Videography refers to the process of capturing moving images on electronic media (e.g., videotape, direct to disk recording, or solid state storage) and even streaming media. The term includes methods of video production and post-production. It could be considered the video equivalent of cinematography (moving images recorded on film stock). The advent of digital video recording in the late 20th century blurred the distinction between videography and cinematography, as in both methods the intermittent mechanism became the same. Nowadays, any video work outside commercial motion picture production could be called videography. A videographer is a person who works in the field of videography and/or video production. News broadcasting relies heavily on live television where videographers engage in electronic news gathering (ENG) of local news stories.
The arrival of computers and the Internet in the 1980s created a global environment where videography covered many more fields than just shooting video with a camera, including digital animation (such as Flash), gaming, web streaming, video blogging, still slideshows, remote sensing, spatial imaging, medical imaging, security camera imaging, and in general the production of most bitmap and vector based assets. As the field progresses, videographers may produce their assets entirely on a computer without ever involving an imaging device, using software-driven solutions. Moreover, the very concept of sociability and privacy are being reformed by the proliferation of cell-phone, surveillance video, or Action-cameras, which are spreading at an exceptional rate globally.
A videographer may be the actual camera operator or they may be the person in charge of the visual design of a production (the latter being the equivalent of a cinematographer).
On a set, in a television studio, the videographer is usually a camera operator of a professional video camera, sound, and lighting. As part of a typical electronic field production (EFP) television crew, videographers usually work with a television producer. However, for smaller productions (e.g. corporate and event videography), a videographer often works alone with a single-camera setup or in the case of a multiple-camera setup, as part of a larger television crew with lighting technician, grips and sound operators.
Typically, videographers are distinguished from cinematographers in that they use digital hard-drive, flash cards or tape drive video cameras vs. 70mm IMAX, 35mm, 16mm or Super 8mm mechanical film cameras. Videographers manage smaller, event scale productions (commercials, documentaries, legal depositions, live events, short films, training videos, weddings), differing from individualized large production team members. The advent of high definition digital video cameras, however, has blurred this distinction.
Videographers maintain and operate a variety of video camera equipment, sound recording devices, edit footage, and stay up to date with technological advances. With modern video camcorders, professional studio quality videos can be produced at low cost rivaling large studios. Many major studios have stopped using film as a medium due to linear-editing devices no longer being made and the availability for amateurs to produce acceptable videos using DSLRs (Digital single-lens reflex camera). Videographers use non-linear editing software on home computers.
Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.
Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.
Animation is more pervasive than many people realise. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. Animation is also prevalent in information technology interfaces.
The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics – in for instance the moving images in magic lantern shows – can also be considered animation. The mechanical manipulation of puppets and objects to emulate living beings has a very long history in automata. Automata were popularised by Disney as animatronics.
Animators are artists who specialize in creating animation.