LAME – Also L.A.M.E. A software library that converts audio to MP3 format. The name LAME is a recursive acronym for “LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder”. Around mid-1998, Mike Cheng created LAME 1.0 as a set of modifications against the “8Hz-MP3” encoder source code. After some quality concerns raised by others, he decided to start again from scratch based on the “dist10” MPEG reference software sources. His goal was only to speed up the dist10 sources, and leave its quality untouched. That became Lame 2.0. The project quickly became a team project.

LAN – Local Area Network. A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

LCD – Liquid Crystal Display.

LCOS – Liquid Crystal On Silicon.

LED – Light-Emitting Diode.

LNG – Recording Longitudinal Recording. To record audio signals on tape along its longitudinal tracks.

LTC – longitudinal time code; time code recorded along the tape in the forward direction of tape run, usually on channel 3 of the videotape that records tape length. A VTR cannot reproduce LTC when tape run stops to output a still picture. The output level of LTC is very low when tape runs slowly, so an LTC ‘read error’ is likely to occur while the VTR is playing back in slow motion. See also time code and VITC.

lag – the tendency in some camera pickup tubes to retain an image after it is no longer presented to the tube. this effect is most evident when a relatively bright image is replaced by a darker field of view and is aggravated when a bright image is stationary in the field of view for an extended period of time before it is replaced.

latency –   A short delay between an audio signal being sent and received. In computer audio this is due to analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. Most commonly refers to the delay between recording a sound and hearing its play-through or laying it down on disk.

latent image – the image retained by a pickup tube after the source of that image is removed. If a latent image is present on a pickup tube when a camera is turned off, the image may be permanently fixed on the tube.

latitude – the range of exposure that a film has where a good reproduction can be obtained.

lavalier – a small microphone worn on the body and held in place either with a lanyard worn around the neck or a clip fastened to clothing. The frequency response of a lavalier microphone is skewed toward the higher frequencies to compensate for the low frequency sound transmitted directly to the microphone by contact with the body.

layouts – also called blocking. A person responsible for working out the action before filming begins, including where the characters should be, and the camera angles.

Layout Artist – a person responsible for staging every shot and plotting the action that will take place within each scene, whether it be live action or CGI-based.

Lead Character Technical Director – oversees the work of a team of character technical directors, partners closely with the lead artist to address all issues related to the creation of animated film and/or game characters. Responsible for setting and maintaining the aesthetic and technical quality bar for the character creation team.

lead role – also  lead, female lead, male lead. The most important character in a movie, often distinguished by sex.

leader – any film material used at the head and tail of a roll for threading a negative when transferring or a print film for projection.

leadman – also lead man, lead person. Member of the art department who is in charge of swing gangs and/or set dressers and reports to the set decorator.

legs – of a movie, continuing to return large box-office figures.

lens – 1. an optical device used by a camera to focus an image onto film stock or image sensor. 2. The clear plastic cover on  a push-button.  The focusing mechanism of a camera.

lens hood – also lens shade. A cone fastened to the front end of a lens to keep incident light from striking the lens elements and causing lens flare.

lenticular – a screen surface characterized by silvered or aluminized embossing, designed to reflect maximum light over wide horizontal and narrow vertical angles. must be held very flat to avoid hot spots.

letterboxing – also  letterboxed, letterbox. As the aspect ratio of movies are rarely the same as the aspect ratio of a television screen, when showing movies on tv it is necessary to make sacrifices. “Letterboxing” is a video mastering process whereby a film source with an aspect ratio greater than that of the video master (4 – 3 for NTSC/PAL and 16 – 9 for HDTV) is transferred to the video master in such a way that no film image is cut off to the left or the right, requiring the addition of (usually) black bars at the top and at the bottom of the image so that it entirely fills the screen; in other words, the technique of shrinking the image just enough so that its entire width appears on screen, with black areas above and below the image. The advantage of this technique is that the film images are shown as originally intended by the film’s creators, not interfering with their shot composition and artistic intentions. The disadvantage is that the entire image must be shrunk, which makes viewing on smaller TVs more difficult.  Contrast with pan and scan (for DVD, also anamorphic widescreen).

level – the intensity of an electrical signal. In routing switchers, an independently controllable stratum of signals within a routing switcher. Typically, a routing switcher will have a level of video and one or more audio levels. A mix/effects (m/e) section of a video production switcher.

