|A jump cut|
A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that are almost the same. The result of the cut is to "jump" from one shot to another, in a way that can be disconcerting and can take the viewer out of the story.
The Problem with Jump Cuts
One of the most common mistakes made by junior animators is to cut too often. Moving the camera around can make the shot feel more dynamic, but it is usually unnecessary. If you must cut, cut from - for example - a wide shot to a mid shot, or a close-up to a wide shot. These cuts are bigger and more dramatic, and they don't cause a "jump" from one similar image to another similar image.
The simplest way to avoid jump cuts is not to cut at all - ie just leave the camera where it is. Plenty of live-action directors work this way, leaving the camera in place and letting the actors do their work. In the case of animation, we usually want to focus on the performance, and avoid complex camera work. So next time you find yourself creating a jump cut, ask yourself if you really need to cut at all. Most of the time, you can solve the problem by leaving the camera alone.
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