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A-Only Edit:  Editing the audio files or video files of your base track only.

A-Roll:  Editing clips that contain audio data from the base track or a narration.

alpha channel:  An additional image channel used to store transparency information for compositing. Alpha channels are often 8-bit, but some applications support 16-bit alpha channels. Only certain formats, such as PICT and the QuickTime Animation codec, support alpha channels.

analog:  The opposite of digital, analog signals consist of a constantly varying voltage level, called a waveform, that represents video and audio information. Analog signals must be digitized, or captured, which is the process of turning analog information into digital files for use by Final Cut Pro. VHS tapes are analog.

anamorphic:  Shooting 16:9 visuals and recording them to a 4:3 frame size is referred to as shooting anamorphic video. In this process, the active area of the 16:9 program is stretched vertically to fill all 480 lines. This can be done in software or using an anamorphic lens.

aspect ratio:  A video frame's width-to-height ratio on your viewing screen. The most common aspect ratio is 4:3, used for common television screens.

assemble edit:  In linear systems, assemble edit mode lays down a new video, audio, and control track all at once. It usually allows anywhere from 3-5 seconds of pre-roll before you edit to tape. In Final Cut Pro, it's a function that writes the sequence or clip to tape at the designated In point, or at the current point. Assemble edit mode usually breaks the timecode on your edit tape.

audio clip:  A media clip containing audio samples.

AVI:  Audio-Video Interleaved. Microsoft's standard format for digital video.

axis:  The pitch, roll, and yaw of a camera shot determines its axis. For a cut edit sequence this determines continuity and quality


B-roll:  A term used to describe alternate footage shot to intercut with the primary shots used in a program. B-roll is frequently used for cutaway shots. Ideally these should fit with the continuity of the base track.

back light:  A light source that comes from behind and above the subject. It outlines the subject and differentiates it from the background. Also called a rim light.

batch capture:  A process where information stored in clips is used to control the deck or camcorder to automatically capture, or digitize, the video or audio material that corresponds to each clip.

batch compression:  Grouping two or more movies together to be compressed sequentially, so that each compression doesn't need to be started manually.

batch list:  A specific list of movies to be compressed in a batch, as well as the settings with which each movie will be processed.

batch recapture:  Recapturing only the parts of logged clips that you actually use in your sequences at a higher resolution. This will help you conserve disk space.

Bezier handles:  Two-direction handles that control or influence the curve of the line segment between the handle and the next point on either side. The farther a direction handle is pulled out from its vertex point, the more force it applies to its line segment to bend or curve it. Direction handles are moved by dragging them.

bin:  In Final Cut Pro, the window that contains your clips, transitions, effects, and generators. The bin lets you organize all of these elements, sort them, add comments, rename items, and so on.

blue-screening:  A production technique in which the subject is shot against a blue screen. The screen in the image is then made transparent during the editing process so that the subject can be superimposed over other scenes. This effect can also be achieved using a green screen.

broadcast:  Refers to signals intended for delivery on television, as well as network delivery to a wide audience.


calibrate:  The process of adjusting a feature for accuracy.

Canvas:  This is your record monitor in Final Cut Pro. It shows the playback of the clips in a sequence.

capture:  Moving NTSC or PAL video, or audio, from tape to a digital format for use by Final Cut Pro. Also called digitizing video.

CG:  Acronym for Character Generator. A specialized hardware device used for creating titles.

channels:  May refer to color channels or alpha channels. Color and transparency information for video and graphics clips is divided into individual channels.

chroma:  The color information contained in a video signal, consisting of hue (phase angle) and saturation (amplitude of the color subcarrier).

chroma key:  See blue-screening.

clip:  Media files containing video, audio, graphics, or any other content imported into Final Cut Pro.

