Tracking Shot - Video Editing Glossary & Terms

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Tracking Shot

As above shown, a tracking shot is made when you move the whole camera physically.

• When the camera moves towards the subject, we call it track in.
• When the camera moves away from the subject, we call it track out.
• When the camera moves to the left or right, we call it a crab.

A tracking shot can be very complicated. You can move your camera in any way you want. You will use dolly, elevator, steadicam, helicopter…

Tracking shot is the most interesting experience you can get from moving pictures. And no other media can provide this feeling. It not only simulates the natural movement we make in real life, better yet, it expands our ability to observe the world.

Imagine this shot, we start at seeing a city from top, in the air, then camera moves down and forward, slowly we can see a stadium, football players, camera continues passing by, finally, our leading actor standing there, like a hero.

Can you go through this in real life?

Note: you may need a helicopter or complicated animation and compositing to achieve this though.

For beginners, some tracking shots look similar to zoom, but they are different in essence. A zoom doesn’t have change in perspective. The key point here is that tracking shot is a natural movement.

Video Editing Glossary & Terms

180° Line
Video Capture or Digitize
Video Footage & Video Clip
Continuity Editing
Cut, Jump Cut & Cutaway
Cut Off
Video Frames
Log Sheet or Movie Shot List
Film & Video Montage
Video Shot & Take
Sequence & Movie Scene
Time Code
Video Transitions
Dissolve, Wipe, Fade
Pan, Tilt, Zoom
Close up & Extreme close up
Long shot
Medium Shot
Two Shot
Video Editor


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