A to Z Video Editing

Dive right into the all-encompassing video editing 101 dictionary to decode all the aces a pro video editor has up their sleeve. This is the only resource you’ll ever need to master the art of video editing terms and create visual storytelling magic.


Aspect Ratio = the image or video ratio of its width to its height. Aspect ratio is expressed through two numbers separated by a colon. Examples include 16:9, 4:3. 

A-Roll = primary or main footage in a video production. It is the essential footage that tells the main story or conveys the primary message through content.

Video AI = Artificial Intelligence integration that aids with video creation/editing. Often used to automate a video editing workflow or as a standalone tool.

Autosave = feature that stores video editing progress without any action from the creator. Automatically saving progress prevents losing time with a repetitive manual action or losing recent video editing changes. 

Autofocus = camera feature that automatically adjusts the focus of the lens to ensure the subject of the photograph or video is sharp and clear.


B-Roll  = Supplemental or secondary footage that is intercut with the main shot or primary footage in filmmaking, television production, and video editing.

Background = The area or scenery behind the main subject.

Bit rate = The amount of data used to represent one second of multimedia content. Higher bit rates generally result in better quality but also require more storage space or bandwidth.


Cut = The point where one shot or scene transitions to another. Not to be confused with crop or trim.

Crop = Video editing action that reduces the visible part of an image. Technique often used to respect platform-specific video sizes and prevent faulty framing. 

Color grading = The process of adjusting and enhancing the colors of a video to achieve a desired look or visual atmosphere.

Color enhance = The process of intensifying or improving the colors in an image or video to make them more vivid, vibrant, or aesthetically pleasing. This can involve adjusting various aspects of color, including saturation, contrast, brightness, and overall color balance.

Color correction = The process of adjusting colors in a video to ensure that they are accurate and consistent.

Compress = The process of reducing the size of a file or data.

Convert = The process of changing a file format, be it video, audio, image, GIF, or text. Often required due to compatibility issues.

• Audio

• Video

• Text

• Image


CTA (Call to Action) = A short prompt that encourages your viewers to engage in a specific behavior (take action through a click, by writing a comment, with sharing a video)


Duration = When discussing the duration of a video or audio clip, it is usually in terms of the time it takes to play from start to finish.

Download = The process of transferring data or files from a remote computer, server, or another device to a local device.

Dissolve = A transitional video or film editing technique where one shot gradually fades into another.


Effect = A visual or audio alteration applied to footage or audio tracks to achieve a specific artistic, stylistic, or technical result.

Export = The process of saving or converting a project, file, or data from a specific application or format to an external file that can be used independently or shared with others. Exporting is often the final step in the production workflow, allowing users to generate a standalone file that encapsulates their work.


Freeze frame = A technique in video editing where a single frame of a video is extended to appear as a still image, creating the illusion that time has stopped.

Fade = A gradual transition between different states, such as a transition between images, scenes, or audio levels.

FPS = stands for "Frames Per Second," and it is a unit of measurement used to quantify the frame rate in video recording, playback, and animation. FPS represents the number of individual frames or images displayed or captured in one second of time.

Frame rate = The number of individual frames or images displayed per second in a video, animation, or film. It is also expressed in frames per second (FPS)


Green Screen = Also known as a chroma key screen or backdrop, is a colored background used in video and filmmaking to enable the superimposition of different images or video streams during post-production.

Glitch = A sudden and often temporary malfunction or irregularity in the regular operation of a system, device, or process. Glitches can manifest as unexpected errors, disruptions, or artifacts deviating from the intended behavior.  In digital media, glitches can result in visual or auditory artifacts. Visual glitches may include distorted images, screen flickering, or unexpected graphic elements. Auditory glitches can manifest as unexpected sounds or distortions in audio playback. Glitches are sometimes intentionally introduced for artistic or creative purposes. Artists and designers may incorporate glitch effects into digital art, music, or video to create a visually striking or unconventional aesthetic.


Highlights = The brightest parts of an image, where the light intensity is at its highest. These are often the areas closest to being overexposed and contain the most reflective or illuminated elements. In media coverage, "highlights" are short summaries or clips that showcase an event's most exciting or significant moments. Highlight reels are commonly created to capture the key plays or actions.

HDMI =  stands for "High-Definition Multimedia Interface." It is a standardized audio/video interface used for transmitting uncompressed digital data.

Hit sound effect = An audio element that delivers a sudden, impactful burst of sound. It grabs the viewer's attention and enhances the overall audio-visual experience. This sound goes great after a Riser sound effect, intensifying the tension in the scene.


ISO = The sensitivity of the camera's image sensor to light. It is one of the three elements of the exposure triangle, along with aperture and shutter speed. A higher ISO setting makes the sensor more sensitive to light, allowing for better performance in low-light conditions but potentially introducing more digital noise or grain in the image.


J-Cut = A technique where the audio from the following scene precedes the corresponding visual, creating a smooth and natural transition. The name comes from the shape it forms in the timeline. This cut allows for a seamless connection between scenes, enhancing continuity.

Jump cut = A type of cut used in film and video editing where the continuity of the action is disrupted by a noticeable jump or abrupt shift in the frame.


Keyframes = Specific frames that define the starting and ending points of any smooth transition or animation.

Keyboard shortcuts = Key combinations that provide a quick and efficient way to perform specific actions or commands in software applications.


L-Cut = A technique where the audio from the preceding scene continues into the following visual, creating a smooth transition. Named for the shape it forms in the editing timeline, this cut allows the audio to overlap between scenes, enhancing continuity and providing a natural flow to the narrative.

Loop = a video, GIF, or audio file that repeats itself without an evident stopping point. This technique is often used to create a smooth, prolonged viewing or listening experience.