CMYK:  Cyan Magenta Yellow Black. The color space commonly used for images that will be printed with 4-color ink on offset presses.

color bars:  A standard color test signal displayed as columns, often accompanied by a reference audio tone. Color bars are used to adjust the video signal of the incoming source tape to maintain proper color from tape to computer, and through to output.

codec:  Compressor/decompressor. Software component used to translate video or audio between its uncompressed form and the compressed form in which it is stored. Sorenson Video and Cinepak are common QuickTime video codecs. Also referred to as a compressor.

color depth:  The possible range of colors that can be used in a movie or image. There are generally four choices with computer graphics: grayscale, 8-bit, 16-bit, and 24-bit. Higher color depths provide a wider range of colors but require more space for a given image size. Broadcast video is almost always 24-bit, with 8 bits of color information per channel. See channels.

component video:  A type of video signal in which the luminance and chrominance signals are kept separate for better video quality.

compositing:  Combining two or more video or electronic images into a single frame. This term can also describe the process of creating various video effects.

compression:  Process by which video, graphics, and audio files are reduced in size by the removal of redundant or less important data. See also Codec.

cut:  An edit where the last frame of a clip is followed by the first frame in a subsequent clip, with no transition effect. This is the simplest type of edit.


data rate:  The speed at which data can be transferred. Often described in megabytes per second (MB/sec.). The higher a video file's data rate, the higher quality it will be, but the more system resources (processor speed, hard disk space, and performance) it will take to work with it. Some codecs allow you to specify a maximum data rate for a movie.

decibel (db):  Unit of measurement for sound levels.

decompression:  The process of creating a viewable image for playback from a compressed video, graphics, or audio file.

device control:  Computer software that allows Final Cut Pro to control an external hardware device, such as a video deck.

digital:  A description of data that is stored or transmitted as a sequence of ones and zeros. Most commonly, this means binary data represented using electronic or electromagnetic signals. QuickTime movie files are digital.

digital video:  Refers to the capturing, manipulation, and storage of video using a digital format, such as QuickTime. A digital video camcorder, for example, is a video camera that captures and stores images on a digital medium such as DV. Video can then be easily imported.

digitize:  To capture an analog video signal and save it to a digital video format.

drop frame timecode:  Timecode that represents the actual time duration of NTSC at 29.97 frames per second (fps). To achieve this accuracy in numbering the frames, two frame numbers are dropped every minute on the minute, except for the 10th minute.

duration:  The length of time that a segment of audio or video takes to play from beginning to end.

DV:  See digital video. Also used as the name of a tape-based video format.

DVD:  A DVD disc looks much like a CD-ROM or audio disc, but uses higher density storage methods to significantly increase their capacity.


EDL (Edit Decision List):  A text file that sequentially lists all of the edits and individual clips used in a sequence. EDLs are used to move a project from one editing application to another, or to coordinate the assembly of a program in a tape-based online editing facility.

edit:  The process of combining audio, video, effects transitions, and graphics in a sequence to produce a program.

Edit to Tape:  In Final Cut Pro, the Edit to Tape command lets you perform frame-accurate Insert and Assemble edits to tape from Final Cut Pro.

effects:  (See transitions, filters, and generators.) A general term used to describe all of Final Cut Pro's capabilities that go beyond cuts-only editing.


favorite:  A customized effect that you use frequently. You can create favorites from most of the effects in Final Cut Pro.

field:  Half of an interlaced video frame consisting of the odd or the even scan lines. Alternating video fields are drawn every 1/60th of a second in NTSC video to create the perceived 30 frames-per-second video. There are two fields for every frame, an upper field and a lower field.

filters:  Effects you can apply to either the video or audio component of a clip or sequence. Filters affect the visual or aural quality of the clip to which they're applied. A video filter might change the colors of your image. An audio filter might reduce background noise. In addition to using the filters that came with Final Cut Pro, you can use some third-party Adobe After Effects filters as well. You should note that while filters can correct problems with video and audio quality, they are no substitute for proper exposure and recording techniques.

FireWire:  Apple's trademark name for the IEEE 1394 standard. FireWire is a fast and versatile interface used to connect DV cameras to computers. FireWire is well suited to applications that move large amounts of data, and can also be used to connect hard disks, scanners, and other kinds of computer peripherals.

fit to fill edit:  Editing a clip into a sequence such that its duration matches a predetermined amount of track space that you specify.

frames:  Video consists of a number of still image frames which, when they play back over time, give the illusion of motion. NTSC video plays back 29.97 frames per second, and PAL video plays back 25 frames per second. Each broadcast video frame is made up of two fields. This is different from the way film handles frames. A film frame is a single photographic image, and does not have separate fields.


gain:  In video, the amount of white in a video picture. In audio, the loudness of an audio signal.

