Friday, May 22, 2009

Edit lesson

A quick lesson in what a match cut is and its use in animation.

In a 'matched cut' a familiar relationship between the shots may make the change seem smooth. What does this mean? Well a few simple rules should be known that allows for a proper match cut:

1. Continuity of direction. As always a cut should happen during an action or movement to help it feel natural. This allows the edit to become invisible if done correctly. As a person turns towards the car we cut to a long shot of them completing the turn. The viewer does not see the edit unless the cut is placed in an awkward point in time. For instance if the position of the person in the second shot does not correspond in space to the position they were in for the previous shot.

2. A similar center of attention within the frame. In its simplest meaning you can't have a match cut from one person to another as they are not similar in context to the frame.

3. A singe step change in shot size. From a long shot to a medium shot. You can have a match cut happen between a long and an extreme close-up but only if the previous two points are taken into consideration.

4.A change of angle, typically 30 degrees or more. You have to be careful here as well as having too extreme of an angle change will most likely mean crossing the axis. That would create a jump cut.

The term match cut gets overused in animation to mean a simple hookup of action. Not truly a match cut.

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