an element, e.g. a clip.
FFT — Fast Fourier Transform. A fast way to conduct a fourier analysis on a tone. The fast Fourier transform is a mathematical method for transforming a function of time into a function of frequency. Sometimes it is described as transforming from the time domain to the frequency domain. It is very useful for analysis of time-dependent phenomena. FFT is also an algorithm for computing the DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform). A fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm computes the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) of a sequence, or its inverse. Fourier analysis converts a signal from its original domain (time or space) to a representation in the frequency domain and vice versa. An FFT rapidly computes such transformations by factorizing the DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform) matrix into a product of sparse (mostly zero) factors. As a result, it manages to reduce the complexity of computing the DFT. Fast Fourier Transforms are widely used for many applications in engineering, science, and mathematics. The basic ideas were popularized in 1965, but some algorithms had been derived as early as 1805. It was included in Top 10 Algorithms of 20th Century by the IEEE journal Computing in Science & Engineering. There are many different FFT algorithms involving a wide range of mathematics, from simple complex-number arithmetic to group theory and number theory. The DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform) is obtained by decomposing a sequence of values into components of different frequencies. This operation is useful in many fields (see discrete Fourier transform for properties and applications of the transform) but computing it directly from the definition is often too slow to be practical. An FFT is a way to compute the same result more quickly: computing the DFT of N points in the naive way, using the definition, takes many arithmetical operations, while an FFT can compute the same DFT in fewer operations. The difference in speed can be enormous, especially for long data sets where N may be in the thousands or millions. In practice, the computation time can be reduced by several orders of magnitude in such cases, and the improvement is roughly proportional to N / log(N). This huge improvement made the calculation of the DFT practical; FFTs are of great importance to a wide variety of applications, from digital signal processing and solving partial differential equations to algorithms for quick multiplication of large integers.
FIFO API – FIFO describes the process of First In, First Out. API is the abbreviation for Application Program Interface. The term FIFO explains the principle of a queue: data that comes in first, will be handled first. Then, the next data package will be handled. Thus, the data is organized and manipulated relative to time and prioritization.
FLM – Focal Length Multiplier. sometimes known as focal length magnification. see “format factor” below.
FLV – flash for video. a video compression format that is used by practically all video channels, like youtube, brightcove, videojug etc … flash is widely used on the internet and although it started out as a method to animate graphics, it has become a fully fledged video platform as well with which you can play videos on the web. since the quality of the video in relation to weight is very good, it is the most popular method at this time. the greatest thing about the flv format is that if you upload it to a video channel, it will not be compressed again by the video service (as happens in all other cases), thus the quality of the video you upload is preserved. in other words, what you see on your own computer before you upload is what you get; however, you-tube will give unpredictable results with flv. If it doesn’t work, upload a quicktime movie instead. Not all video software supports flv, but Camtasia, Vlog it, Video Communicator, Flash and Adobe after-effects do and this will become a standard in most video editors soon.
flying FPV – A person referring to “flying FPV” is referring to piloting their model aircraft from a first person perspective onboard. This is accomplished by means of tiny video cameras and wireless RF links. The typical FPV plane consists of many components that must work well together to get the job done. Although the concept of flying hobby RC aircraft via FPV has been around for years, the technology surged around 2006 when VRFlyer (Denis Graton) posted a video called Canadian Autumn on YouTube.
FM synthesis— 1. a method that employs a frequency’s modulation to produce complex sound waves; gain—encrypting a carrier wave by altering its frequency to comply with an incoming signal. 2. one of the early forms of digital synthesis. FM is a type of modulation in which the frequency of a continuous carrier wave is varied in accordance with the amplitude variations of a second (modulating) wave in order to generate complex waveforms. When the modulating wave is in the audio range (above 20hz or so), FM is perceived as a change in tone color, which is used in fm synthesizers to create their unique sounds. FM synthesis was used in most famously in yamaha’s dx-series.
FMV – an abbreviation for full motion video, video that plays at 30 fps (NTSC) or 25 fps (PAL).
FP – refers to the focal plane of a camera.
FP high-speed sync – Focal Plane high speed synchronization that occurs with a flash unit that emits pulses of extremely rapid flash illumination permitting light to pass through the shutter to the film or sensor at shutter speeds greater than the camera’s standard sync speed.
fpm – feet per minute, expressing the speed of film moving through a mechanism.
fps – frames per second or images passing by. 1. A typical film format is 24 fps, meaning that you have 24 images to create a second of film. TV broadcasts are generally 30 fps. 2. how many video frames are shown on a screen every second. PAL and SECAM video are delivered to the screen at 25 fps. NTSC video is 29.97 or 30 fps, while cinema films are 24 fps. 2. The number of single frames needed to be displayed in a second to achieve smooth animation (usually 25 fps). 3. the number of pictures that a camera is able to take in a second. a point-and-shoot camera typically shoots one or two pictures per second. Higher-end single lens reflex (SLR) cameras have much greater performance, as many as five or more frames per second.
FPV – an acronym meaning First Person View. It has become the standard term used for piloting RC (Remote Controlled) aircraft or other RC vehicles remotely using wireless video “downlinks”. Another term commonly used is RPV, or “Remotely Piloted Vehicle”. Using specially designed FPV cameras and headsets, it’s possible to virtually put your eyes in the cockpit of almost any RC model.