gamma:  Curve that describes how the middle tones of images appear. Gamma is a nonlinear function often confused with "brightness" and/or "contrast." Changing the value of the gamma affects middle tones while leaving the white and black of the image unaltered. Gamma adjustment is often used to compensate for differences between Macintosh and Windows video cards and display.

gaps:  A gap is a location in a sequence where there is no media on any track.

generators:  Generators create computer-generated clips within Final Cut Pro. Background, Bars, Text, Gradient, and Titles are all generators.


handles:  Extra footage that can be added to logged clips when you recapture footage.

head clip:  The clip that begins your sequence.

hue:  An attribute of color perception, also known as color phase.


importing: Importing is the process of bringing files of various types into a project in Final Cut Pro. Imported files have usually been created or captured in another application.

In point: The first marked frame of your edit.

insert edit: An edit in which a clip is added to the track at the specified point, moving clips that follow it out in time. An insert edit does not replace existing material.

interlaced video: An analog video signal consisting of alternating odd and even fields.

invisible track: A track that has had its visibility control disabled.


jog control: In Final Cut Pro, a control that allows you to move forward or backward through audio or video one frame at a time.

jog: To move forward or backward through video or audio one frame at a time.

jump cut: A cut where there is an abrupt change between two shots, with no continuity from one to the other.


keyframe: A keyframe is a special-purpose marker that denotes the change in value to an applied effect parameter. When two keyframes are set in Final Cut Pro, the application calculates a transition based on their values.


L-cut: An editing technique in which either the video track or audio track of a synchronized clip is longer than the other. For example, the sound is longer than the video at the head of the clip, so it is heard before the video appears. Also referred to as a split edit.

linear editing: Video editing style where a program is edited together by moving shots from the original source tapes to a master tape, one by one. Because the assembly is linear, changes made to an earlier point of the tape result in the rest of the edited tape being reassembled.

log and capture: In Final Cut Pro, the process of logging the clips you want to capture, and then having Final Cut Pro use device control to automatically capture them in the Log and Capture window.

log bin: In Final Cut Pro, the specified bin where all of your logged clips go.

logging: The process of recording detailed information about which clips from your source tapes you want to use, in preparation for capturing them from videotape.

looping: In Final Cut Pro, when you turn looped playback on, clips and sequences will loop back to the beginning whenever the playhead reaches the end of the media.

luma: Short for luminance. A value describing the brightness of a video image. A luminance channel is a grayscale image showing the range of brightness across the whole clip.


markers: In Final Cut Pro, markers refer to either the edit points that define the start and end points of a clip, or points of reference that you can use to denote places of interest in your clips and sequences.

mask: An image or clip used to define areas of transparency in another clip. Similar to an alpha channel.

master clip: The source clip in the Browser from which clips and subclips are defined.

mastering mode: A mode in the Edit to Tape function within Final Cut Pro. It lets you output additional elements when you output your program to tape, such as color bars and tone, a slate, and a countdown.

match frame edit: An edit that joins two shots that link or match a related action. For example, when cutting between a long shot and a close-up, a match frame edit makes the action smooth and continuous.

media: Generic term for elements such as movies, sounds, and pictures.

mono: Monophonic Sound Reproduction. Both audio channels are taken from the tape and mixed together into a single track, using equal amounts of audio channels 1 and 2. Only one channel appears with the clip in Final Cut Pro.

motion path: When you keyframe different center point locations in the motion settings for a clip over time, a motion path appears in the Canvas showing the path your clip will travel over time.

MPEG: Moving Picture Experts Group, a group of compression standards for video and audio, which includes MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-3 (referred to as MP3).


nested sequence: A sequence that is edited within another sequence.

non-drop frame timecode: Timecode that counts an even number of frames per second.

noninterlaced video: The standard representation of images on a computer. Also referred to as progressive scan. The monitor displays the image by drawing one line after another from top to bottom. Different from interlaced video.

nonlinear editing: When you use a nonlinear editing application to edit a program, all footage used is stored on a hard disk rather than on tape. This allows random access to all video, audio, and images as you edit. The advantage is that, unlike linear editing on tape, edits within the program can be changed at any time without having to recreate the entire edit.