Layering = the action of stacking different image, audio and video elements on separate layers, which can ideally be toggled on and off for previews.

Long-form = in reference to content that is extensive and in-depth.

LUT = preset used in color grading and color correction to transform one range of colors in an image or video to another.


Macro = type of lens that is designed for capturing close-up images or videos of small subjects, such as insects, flowers, or other objects of tiny dimensions.

Motion graphics = form of digital animation that involves the use of graphic design elements, text, and other visual components to create dynamic, visually appealing, and often narrative-driven content.

MatchCut = A technique that connects two or more shots by aligning visual or audio elements, creating continuity or tension. This method emphasizes similarities in composition or movement, contributing to a smooth narrative flow. This technique, paired with the Riser and Hit sound effects creates tension, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Motion tracking = also known as motion analysis or object tracking. Technique used in video production, visual effects, computer graphics, and augmented reality to follow the movement of objects or elements within a video sequence.


Narration = the act of telling a story or conveying information through a spoken or written commentary. Technique often used through voice over.


Opacity = the degree of transparency or translucency of an object or layer.

Overlay = graphic element or image that is placed on top of another image, video, or design to add a visual effect, alter the appearance, or convey additional information.


Post-production = phase of filmmaking, video production, photography, and other media creation processes that occur after the initial recording or shooting phase.

Pan = camera movement where the camera rotates horizontally from a fixed position.

Picture in picture = technique that focuses on more than one central picture or video. Also referred to as split screen or simultaneous multi-cam video editing. 



Resolution = level of detail and clarity in an image, video, or display, typically measured in terms of pixels or dots. It indicates the number of pixels or dots that make up an image and is often expressed as width x height. The number of pixels is directly proportional with the resolution, meaning that more pixels results in sharper and more detailed visual representations.

Record screen = process of capturing and recording visual content that is displayed on a device screen.

Record voice = process of capturing and recording sound or audio. The instruments used are microphones or other audio input devices.

Render = Processing video footage and effects to create the final output. Rendering in this context often involves converting the edited timeline into a playable video file.

Riser sound effect = An audio element characterized by a gradual increase in intensity, pitch, or volume over time. Risers build suspense and keep the viewer engaged in tense moments. What goes great after this sound is a Hit sound effect, further punctuating the moment with a sudden, impactful sound.


Speed = The rate or pace at which a video is rolling. Not to be confused with FPS. 

Sound effects = Often abbreviated as SFX, they are artificially created or recorded sounds used to enhance the auditory experience in various forms of media.

Social Media Safe Zone = Areas on the screen not covered by buttons or text like titles, captions, descriptions, or hashtags. Great feature to avoid overlap with platform interface.

Stop motion = A filmmaking technique that involves creating an animation by photographing individual frames of a scene in a sequential order.

Slow motion = A filmmaking and video production technique where the playback speed of a recorded sequence is intentionally reduced, resulting in a slower apparent motion of the depicted events.

Sequence = A series of related scenes or shots that collectively form a distinct narrative unit within a film.

Saturation = The intensity or vividness of colors in an image.

Short-form = Content that is brief, concise, and relatively quick to consume.

Split Screen = A video editing technique that results in showcasing two different video productions at the same time. While traditionally split screen videos are divided into two equal, symmetrical parts, it is also possible to integrate different shapes, sizes, and formats. Can be associated with picture in picture.

Slide = A transition that involves one clip smoothly moving horizontally, vertically, or diagonally across the screen to reveal the next clip underneath.

Sync = The alignment or synchronization of audio and video elements. Lip sync, for instance, ensures that the spoken words match the lip movements of actors on screen.


Timelapse = A visually condensed version of footage, played at higher speed than the original. Technique often used in films to illustrate the passing of time.

Transcoding = Process of converting digital media files from one encoding or compression format to another.

Transitions = Visual and auditory effects used to move smoothly from one video or audio clip to another.

Templates = Pre-designed sequences, transitions, and effects. Video editors can use these templates to streamline the editing process and achieve a consistent look for their videos.

Trailer = Short promotional video that provides a preview or highlights of an upcoming bigger form of content.

Trim = The process of adjusting the duration of a video clip by removing portions from either the beginning or the end.

Teaser = Short promotional video or an image released well before the final form of content. Promotional tactic aimed at capturing attention, generating excitement, and building anticipation among the target audience.

Transcript = A written or typed record of spoken words or dialogue.


Uploading videos = Process of transferring video files from a local device or computer to an online platform or server.


Voiceover = Narration of a video without featuring the image of the speaker. Think of it as faceless storytelling. 

Video SEO = A holistic approach to maximizing the presence of a video in search engine results. The optimization process boosts both the quantity and quality of video traffic. 

Vlog = A vlog is much like a blog post in video form. This is an authentic form of communication with the audience, through which the vlogger shares snippets of their day or sits down in front of the camera to discuss various topics.

Video Script = An all-encompassing document that defines every element of a video, starting from dialogue, to sound or audio cues, going all the way to editing prompts

Video Brief = The video roadmap that gathers all the relevant information to help a creator with the development and production of a video. Not to be confused with a video script, since the latter is mainly concerned with production-focused elements, while a video brief is a more strategic document, dealing with pre-production and distribution. 


White balance = The adjustment of colors in an image or video to ensure that white objects appear truly white, without any unwanted color casts.

Wide angle = A lens with a shorter focal length, allowing it to capture a broader field of view than a standard or telephoto lens.




Zoom in = The act of adjusting the focal length of a camera lens to magnify and bring a subject closer, filling more of the frame.

Zoom out = The act of adjusting the focal length of a camera lens, a digital zoom setting, or the viewing perspective to capture a wider field of view or show more of the surroundings.

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