FPV System – A good FPV system, from the camera on the copter to the radio transmission system and the screen on the ground will cost you sometimes more than $200 (without even taking the price of the goggles into the equation). It seems that the most cost effective transmitters are in the 5.8GHz range. This frequency is more than great when you have visual between the two antennas. But as you go behind a wall or a tree or a solid object in general, then the problems will start. I don’t care about that for my first FPV system and that’s why I’ve selected the SkyZone/Boscam 200mW 5.8GHz combo packet: The RC305 receiver and the 200mW transmitter, as well as all the peripheral cables for powering the system and sending the video signal viA linear polarized antennas. You can find them under lot of names like stick antennas, pen antennas etc. The technology of this type of antenna will not work with something that bangs into things and turns constantly. The camera is Sony Super HAD CCD camera. Small, light and handles the rapid light
changes very good. It also goes with a very good price tag. Around $25, including shipping, depending on the lens that you want.The camera is a 600TVL (Television Lines) and that’s pretty good for an FPV system. Of course is just a bare camera with no enclosure at all. Connecting the cables and you have a working transmitting system. The other side of the system consists of the 5.8GHz receiver and an LCD. The receiver uses a liner regulator (a no name 7805 in SMD form factor) it produces lot of heat. Finally a sunshade online for something like $15 – $30 in different sizes and materials, always including shipping.
FTP – File Transfer Protocol, a method for uploading files to and downloading files from websites and other computers connected to InterNet. It allows users to transfer files over a tcp/ip network. FTP does not allow its users to view file contents, but to simply transfer them efficiently and securely. See also Protocol.
FX – effects.
f-connector – a threaded connector that is used in transmission applications such as cable television. The cable-s center conductor also serves as the connector-s center pin.
f-number – (ƒ-number) a number that expresses a lens’ light-transmitting ability – i.e. the size of the lens opening, its aperture size. Usually found on the barrel of a lens, f-numbers indicate the size of the aperture in relation to the focal length of the lens. a smaller number indicates a larger lens diameter. ƒ/1.4 signifies that the focal length of the lens is 1.4 times as great as the diameter. All lenses set at the same f-number transmit the same amount of light.
f-stop – also f/stop. 1. the ratio of focal length to the effective diameter of the aperture opening of a lens.
2. a lens aperture setting calibrated to an f-number (see above). Each stop either halves or doubles the amount of light passing through the lens. so, an ƒ-stop of ƒ/16 lets through half the light that is allowed through when using ƒ/11. The lower the f-number, the more light passes through the lens. The opening and closing of a lens determines the amount of light the lens will transmit. See t-stop.
fade – also fade to black, fade in, fade out. 1. the gradual loss over time of a photographic print’s, transparency’s or negative’s density in silver, pigment or dyes. 2. a smooth, gradual transition from a normal image to complete blackness (fade out), or vice versa (fade in). 3. a video image that gradually increases or decreases in brightness usually to or from black. Sound can also fade to or from silence. 4. different kinds of transitions, e.g. cross-fade. fade-in: a transition from a blank screen to an image. a fade-out is also called fade to black. This describes the process of a transition from an image to a blank (usually black) screen.
fader – a console control which allows an operator to perform manual dissolves, fades & wipes.
fake Shemp – also Shemp. Anyone appearing on screen whose face is not seen (either because of heavy makeup or camera angles) and who has no lines; can include stand-ins and extras. The term originated with Sam Raimi and his colleagues, who borrowed it from Hollywood lore about a stand-in used to finish Three Stooges films after Shemp Howard’s death.
fail-over – automatically switch over to a backup or redundant system with equal characteristics. Optimally no data loss will occur thanks to fail-over.
falloff – decrease in the intensity of light as it spreads out from the source.
fall time – the length of time during which a pulse decreases from 90 to 10 percent of its maximum amplitude.
fan-out – also fanout. The number of parallel loads within a given IC logic family that can be driven by a single output of a logic device.
fast – used in reference of having a high photographic film speed.
fast film – high speed film, i.e. film that is more sensitive to light, meaning less light is needed to obtain a properly-exposed image.
fast lens – a lens that has an aperture that opens particularly wide, making it able to gather more light than a slower lens at its widest aperture.
fast motion – Also skip frame. A shot in which time appears to move more quickly than normal. The process is commonly achieved by either deleting select frames (called “skip frames”) or by undercranking. See also motion artifact, freeze frame, frame rate, judder.
fault tolerance – a system’s ability to remain operational in the event of a component, device or environmental failure.
feathering – the intentional gradual blurring of the edges of an image, resulting in “softer” gradated borders.
feature film – Also feature. A movie at least 40-45 minutes (2 reels) long intended for theatrical release. Contrast with short subject.
feature presentation – Main attraction, the main or advertised movie during a screening. See also – double bill, trailer, supporting feature.
featured background – a term used to describe the perfomers who are placed in prominent positions in the background of the major action of a scene.
feed – a television signal source.
feedback – 1. unwanted noise caused by the loop of an audio system-s output back to its input. 2. in a control system, data supplied to give an indication of status, i.e., on or off.
femme fatale – literally, “deadly lady”; a slang term used to describe a character in a movie.
festival – an event at which films can often premiere. Festivals can be used as by studios to show their wares and sell rights to distributors, or to officially mark a movie’s release so as to make it eligible for award ceremonies with hard deadlines that can’t be met if they waited for a general release. Some festivals are competitive, giving awards from a jury or selected by the audiences.
ferrotyping – Mottled emulsion caused by improper film drying or condensation on a roll of film.
fiber-based paper – Fiber-based photographic print papers consist of a paper base covered with a clear, hardened gelatin above the emulsion layer to protect it from damage during processing and afterwards. High quality exhibition or archive prints are typically made using FB paper, which requires careful processing and delicate handling when wet. FB papers are easier to color and retouch than RC (Resin-Coated) papers.
fiber bundle – a group of parallel optic fibers contained within a common jacket. A bundle may contain from just a few to several hundred fibers.