NTSC format: NTSC stands for National Television Standards Committee, the organization that defines North American broadcast standards. The term "NTSC video" refers to the video standard defined by the committee, which has a specifically limited color gamut, is interlaced, and is approximately 720 x 480 pixels, 29.97 fps.


offline: Refers to clips that are currently unavailable to your project. This may be because they haven't been captured yet, or because they've been moved to another location.

offline editing: Generally refers to the process of editing the majority of one's program at low resolution, either to save on equipment costs or to conserve hard disk space. When the edit is finished, the material can be recaptured at high quality, or an EDL can be output to recreate the edit on another system.

Out point: The last marked frame of a video clip.

output: Video and audio that is ready for playback and distribution. Your edited program in Final Cut Pro can be output to tape as a QuickTime file or any one of a variety of different digital media.

overwrite edit: An edit type where the clip being edited into a sequence replaces frames that are already in the sequence.


PAL format: Phase Alternating Line. A 25 fps (625 lines per frame) interlaced video format used by many European countries.

PICT: A still-image file format developed by Apple Computer. PICT files can contain both vector images and bitmap images, as well as text and an alpha channel. PICT is a ubiquitous image format on Mac OS computers.

pixel: One dot in a video or still image. A typical low-resolution computer screen is 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels tall. Digital video movies are often 320 pixels wide and 240 pixels tall.

pixel aspect ratio: The ratio of width to height for the pixels that compose the image. NTSC pixels are square (1:1 ratio), but D-1 pixels are non-square.

post-production: The process of editing film or video after acquiring the footage.

preset: A saved group of settings that can be applied to a sequence when it is created. Presets determine items such as frame rate, editing timebase, and Timeline options used for creating new sequences or exporting media.

Print to Video: In Final Cut Pro, this command renders your sequence and prepares it to output to videotape.

project: The top-level file that holds all media in Final Cut Pro, such as sequences, clips, transitions, and so on.


QuickTime: Apple Computer's cross-platform multimedia technology. Widely used for CD-ROM, Web video, editing, and more.

QuickTime streaming: Apple's streaming media addition to the QuickTime architecture.


RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A method of providing nonlinear editors with many gigabytes of high-performance data storage by teaming together a group of slower, smaller, cheaper hard disks.

RAM: Random-access memory. Your computer's memory capacity, measured in bytes, which determines the amount of data the computer can process and temporarily store at any moment.

raw data: Uncompressed data.

real-time effects: Changes made to media that can play, record, compress, or decompress on your system as fast as they would when played back in real time, without requiring rendering first.

record monitor: The monitor that plays the previewed and finished versions of your project when you print to tape.

redigitize: Also referred to as recapture. To digitize clips again. Usually done to eliminate unused material in order to capture the clips that are used in a program at a higher rate and quality.

render: The process of combining your video and audio with any applied effects, such as transitions or filters, one frame at a time. Once rendered, your sequence can be played in real time.

replace edit: A form of overwrite editing that replaces the current frame in the Canvas with the current frame displayed in the Viewer, together with specified additional frames of video on either side.

RGB: Red Green Blue. A color space commonly used on computers. Each color is described by the strength of its red, green, and blue components. This color space directly translates to the red, green, and blue phosphors used in computer monitors. The RGB color space has a very large gamut, meaning it can reproduce a very wide range of colors.

ripple edit: Adjusts the start and end times of a range of clips on a track when the duration of one of the clips is altered.

roll edit: Affects two clips that share an edit point. The overall duration of the sequence is unchanged.

rotoscoping: Manipulating or painting on individual frames.

rough edit: The first editing pass. The rough cut is an early version of the movie that pulls together the basic elements before adding effects, transitions, and so on.


16:9: A widescreen aspect ratio for video. The ratio of the width to the height of the visible area of the video frame, also called the picture aspect ratio, is 16:9, or 1.78.

sampling: The process during which analog audio is converted into digital information. The sampling rate of an audio stream specifies the interval at which all samples are captured.

saturation: A measurement of chrominance, or the intensity of color in the video signal.

scratch disk: The disk or disk space you allocate in Final Cut Pro for digital video capture and editing.

script: A set of instructions that performs a specific function, similar to programming. FXScript allows you to create custom scripts for use in Final Cut Pro.

scrub, scrubber bar: To move through a clip or sequence with the aid of the playhead. The scrubber bar is where the playhead is located in the Viewer, Canvas, or Timeline. You can speed up or slow down playback in forward or reverse. Scrubbing is used to find a particular point or frame.

