Changer de navigation



Working with image sequences

A video can be described as a sequence of moving images. There are three basic guidelines that help create smooth transitions from one moving image to the next.

In video production, you normally start by mapping out the topic, then you work on the image and timing, and finally you write your text and adapt it to the timing. This means that ideally, you start conceptualising your video as a sequence of images that show action. Only then do you add the text that is necessary to make your point, be it voice-over or dialogue. This way, your voice-over will not crowd your images.

However, this needs considerable experience and knowledge – both in script-writing and storyboarding. A storyboard helps you visualise your video: you design each shot of your scene with very simple lines. In the end you will have a continuous picture story. (You can find a storyboard template here).

It is a very good exercise to create a storyboard for a video abstract. Even if you are very critical of your own drawing skills: do it anyway, just keep it very simple. You will realize that a storyboard furthers visualisation. After recording, you should compare your storyboard with the result. Thus, you gain experience and learn what works.

Before you sharpen your pencil – please familiarise yourself with the following guidelines.

Three principles are basic knowledge when you start producing a video: One, where to frame the eyes of a person acting in front of your camera. Two, when and how to change from one shot to another. Three, where is the axis of action.

Before we look more deeply into these three principles, there are two points to keep in mind. First, be aware that these principles are always explained in relation to a person – but they also apply to objects. Second, you may break every rule and principle in the book – as long as this is a conscious decision on your part.

All three guidelines derive from the fact that we don’t deal with single images, but with images arranged into a sequence that should work as a smooth flow. With the help of these principles you will be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Why do you normally orient the video to the eyes of the person in front of the camera?
  2. When and how do you change from one shot to another?
  3. What is an axis of action, and how do you deal with it?


University of Basel