fibre channel – a communications protocol designed to meet the requirements related to the demand for high performance data transfer. It supports data transmission and framing protocols for SCSI, HIPPI, Ethernet, InterNet Protocol (IP) & ATM.
fiber optic – 1. a technology that uses glass or plastic threads or wires to transmit information. 2. use of optical cable to transmit images or signals in the form of light around corners and over distances with extremely low losses.
field – 1. A field is a half of a video frame, either odd or even scan lines; one half of a video frame containing every other line of information. Each standard video frame contains two interlaced fields. 2. one scan from the top to the bottom of the television frame, tracing alternate horizontal lines and taking one sixtieth of a second to complete. 3. a term used in place of “location” when the location is outdoors. It refers to photography away from a studio.
field camera – a type of camera, also known as the “baseboard” camera, is essentially a portable view camera, because it functions in much the same way and with similar controls and features and can be transported with relative ease into the “field”, i.e. outside the studio.
file format – 1. the standard way in which a digital image is encoded for storage, dependent upon the proposed use of the image, such as print, email or web viewing. various formats (e.g. .jpeg, .tiff, .psd, etc.) have different characteristics. 2. a general term that is often used interchangeably to mean the container format or (incorrectly) a codec itself. Common formats include – avi, mp4, wmv, 3gp, quicktime, swf, mpeg, m4v, rm, DVD, DVR-MS, MKV and flv.
file texture – a bitmap image that can be mapped to shading attributes.
file system – when storing and organizing computer files and their accompanying metadata. A file system might possibly have a storage device (e.g. hard disk) and then maintaining the physical location of the files is of importance. The file system will translate the file name used by the user to the physical address on the storage device. Another option is that the file system grants access to data on a file server – then acting as clients for a network protocol. File systems might be virtual, too, and then only exist as an access method for virtual data.
fill flash – flash that is used in a supplementary manner to fill in a subject’s shadow area with light, thereby reducing contrast. Fill flash is generally not intended to overpower another light source, but rather to bring out detail that would otherwise be lost in shadow. Also known as “flash fill” and “fill-in flash.”
fill in – 1. noun: see “fill light” below. 2. verb: to use secondary illumination (typically artificial light such as flash), or a reflector or combinations of both, as fill light.
fill light – secondary light from a lamp or reflector that illuminates shadow areas. Called “fill flash” when the light source is a flash.
film – a transparent cellulose nitrate or cellulose actetate composition made in thin, flexible strips or sheets and coated with a light-sensitive emulsion for taking photographs.
film base – the plastic layer that provides the support needed to carry the images, sound, and any other information. Since the 1890s, Motion picture film bases have changed from nitrate to acetate to polyester. Audio and video tape bases have included paper (audio only), acetate, pvc and polyester.
film developing – a process whereby images recorded on film stock are transfered to a negative print. See also color timing.
film gate – components that make up the pressure and aperture plates in a camera, printer or projection.
film grain – the tiny particles of light-sensitive material on film stock that record images. Finer grains give higher image quality, but coarser grains allow a faster shutter speed. Graininess is an artifact which results from the use of coarse grains,and gives images a slight mosaic appearance.
film identification code – numbers and letters, which appear on the edge of the film put in by the film manufacturer.
film leader – clear or opaque film material located at the beginning and sometimes the end of a motion picture film. The leader protects the film and will often have identifying information written on it.
film magazines – a reel of film stock ready for use in a camera. The clapper-loader is responsible for inserting these into a camera.
film makers – a collective term used to refer to people who have a significant degree of control over the creation of a movie such as directors, producers, screenwriters, and editors.
film noir – literally – “black film”; describes a genre of film which typically features dark, brooding characters, corruption, detectives, and the seedy side of the big city.
film plane – the place in a camera where the film is located in readiness for it to be exposed to light.
film printing – the process of transferring images from a negative print to a print.
film scanner – refers to a high resolution film to data device that does not operate at “real-time”.
film solarization – see “solarization” in this glossary.
film speed – a measurement of film’s sensitivity to light, generally in numerical terms of an iso exposure index, e.g. iso 100.More sensitive (faster) films have higher iso numbers and require less exposure in order to make a properly-exposed picture.
film stock – the physical medium on which photographic images are recorded. See also film grain.
film to tape transfer – the process of putting the photographed image on to videotape.
film weave – an irregular movement of the film as it passes through the telecine or projector gate.
filter – 1. a filter is a computer software module used to process digital video for adding special effects to a program. The filter selection available to photographers is tremendously wide. 2. there are two types of filter in photography: (a) a photography filter is a transparent piece of tinted glass, plastic or gelatin, often but not necessarily disc-shaped, used to alter the color or character of light or to reduce the amount of light. Filters may be in the shape of discs, squares or rectangles with no optical properties other than to control the color or intensity of light. Filters are used in photography to change the appearance of a scene by emphasizing, eliminating or changing color or density, generally so that the scene can be recorded with a more natural look, on a particular film or a digital sensor; and (b) in image-editing programs, the use of a digital filter applies a set of image characteristics to all or part of an image. 3. an electrical device used to reduce the transmission of signals in some frequency ranges and allow transmission of signals in other frequency ranges. Filters remove or pass certain frequencies from a signal. 4. an instrument that removes specific frequencies from a signal’s tone. 5. A device for eliminating selected frequencies from the sound spectrum of a signal and perhaps (in the case of a resonant filter) increasing the level of other frequencies. See lowpass filter. The timbre, also known as the color or nature of your sound is shaped by the filter. It can accentuate or attenuate certain frequency ranges. A type of equalizing device for subtractively eliminating selected frequencies from the sound spectrum of a signal and perhaps, in the case of a resonant filter, increasing the level of other frequencies around the cutoff point. The cutoff controls where the filter begins affecting frequencies. Many filters have an envelope as well which is used to adjust the attack, decay, sustain and release of the filter’s effect on the sound being processed. 6. A device (MIDI filter) that eliminates selected messages from the MIDI data stream.
