photomatic

Glossary of terms

Mark Allin Articles, Technical

Here is a list of all the relevant technical terms in relation to the production of a Photomatic or other forms of test films.


Photomatics / Photomatic
A way of testing commercials using real people and real locations; shot against green screen
with the appropriate soundtrack and voiceover.

Rotomatics / Rotomatic
Another way of describing a photomatic – a way of testing commercials using real people and real locations, all shot against green screen.

Digimatics / Digimatic
Another way of describing a photomatic – a way of testing commercials using real people and real locations, all shot against green screen.

Animatic
A way of pre-testing a tv commercial using a series of illustrations, sketches or CGI that are animated with the appropriate soundtrack and voiceover.

Stealomatic
A way of pre-testing a TV commercial by stealing shots from other commercials or film clips in order to represent the style or feel intended for the commercial.

Pre-testing
Research carried out to evaluate advertising prior to its first use. This is often carried out using finished materials, such as the final version of a TV commercial.

Test commercial
A commercial that is tested before it goes into full up production to see how effective it is with its target audience.

Green screen
This is a technique where the actors are shot against a green screen. The green is then removed in post production, enabling the subject to be placed in any environment.

After effects
Compositing & animation software made by Adobe which we use to remove the green from our green screen footage and composite against a variety of backgrounds.

Aspect ratio
The aspect ratio of a screen is the ratio of its longer side to its shorter side – the ratio of width to height. Normally widescreen TV has an aspect ratio of 16:9. Film uses an aspect ratio of 1:225. Other formats would be 4:3 and 14:9.

Chroma key
Chroma key compositing, or chroma keying, is a special effects / post-production technique for compositing two images or video streams together based on color hues (chroma range). A color range in the top layer is made transparent, revealing another image behind. Chroma key green & blue are traditionally used as they vary differently to that of skin tone.

Compositing / Composite
Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.

FPS – Frames per second
FPS are used for measuring the frame rate in a moving image. In Europe the standard is 25fps for television commercials.

Keying
Keying is the technique of selecting a colour (in our case chroma green or blue) in order to make it transparent. Once it is transparent it can be composited onto a background.

Mark AllinGlossary of terms