SECAM: Sequential Couleur Avec Memoire. The French television standard for playback. Similar to PAL, the playback rate is 25 fps.

sequence: A structured collection of video, audio, and graphics clips, edit information, and effects.

slug: A generator in Final Cut Pro used to create blank space in a sequence to represent a video clip that has not yet been placed.

SMPTE: Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. The organization which established the SMPTE standard timecode for video playback.

SOT: Sound on tape. Refers to audio recorded on analog or digital formats (audio and video). A subject on tape with a sound byte or interview.

sound byte: See SOT.

source monitor: In Final Cut Pro, the Viewer acts as the source monitor. Use the Viewer to watch individual clips, mark edit points, and apply effects.

special effects: Visual effects applied to clips and sequences such as motion effects, layering, and filters.

split edit: See L-cut.

stereo: Stereophonic Sound Reproduction. Stereo pairs are always linked and must be edited together. Audio level changes are made to both channels together.

storyboard: A series of diagrams that show how a project will look when completed.

straight cut: A synchronized transition where both the audio and video tracks are cut together.

streaming: Refers to the delivery of media over an intranet, or over the Internet.

subclip: A clip created to represent a section of a master clip. These are saved as separate items within a bin in the Browser, but do not generate any additional media on the hard disk.

superimpose edit: An edit that overlays one or more tracks of video so they play at the same time. Used to overlay titles and text onto video, as well as to create other compositing effects.

sync: When the timecode for two clips (audio and video) is matched up so they play in unison.


tabs: These delineate projects in the Canvas, Timeline, and Browser, and functions within the Viewer. Click a tab to open the project or go to the specified function window, such as Video, Audio, Filters, or Motion. Tabs can also be dragged out of the main window to create a separate window.

tail clip: The last clip, or the clip on the right side when looking at an edit point between two clips.

target track: The destination track for the edits you perform. Specified in the Timeline.

three-point editing: Final Cut Pro uses three-point editing, so you only need to specify three edit points to define where a new clip should be edited into your sequence. Final Cut Pro automatically calculates the fourth point.

thumbnail: Shows the first frame of the clip as a tiny picture for reference.

TIFF: Tagged Image File Format. A widely used bitmapped graphics file format, developed by Aldus and Microsoft, that handles monochrome, grayscale, 8- and 24-bit color.

timecode: A method of associating each frame of film or video in a clip with a unique, sequential unit of time. The format is hours: minutes: seconds: frames.

title safe area: The part of the video image that is guaranteed to be visible on all televisions. The title safe area is 80% of the screen.

tracks: Refers to layers in the Timeline that contain the audio and video items in your sequence. Also used to refer to the separation of audio and video on tape into separate tracks.

transitions: Visual effects that are applied between edit cuts to smooth out a change from clip to clip. In Final Cut Pro, you can choose from a variety of effects, such as a dissolve, wipe, or iris.

trimming: Adding or subtracting numbers from the timecode at the edit point to make the edit occur earlier or later than originally planned. To precisely define the In and Out points of a scene.


U-Matic: An analog tape format once popular for broadcast.


VCR: Videocassette Recorder. Generally refers to consumer equipment.

VTR: Videotape Recorder. Generally refers to professional equipment.

Vectorscope: Specialized oscilloscope that graphically displays the color parts of a video signal, precisely showing the color's strength and hue.


Waveform Monitor: A specialized oscilloscope for displaying video signal levels and timing.

widescreen: Widescreen format is a way of shooting and projecting a movie in theatres. The original footage doesn't get cut off because of the 4:3 aspect ratio. With the advent of high definition video, widescreen 16:9 video is coming into more popular use.

window dub: Copies of videotape with "burned in" timecode. Hours, minutes, seconds, and frames appear in a small box on the recorded image. Window dubs are commonly used for offline editing, and for reference.

wireframe: A view of the outline of a clip's video frame.


X: Used to refer to the X coordinate in Cartesian geometry. The X coordinate describes horizontal placement in motion effects.


Y: Used to refer to the Y coordinate in Cartesian geometry. The Y coordinate describes vertical placement in motion effects.

YCrCb: Many digital video formats store data in a color space known as YCrCb. Three components are stored for each pixel: one for luminance (Y) and two for color information (Cr and Cb). Also referred to as YUV.

YUV: See YCrCb.

*Copyright Apple, Inc. 2002 - Final Cut Pro Support