filter factor – a number that indicates to what extent you must increase exposure when you use a particular filter (by multiplying the unfiltered exposure by the filter factor number). Filters absorb light. The filter factor allows you to compensate for this absorption. The amount of exposure compensation has been predetermined for every filter, and is expressed as a “filter factor” (sometimes also called an exposure factor, and also referred to as exposure magnification or ’em’ values).
filter, low-pass – in a DSLR, one or more low-pass filters are located in front of the imaging sensor to allow the lowest-frequency waves through and cut off the highest, effectively reducing the amount of detail getting through to the sensor, resolve aliasing that causes jagged edges when photographing circular objects and diagonal lines, and to protect the sensor from dust. Most have an anti-static coating to discourage dust from sticking.
filter size – is determined by the inner diameter of the front of a lens, more specifically the threads into which a filter is screwed to attach it to the lens. A 62 mm filter screws onto a lens that has threads that have a diameter of 62 mm. Most filters and some lenses are inscribed with their filter size in millimeters. filter size, measured in millimeters, is inscribed on the filter and sometimes on the lens.
finalizing – the process used to finish a video sequence. On a video system it is a process that generates a new clip from the project’s timeline while the original material is not touched or altered. It saves the contents of the timeline in a freely selectable file and video/audio format to a new location, thereby applying all effects and cutting away material that is not needed.
finder – a shorter word to use when referring to a camera’s viewfinder.
fine grain developers – film developers that minimize grain in the final image.
fingerprint – an invisible identifier placed in a digital image file that is not affected by normal image editing and can be retrieved using software.
finishing – the complete process after fine-tuning the cutting and applying primary color corrections, such as applying secondary color corrections and titlings.
firewire – also known as ieee 1394. A computer connector that permits high-speed data transfer, including downloading from a digital camera and transfers between devices including camcorders and firewire-enabled PCs. Data transfer is on a special high-speed bus standard capable of over 100 mbits/second sustained data rate, and is faster than USB. Accessories with firewire capability can be plugged in and removed from the computer without having to turn off the computer. Firewire ports are usually found on high quality video and digital cameras. This standard supports data rates of 100/200/400 mbps. The other terms referring to the same standard are ILINK and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 1394. The latest firewire standard (firewire 800) is able to support data rates of 800 mbps.
First Assistant Camera – 1AC. See focus puller.
first generation – the first copy of a videotape. A copy of that copy is termed second generation.
fisheye – describes an extreme wide-angle lens that has an angle of view exceeding 100 – sometimes more than 180 – and that renders a scene as highly distorted.
fixation – in negatives and prints alike, the conversion of unused silver halides to a soluble silver so that the image remains stable and unalterable when exposed to light. Also known as “fixing.”
fixed focal length – also known as a “prime lens”. Fixed focal length describes a lens that has a focal length that is not adjustable; it’s fixed. Such a lens cannot be zoomed.
fixed focus – refers to a lens, the focus of which cannot be changed. Found in simple cameras, the focus is preset (or fixed) by the factory, usually at the hyperfocal distance, resulting in image sharpness for most common shooting conditions for snapshots.
fixed matrix – a type of display that has a fixed grid on which it recreates an image.
fixer – or fixing bath or hypo. the chemical solution used for fixation. It removes any photo-sensitive silver-halide crystals that were not acted upon by light or by the developer.
flag – a metal flap used near a lens to keep lights from shining directly into the lens and causing lens flare.
flaking – emulsion particles from the edge of the film that tend to deposit in the image area of the film. Flaking is caused by improper film path in the camera, rewinds or other equipment misalignment.
flange – discs used to guide film for printers, rewinds and projection.
flare – 1. dark or colored flashes caused by signal overload through extreme light reflections of polished objects or very bright lights. 2. flare can show up as a plain area of unwanted bright light or in shapes matching the aperture. This is light that doesn’t belong in an image, often taking the shape of the aperture, generally caused by shooting towards the light source. The source may appear in the image as a reflection from the interior of the camera or from the lens. Flare often results in an overall reduction of image contrast. Attaching a lens hood can help avoid flare.
flash – 1. a brief, sudden burst of bright light from a flashbulb or an electronic flash unit. 2. an artificial light source that provides brief, bright illumination of a subject in order to properly expose photographic film. 3. often used in reference to the actual unit that produces the flash, as in “my flash is built into my camera”. 4. An animation technology developed by Macromedia Inc. for use on the Web. Compared to other image formats such as GIFs or JPEGs, Flash files download faster and can employ scripting to enable sophisticated interface design. Unlike open formats such as DHTML, Flash scripts cannot be viewed directly by a user.
flashback – a scene that breaks the chronological continuity of the main narrative by depicting events which happened in the past. Contrast with flashforward.
flash bulb – a one-time-use glass bulb enclosing a pyrotechnic wire filament that burns out, generating a bright flash, when an electrical current is run through it.
flash cube – a cube-shaped unit containing four built-in flash bulbs that automatically rotates to the next usable bulb when one is fired. When all four flash bulbs have been fired, the unit is no longer usable, and is discarded. The flash cube is now obsolete, but was at one time a common flash accessory for many point-and-shoot cameras.
flash factor – also known as ” guide number,” a number which serves as a guide to proper exposure when using flash. The number is based on a flash unit’s light output and the film speed. When the flash factor is divided by the flash-to-subject distance, the correct aperture for proper exposure is determined. Flash factors may be quoted in meters or feet, according to which system is used for the measurement of distance.
