Hey everyone, my name is Connor or C_Cage if you prefer. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be discussing basic video production, from the description of digital video to the editing process.
To start off, we are going to be going over various keywords that get thrown around the gaming and video production communities a lot. Let’s start with resolution. You may have heard the phrase “1080p” used when talking about graphics. Most people know that the higher this number is, the better the graphics. But why is this the case? Let’s look at an example:
In the above screenshot of one of my streams, you can see that there are two sets of numbers: 1920 and 1080. All digital images are made up of tiny dots called pixels. An image with more pixels will have more accurate colors, sharper edges and an overall better quality. A typical high definition picture or video has a width of 1920 pixels and a height of 1080 pixels. For those of you that may be curious, that is a total of 2,073,600 small little dots in every frame of HD game or video that you see.
But wait, what was that word I just said? What’s a frame? If you’ve ever been to /r/PCMasterRace, chances are you have heard people sing the praises of glorious 60 frames-per-second (FPS). But what does this actually mean? Think back to when you were a child and you made those flip-book animations on scraps of paper.
Think of FPS this way: each piece of paper is a frame. The more frames that happen per second, the smoother the animation will (theoretically) be. I say theoretically because if the animation itself is not good, then adding more frames isn’t going to help at all. Higher framerates don’t technically help with graphics, but a high resolution video with a high framerate is going to look a lot smoother than a lower framerate one.
There was one more part I didn’t touch on yet: The P in “1080p” stands for “progressive scanning”. If that went over your head, don’t worry. There are two types of scanning, progressive and interlaced. Remember how an HD image is 1920×1080 pixels? Of that 1080 pixel height, the lines are separated into even and odd. In an interlaced scanning display, the even lines are displayed on the screen, and then the odd lines. This all happens within one frame, and then the next frame takes its place. Progressive scanning is where both the even and odd lines are drawn on the screen at the same time. Each has separate advantages over the other. Interlaced allows for the perceived frame rate to be doubled while saving bandwidth. This is more commonly used for broadcasting as it makes it easier to send higher quality images to television sets. Progressive scanning can be better because the motion animation is smoother and more realistic, however it is not good for television broadcasting because of the added bandwidth. However, for physical media such as video games or Blu-Ray discs, progressive scanning is preferred because there is little to no data being transferred.
Well, I hope I taught you guys something with this week’s article. If you have been around digital media for a while, chances are you knew a lot of this already. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on the Lift Gaming Forums or on Twitter @CCageGaming.