lever arm (fader arm) – typically a “t” shaped handle that is used for manual video transitions on a production switcher.  Moving the lever arm between two limits of an arc creates a change in voltage or digital data that is used to control the transition.

library – location where your collection of audio and video media clips are stored. Can be customized according to how you  want to categorize content, and used as part of the interface to provide access to other features.

line buffer – A line buffer is a memory buffer used to hold one line of video. If the horizontal resolution of the screen is 640 pixels and RGB is used as the color space, the line buffer would have to be 640 locations long by 3 bytes wide. This amounts to one location for each pixel and each color plane. Line buffers are typically used in filtering algorithms.

linear – Linear f-curve results in a steady procedure of animation, except when the f-curve is flat (no animation).

light meter – a meter for measuring light intensity.

lighting – also ‘lights’. Most productions use artificial lighting when filming for various technical and artistic reasons, both on location or on a set. Lighting is designed by the director of photography in consultation with the director, and is  the responsibility of the electrical department.  2. There are many techniques for creating realistic graphical effects to simulate a real-life 3-d object on a 2-d display. One technique is lighting. Lighting is used to create realistic-looking scenes with greater depth instead of flat-looking or cartoonish environments.

lighting crew – also  Lighting Technician, lighting technicians. A group of technicians who install, operate, and maintain lighting.

Lighting Department – the section of a production’s crew responsible for lighting and other electrical matters during filming. Individual positions within in this department include,  Gaffer, BestBboy, Lighting Board Operator, Lamp Operator, Rigging Gaffer, Riggers and Genny Operator.

Lighting Board Operator  – member of the electrical department who runs a console that controls the level or intensity of the lights, creating a look for the show. This can be simple or complex, involving intensity matching for shot continuity, on-screen effects, moving light control and synchronized work with other departments, like special effects and visual effects.

Lighting Technician – member of the electrical department that is responsible for operating lights and lighting equipment on a set.

limiter –  1. audio signal processor that functions like a compressor except that signals exceeding the threshold level are reduced at ratios of 10 – 1 or greater.  2. An amplifier designed to limit or compress signals over a desired level, thus reducing the chances of distortion and keeping the range of signal levels within the range that can be recorded. Unlike an automatic gain control, a limiter does not augment or boost low levels.

Line Producer – a producer who is responsible for managing every person and issue during the making of a film. Line Producers only work on one film at a time. see also Unit Production Manager, Associate Producer, Co-producer, Executive Producer.

lined script – a copy of the shooting script which is prepared by the script supervisor during production to indicate, via notations and vertical lines drawn directly onto the script pages, exactly what coverage has been shot. A given vertical line indicates, via the line’s start and end point, what script material is covered in a particular shot, and whether given dialog or action is on-screen or off-screen in the shot, indicated by the line changing between straight and wavy respectively. Different colored lines usually represent certain types of shots, for example close-up, insert, steadicam, etc. Each vertical line is also notated with the slate of the shot (e.g. “3c”), the printed takes (e.g. “1, 3, and 4”), and a brief shot description (e.g. “m2s rolf & liza”).  The lined script also frequently incorporates the script supervisor’s script notes on the facing pages for a given scene. The lined script is used by the film editor as a reference to what coverage was shot and  to changes made to the script during production. lined scripts give editors a quick view of all available coverage at a  glance, so that he or she can make quick editing decisions without having to sort through all the footage repeatedly.

line voltage – the voltage level of the main power source to a device.

linear –  a simple, directly proportional, one-to-one, “straight-line” relationship. This term is used to contrast with exponential, logarithmic, or other complex relationships.

liquid gate – a printing system where the original film is immersed in a chemical at the moment of exposure, commonly used for reducing the effect of surface scratches.

live area – a camera’s viewfinder actually shows (and records on film stock) a greater area of the scene than will appear in the final product. Markings are etched in the viewfinder to indicate to the camera operator the extents of the “viewable”  film, called the live area. An area beyond that (called the safe area) is also marked; it is in this area that the camera operator might direct the boom operator to place the boom microphone.

local monitor – a device used to monitor the output of a signal from a system or other device in a local vicinity.

location filming – also  location, on location, location shooting filming which occurs at a place not constructed specifically for the production. typically this is either outdoors, a well-known location, or a real place which suffices.

location manager – a person who manages various aspects of filming a movie on location, such as arranging with authorities for permission to shoot in specific places. The location manager is not based on set and therefore has an assistant location manager who represents the department and manages the department’s interests on set where the location manager’s permission is not required or where elements of the location managers job has been delegated the assistant location manager to oversee.