flash fall-off rate – the rate at which the intensity of light from a flash diminishes over distance.
flash fill – flash that is used in a supplementary manner to fill in a subject’s shadow area with light, thereby reducing contrast. Better known as “fill flash” or “fill-in flash”, see above.
flashforward – a scene that breaks the chronological continuity of the main narrative by depicting events which happen in the future. Contrast with flashback.
flash memory card – a camera’s removable image storage device.
flash meter – exposure meter designed to measure the light from electronic flash.
flashpath – a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive that has been modified to accept smart-media memory cards so that data can be transferred (very slowly) to a computer through the computer’s floppy disk drive. Note that “floppy” disks are legacy media, not used today, but that “smart-media memory cards” are still used today (2016).
flashpix – a file format developed by Kodak and Hewlett-Packard to create image files in a digital camera. A compatible application is required to open flashpix files.
flash powder – used in the early days of photography, a mixture of metallic magnesium with an oxidizing agent that, when ignited, produces a bright flash of light.
FlashPVR – a technology that allows pinnacle TVcenter pro software to run from the PCTV HD ultimate stick’s on-board flash memory. Users can automatically record TV shows to the integrated flash memory or to their hard drive in a broad range of formats including ipod®, psp®, divx®, or even direct-to-DVD.
flash frames – white frames between frames with images on them. In video, these are mistimings in the EDL or editing that leave empty frames between cuts.
flash synchronization – timing the triggering of the flash so that it fires only when the shutter is completely open, thereby ensuring complete exposure of the entire film frame.
flash terminal – electrical contact on a camera to which a cord that is connected to a flash unit is attached, permitting flash synchronization.
flash throw – the flash’s effective distance, that is, how far from the flash head its light adequately illuminates a subject for photography.
flashing – uniform density exposure to the film prior to processing to lower the stock contrast.
flat – a negative, slide or print that is too low in contrast due to a limited range in density.
flat lighting – illumination that provides little contrast on the subject and light or imperceptible shadows.
flatten – combining two or more layers of a digital image file, usually performed when all image manipulation changes have been completed and the assembled image is ready to be saved in a standard image format.
flex life – the number of times a cable can be bent before it breaks. A wire with more strands, or more twists per inch, will have a greater flex life than one with a lower number of strands, or one with less twists per inch.
flicker- repeated change of brightness on the screen.
flip-flop – 1. a video transition where the sources selected on the program and preset buses exchange places at the end of the transition. 2. a digital logic circuit whose output follows the signal present on the input at the time that a clock signal occurs. 3. an effect on a video system where the video images are mirrored either horizontally (flip) or vertically (flop). See also effect.
floating lens – a lens element in a compound lens that changes its position as the lens is focused.
floodlight – continuous (non-flash), artificial light source, generally used in the studio for evenly-spread illumination. Also known as photo flood or flood lamp. It has a color temperature of 3400 on the kelvin scale.
flying head – a video head that engages when a video deck is on “pause”, providing a clear still-frame image.
foam technician – also foam runner. A person responsible for creating foam latex prosthetic appliances from a sculpture created by a makeup artist.
focal length – 1. the determination of the relative size of a lens. 2. the distance between the focal point of a lens and the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity. It is used to designate the relative size and angle of view of a lens, expressed in millimeters (mm). A particular lens’ focal length (e.g. 35mm, 50mm, 105mm, 600mm, etc.) can generally be found engraved or printed on the front of the lens. 3. the distance, in millimeters, between the center of a lens and the point where the image comes into focus; that value given to a lens, stated in inches or millimeters. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of the image.
Focal Length Magnification – sometimes called FLM; see “format factor” below.
Focal Length Multiplier or FLM – see “format factor” below.
focal plane – A camera’s lens focuses light onto a specific plane where the film or sensor is located. This is the plane perpendicular to the lens axis at which parallel rays striking the lens are converged to a point.
focal plane shutter – a camera shutter situated directly in front of the digital sensor or film, composed of an opaque curtain that contains a slit that moves directly across in front of the sensor or film, permitting light to strike the sensor or film. some cameras employ two curtains.
focal point – 1. the central or principal point of focus. This generally refers to the main subject of your picture – the photograph’s center of interest, also known as the center of focus. 2. the optical center of a lens when it is focused on infinity.
focus – 1. a point at which converging rays of light meet after being refracted or reflected. 2. focal point of a lens. 3. the clear and sharply-defined condition of an image, as in “this image is in focus,” meaning it is sharp and well-defined. 4. adjustment of the distance setting on a lens to obtain a sharply-defined image, as in to focus a camera. 5. adjusting a lens’ elements in relation to the film plane so as to obtain the required sharpness in the image. 6. to cause a sharp image from a lens to be projected onto a screen from a projector). Also to adjust the electron beam converging circuits in a television monitor for maximum sharpness as they strike the surface of the picture tube. 7. the act of adjusting a lens to make the image appear clear, sharp, and well-defined. 7. the sharpness of an image, or the adjustments made on a camera necessary to achieve this. See also Focus Puller.
focus lock – also known as focus hold. A feature of a camera that permits the photographer to focus on an object and to “lock in” that focusing distance so it can be used to shoot another object. Focus lock is generally employed when an object that must be in focus is outside of the camera’s autofocus sensor when framing the composition.
focusing hood – a cowl around focusing screens that shields the screen from light other than the light from the scene being photographed.
focusing magnifier – a simple magnifying lens that enlarges the image on a focusing screen.
focus group – a group of approximately ten to twelve members of the public unrelated to a movie’s production who attend a sneak preview. A single focus group is usually composed of a selection of people within the boundaries of a movie’s intended audience. The group is extensively questioned by the filmmakers following the screening, and their opinions are incorporated into any further editing that may occur before the premiere.
Focus Puller – also B Cameraman. A member of the camera crew who adjusts the focus of the camera during filming. See also Assistant Cameraman.
fog or “fogging” – 1. unwanted density in an image caused by accidental exposure to non-image forming light or x-rays, poor storage conditions such as storing film in hot and humid places, overdevelopment, improper chemical processing, or outdated film. 2. darkening or discoloring of a negative or print.
foley – 1. the art of recreating incidental sound effects (such as footsteps) in synchronization with the visual component of a movie. Named after early practitioner Jack Foley, foley artists sometimes use bizarre objects and methods to achieve sound effects, e.g. snapping celery to mimic bones being broken. The sounds are often exaggerated for extra effect; fight sequences are almost always accompanied by loud foley added thuds and slaps. 2. background sounds added during audio sweetening to heighten realism.
Foley Artist – Foley Operator. A person who creates foley sound effects; named after early practitioner Kack Foley.
Foley Editor – edits the sounds created by a Foley Artist.
Foley Mixer – a sound mixer who works with a Foley Artist to record sound effects.
font – a typeface’s style, including the weight and size of the letters. The digital computer or device term for typeface.
footage numbers – also refereed as to edge numbers. Sequential numbers which are pre-exposed or printed in ink at regular intervals on the edge of the film outside or in between the perforation.
foot-candle – abbreviated as ftc, it is an english unit of measure expressing the intensity of light illuminating an object. The illumination from one candle falling on a surface of 1 square foot at a distance of 1 foot.
footprint – 1. indicates where possible mounting points are to join two pieces together, the total contact area, and how they may or may not fit together. 2. space required to house an equipment rack or device. 3. coverage area of a communications satellite.
force processing – develop film for longer than the normal time to compensate for underexposure. Also referred to as push process.
forced development – another term for “push-processing”, increasing development time of a film to “force” an increase in its effective speed.
forced display – a DVD feature that forces the display of a sub-picture regardless of the wishes of the user.
forced perspective – a technique used to create a sense of great distance or to make a space seem much bigger than it is, forced perspective is created by using objects that are vary in size, and placing them specific distances from one another, to create the effect of objects fading into the distance.
foreground – the area of a scene that is closer than the subject.
format – 1. the size, resolution, aspect ratio, color space, bit depth, format rate, etc. for a given image. 2. the file format for a given image. 3. the physical medium (such as film, video, etc.) used to capture or display an image sequence, used in photography principally in reference to small, medium and large format films and the photography equipment employed in handling each different film format (e.g. a “medium format” camera). 4. in television, the specific form of the signals that make up the video signal. For example component versus composite format. 5. To prepare a storage medium, so that it can receive and store data. 6. the size or aspect ratio of a motion picture frame.
format factor – usually called the crop factor. A number used to multiply a lens’s actual focal length to express how much of an apparent increase you can expect in the effective focal length of any traditional 35mm SLR lens you use on a DSLR camera. Also called the Focal Length Multiplier or FLM. Typical format factors are in the range 1.5 or 1.6 to 2.0.
formant – a powerful point in a frequency’s range; a resonant peak in a frequency spectrum. For example, the variable formants produced by the human vocal tract are what give vowels their characteristic sound.
formatting – in a digital camera, formatting refers to the preparation of the memory card’s contents to enable digital image data recording. Also known as initializing. When using a new memory card for the first time, you format it so the card can receive and store data from your digital camera.
forward kinematics animation – 3D animation method where the position of a child object in an articulated “chain” are determined by the position and orientation of its parent object. for example, in a hierarchical linkage of a human figure, when the torso (the parent) bends over, the head (the child) moves along with it, but the head can be turned without affecting the torso.
Fourier analysis – 1. of a periodic function, refers to the extraction of the series of sines and cosines which when superimposed will reproduce the function. This analysis can be expressed as a Fourier series. One important application is for the analysis of sound. It is important to assess the frequency distribution of the power in a sound because the human ear exercises that capacity in the hearing process; to describe sound in the time domain and in the frequency domain (by means of the FFT). See also FFT. 2. A technique, usually performed using a DSP algorithm, that allows complex, dynamically changing audio waveforms to be described mathematically as sums of sine waves at various frequencies and amplitudes, and permits acoustic waveforms to be explained numerically as parts of sine waves at different frequencies and breadths. See also DSP.
Fourier Transform – A method for converting a waveform to a spectrum, and back, used to decompose time series signals into frequency components each having an amplitude and phase. Using the inverse Fourier transformation the time series signal can be reconstructed from its frequency-domain representation. It is one of the most important concepts in digital signal processing and is not only used for estimating the spectral distribution of a signal in the frequency domain (the power spectrum), but is also the foundation of coherence analysis and certain types of so-called surrogate signals. Finally, the Fourier transformation is implemented in many DSP (Digital Signal Processing) routines because any mathematical operation in the time domain has an equivalent operation in the frequency domain that is often computationally faster. Thus, Fourier transformation is occasionally implemented solely to speed up algorithms. Using the inverse Fourier transformation, the time-domain signal is reconstructed from its frequency domain representation. See also FFT, above.
fractal – a three-dimensional random function with a particular frequency distribution. Fractal textures are useful for simulating many natural phenomena, such as rock surfaces, clouds, or flames.
fragmentation – the scattering of data over a disk caused by successive recording and deletion operations. Data fragmentation occurs when a piece of data in memory is divided into several parts being physically far apart. generally, this is the result of attempting to insert a large block of data into several small free spaces on the storage.