location mixer – a sound mixer responsible for mixing sounds recorded on location.

location scout – a person who looks for suitable locations for filming.

lock it down – also  lock it up, a lock up. A direction given by the assistant director for everyone on the set to be quiet, move out of frame, and to secure the set against anything or anyone interrupting the shot as it is happening. It is called just prior to speed. The phrase can also be used when securing a location for filming.

logarithm – 1. a logarithm is the exponent of base 10 that equals the value of a number; the exponent required to produce a given number.  2. A non-linear relationship where one item is proportional to the logarithm of the other item. So for a logarithmic fade in, the curve becomes “flatter” with time; a logarithmic fade-out becomes “steeper” with time. Some measures, such as dB, are logarithmic by definition. See also Exponential.

log time – that time at which a new source is placed on the program bus, usually recorded in the station log for FCC  accounting and customer billing purpose.

long shot – a camera shot from a great distance, usually showing the characters as very small in comparison to their surroundings.

look development lead – a person who works in a digital/CG department and is responsible for wrangling the information from departments upstream like modeling, textures, concept art, shaders and effects and coming up with the final visual design on the look of characters, props, effects and sets that will eventually be used by lighters downstream on final shots. Usually referred to as lookdev.

loop-through (loop-thru, looping) – a type of video input circuit that provides two or more input connectors. one connector accepts the video input signal for use within the device in question, and the other connector provides a tap off of the input for routing the input signal to another piece of equipment.

looping – see automatic dialogue replacement.

lossless – 1. a format that does not lose any information. It may be either a size-compressing format like FLAC where the quality is exactly as good as before compression, or an uncompressed format like WAV.   2. A type of encoding that, although compression techniques are used, the resulting product can be played back without loss of data.

lossy – 1. encoding that permanently removes data during compression in a way that not only makes the final product much smaller, but still offers high quality. 2. Format for size-compressing audio that may sacrifice a small amount of quality in order to reduce the file size more than lossless compression. Examples are MP3 and OGG.

loudspeaker – a transducer that converts electrical energy into acoustical energy. Loudspeaker components are primarily a driver or drivers within an enclosure.

low pass filter –   A filter that lets low (bass) frequencies through.

lumen – a measure of the light quantity emitted from a constant light source across one square meter;  1 unit of luminous flux equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle of 1 steradian by a point source of 1 candela intensity radiating uniformly in all directions.

luminance – 1. the measurable, luminous intensity of a video signal. Differentiated from brightness in that the latter is subjective and sensory. The color video picture information contains two components,  luminance (brightness and contrast) and chrominance (hue and saturation). The photometric quantity of light radiation.  2. Also called ‘luma’ and abbreviated ‘y’, it is part of a bandwidth limited video signal combining sync information and brightness information.  3. Measured value of brightness.  See my Image Glossary for more on luminance.

luminance signal – a signal that determines the brightness of the picture. Also called ‘y signal’.

lux – a contraction of the words luminance and flux; metric version of footcandle.

lyricist – a writer of song lyrics.

lyrics – the words sung in a song; also refers to their writer.

lytro cinema camera – the sensor captures photons by grabbing detailed light field information involving the angle and direction of every bit of light in the frame, creating a partially reconstructed actual 3-d space, allowing you to modify the video’s focus and depth of field after it’s shot.  The camera enables photographers to adjust almost everything after the fact; you can reposition the camera angle and tweak the frame rate and shutter speed. Further, by capturing the depth of every object in a shot, the camera could eliminate the need for a physical green screen. In other words, when you can isolate either the background or the foreground elements, it should be easy to add green-screen elements with out using an actual green screen.  The camera has the capabilities to capture 744 raw megapixels at up to 300 frames-per-second and 16 stops of dynamic range.  Also included with the camera is editing software, servers for cloud storage and processing. To ease production in bigger-budget projects that involve an extensive mixing of live-action and computer-generated components, the digital holographic  3-d space of real-word objects created while filming makes it easier to blend them with computer-generated models in post-production, and will also allow “effects artists” to keep the same effects for live action and cg elements of a scene. For visual effects teams, plug-ins for standard tools used in the visual effects industry and a server array for storage since 3-d light-field footage uses a lot of data. these features potentially minimize the burden of the typical time intensive,  expensive post process.