frame – 1a. in animation, a still image and the basic unit of time measurement. Typically, 25 frames of animation are required for one second of pal video. 1b. 3D animation. One image; live or animated imagery is displayed with the rate of either 25 (PAL video), 30 (NTSC video) or 24 images (film) per second, although other speeds may be used. Today, frame is pointedly a display term because, in addition to video, the new digital storage methods do not neccessarily deal with frames per se anymore. 2. Generally, the boundaries or sides within which a picture is contained. 3. The visible boundaries of a camera’s viewfinder. 4. The area of a single exposure on a film. 5. An element in a scene, like a branch or doorway, that frames the subject. 5. a decorative border surrounding a print or digital image. 6. Each video frame has 2 interlaced fields; a frame consists of all the information required for a complete picture. In the NTSC system, there are 525 interlaced horizontal lines of picture information in 29.97 frames per second. In the PAL system, there are 625 interlaced horizontal lines of picture information in 25 frames per second. 7. An individual picture image which eventually appears on a print. 8. An individual segment of film. 9. a complete video picture or image of odd and even fields; two fields equal one frame(two complete interlaced scans of the monitor screen). 10. A metal cabinet (also known as a tray) which holds circuit boards. 11. A complete individual television picture image on a strip of motion picture film consisting of two interlaced fields of video, produced at the rate of approximately 29l97 hz (color), or 30 hz (black & white). The frame rate for PAL system is 24 frames per second and for the NTSC system is thirty frames per second. 12. The basic unit of SMPTE time code, corresponding to one frame of a film or video image. Depending on the format used, SMPTE time can be defined with 24, 25, 30, or 29.97 frames per second. See SMPTE time code.
frames, keyframes – videos, or movies exist of moving images. Funny enough, those images don’t move at all. In reality a movie switches or substitutes one image for the other and it does that 29 times per second for high quality movies and 15 to 24 times for web quality. The more images you have per second, the heavier the movie will be but it will also move smoother. At the film theatre, 15 frames per second will appear jerky while 29 frames per second is often overkill on the web (although there are exceptions). Every image is slightly different from the previous and as a result, you get the impression that something is moving. Every image is called a frame, like a photo frame with a portrait; and keyframes are frames used to determine the amount of compression that is used. A compression method tries to calculate how it can reduce the amount of code needed to play the movie. In other words, it tries to create shortcuts to describe the color fields. In quicktime, you can instruct a compression method to use the color information of 1 frame (the keyframe) and use that for the next 23 frames, for instance; the movie does not have to keep the color information for 24 frames but only 1 per 24 frames, thus reducing the file size dramatically. So, if you set keyframes to 24, that means that every 24th frame the compression method takes a snapshot from the colors in that keyframe and use that information to create the next 23 frames until a new keyframe starts. if you set the keyframes to 1, the compression method will take a snapshot from every frame, thus resulting in a big file size, but much higher quality. There are no standards for keyframes because every movie is different; therefore, you have to experiment with the keyframe settings until you have the right balance between quality and weight. For video channels I would either set the keyframe to 1 (every frame is recalculated) or turn compression off altogether, because those video channels will compress your movie again, regardless what you do about it.
frame line – the separation between adjacent image frames on motion picture film.
frame rate – frames per second, fps. 1. Movies are created by taking a rapid sequence of pictures (frames) of action. By displaying these frames at the same rate at which they were recorded, the illusion of motion can be created. Frame Rate is the number of frames captured or projected per second. the human optical system is only capable of capturing about 20 images per second; hence to give a realistic illusion of motion a frame rate greater than this is required. Most modern motion pictures are filmed and displayed at 24 fps. Earlier films used lower frame rates, and hence when played back on modern equipment, fast motion occurs due to undercranking. See also slow motion, fast motion, undercranking, overcranking, judder, motion artifact. 2. Used to describe the number of times per second that a complete picture is updated in an imaging system. See capture rate. 3. In essence, a video file is simply a container that holds multiple still images. These individual images are called frames and are captured in rapid succession (at a constant interval). The rate of this capture is typically referred to as frame rate. The human eye starts to see smooth motion around eight frames per second. However motion really starts to smooth out at rates of 24 frames per second and higher. Video works because of a concept called “persistence of vision”. This describes how the human brain can connect a rapidly shown-series of still images to perceive smooth motion. When describing video, this frame rate is measured in seconds (and may contain a decimal value). Note that, in some cases, whole frames are split in half and delivered using fields, where the odd (or even) lines load first, then the second half of the image loads afterwards. This concept is called interlacing, and is used in many broadcast environments. The most commonly used frame rates are: 60 fps (59.94 fps): Standard frame rate for 720p HD used in the United States and other countries using the NTSC (National Television System Committee) set of video standards; 50 fps, Standard frame rate for 720p HD used in Europe and other countries using the PAL (Phase Alternating Line)set of standards; 30 fps (really 29.97 fps): The most common frame rate for broadcast in the United States and other NTSC based countries; 25 fps, The common frame rate of video used in Europe and additional markets around the world that are based on the PAL standard; and 24 fps (23.98 fps): A rate that closely matches that of motion picture film. Fractional frame rates (like 29.97) come into play in countries like the United States that follow standards set by the NTSC. Originally, the video frame rate in the United States was 30 fps (or a field rate of 1/60 of a second). This rate was used to match the 60 Hz AC power-line frequencies in North America. When color was introduced into the video signal in the 1950s, the rate had to be changed. To make color work properly with an existing transmission and hardware infrastructure, engineers had to slow down video frame rate signals by 0.1 %, leading to a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second (or a field rate of 59.94 fields per second). For compatibility with standard definition televisions, the same logic has been applied to HD formats in countries that were based on NTSC standards. For footage that mimics motion picture film, a good choice is to record 24 (23.98) fps. This is also an ideal frame rate for productions to be delivered by DVD, Blu-ray or the Internet. For footage that will be used for broadcast, 30 (29.97) fps is a good choice for interlaced 1920 x 1080 material in NTSC-based countries. If you’re working with the PAL standard, you’ll use 25 fps for 1920 x 1080 material. For footage shot 1280 x 720, the best choices for broadcast are 60 (59.94) fps in NTSC based countries and 50 fps for PAL countries. At this time, most DSLR cameras only shoot progressive frame rates. This is largely due to the sensor types used in the cameras. Computers and computer monitors as well as portable media players and smart phones are inherently progressive, but television broadcasting is based on interlaced techniques and standards. For computer and device playback, progressive offers faster decoding and better compression than interlaced and should be used if possible. In NTSC formats, the frame/field rate is actually 0.1% lower than listed, so 24P is really 23.976 frames per second, and 60i is really 59.94 fields per second. PAL formats use the listed frame rate — 25p is really 25 frames per second.
FreeMIDI – A Macintosh operating system extension developed by Mark of the Unicorn that enables different programs to share MIDI data. For example, a sequencer could communicate with a librarian program to display synthesizer patch names, rather than just numbers, in the sequencer’s editing windows.
freeze – In digital picture manipulators, the ability to stop or hold a frame of video so that the picture is frozen like a snapshot.
freeze frame – 1. the storing of a single frame of video. 2. the continuous repetition of a single frame of video. 3. an optical printing effect whereby a single frame is repeated to give the illusion that all action has stopped. Often used by Martin Scorsese. Contrast with stop motion.
frequency – 1. the rate of repetition of an electrical or audio signal, expressed in hertz (cycles per second). 2. the number of complete cycles of a periodic waveform that occur in a given length of time, or the number of cycles in a given time period.
frequency modulation – or FM. 1. A change in the frequency (pitch) of a signal. At low modulation rates, FM is perceived as vibrato or some type of trill, depending on the shape of the modulating waveform. When the modulating wave is in the audio range (above 20Hz or so), FM is perceived as a change in tone color. 2. FM synthesizers, commonly found on computer soundcards, create sounds using audio-range frequency modulation. 3. Frequency modulation is a form of analog angle modulation in which the baseband information-carrying signal, typically called the message or information signal m(t), varies the frequency of a carrier wave. Audio signals transmitted by FM radio communications are the most common. However, FM radio can also transmit digital data with the low bandwidth digital information known as Radio Data System (RDS) in Europe and Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) in the U.S. The simplest approach to generating FM signals is to apply the message signal directly to a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). See also FM synthesis, above.
frequency response – 1. the range of frequencies within which a microphone is sensitive. 2. a measure of how effectively a circuit or device passes signals or different frequencies applied to it.
fresnel lens – 1. a special light-weight lens used in focusing beams of light. Originally used in lighthouses, now also used in high-quality studio and theatrical lights. 2. a flat glass or acrylic lens in which the curvature of a normal lens surface has been collapsed in such a way that concentric circles are impressed on the lens surface; often used for the condenser lens in overhead projectors, in rear projection screens, and in studio spot lights.
frontlighting or front lighting – light illuminating the front of a subject, i.e. the side of the subject at which the camera is aimed.
front porch – the blanking signal portion which lies between the end of the active picture information and the leading edge of horizontal sync.
front screen projection – a system that employs a light reflecting screen for use when the image will be projected from a source in front of the screen.
frustum – 1. a volume of space that includes everything that is currently visible from a given camera viewpoint. A frustum is defined by planes arranged in the shape of a 4 sided cone with dimensions that correspond to the film aspect ratio. 2. of a Cone or Pyramid: A truncated cone or pyramid in which the plane cutting off the apex is parallel to the base. Note: the word is frustum, not frustrum.
full-field: a complete video image consisting of 2 fields per video frame.
full frame – a camera’s sensor that has the same dimensions as a 35mm film frame – roughly 24mm x 36mm.
fullscreen – a term used to describe the shape of the picture a movie is displayed in order for it to fill a regular (as of 1998) TV screen. At the time of writing, most TVs are squarer than the newer widescreen TVs on the market. With these older sets, for every 4 inches of horizontal screen size there are 3 inches of vertical size, hence a 4:3 aspect ratio. Widescreen TVs have 5 and 1/3 inches horizontal size for each 3 of vertical. Rather than write that as 5.333:3, we use 16:9. So, fullscreen= 4:3, widescreen= 16:9. When a movie is played in fullscreen format for a 4:3 TV, the movie is almost always adjusted to fit. You may be familiar with the phrase “This movie has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your TV.” What that almost always means is that much of the original picture has been thrown away, i.e. the pan and scan procedure has been used to pick the most appropriate pieces of the picture to keep because the old TV screen is the wrong shape to show the whole picture. In terms of home cinema, fullscreen is inferior to widescreen and is often considered to be an unacceptable format. The 4:3 shape TV is expected to become obsolete over the next decade [1998-2008] as TV moves to digital and HDTV formats, which are widescreen based. DVDs often offer both fullscreen and widescreen formats, however many are already only available in widescreen and anamorphic format, so as to cater for the growing audience of home cinema enthusiasts who have already abandoned fullscreen.
full-sized sensor – see full frame above.
fundamental frequency – the lowest frequency in a harmonic series; known as pure tone.
fuse – a device designed to interrupt an electrical circuit in the event of an overload of that circuit.