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Higher Education

Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics, 8th Edition

  • Herbert Zettl
  • ISBN-10: 1305578902
  • ISBN-13: 9781305578906
  • 464 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2011, 2008
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

Media aesthetics have gained prominence with the dramatic advances in the digital technology of video and electronic cinema, making Herb Zettl’s SIGHT SOUND MOTION: APPLIED MEDIA AESTHETICS more applicable than ever. The Eighth Edition continues to be the most comprehensive book on the market, not only describing the major aesthetic image elements -- light and color, space, time-motion, and sound -- but also presenting in-depth coverage on how they are creatively used in television and film. Zettl’s thorough coverage of aesthetic theory and the application of that theory place this contemporary and highly relevant text in a class by itself. It equips students to think critically about media aesthetics and apply them to production situations. Richly illustrated and now presented in full color, this edition features strong visuals that often draw on traditional art forms, such as painting, sculpture, and dance. A comprehensive digital learning solution is available through MindTap.


  • The aesthetic liabilities of digital effects and their potential meta-messages are highlighted.

  • With its comprehensive coverage, the text provides a solid basis for the study of media literacy -- an educational discipline that has become an essential prerequisite for producers as well as consumers of media programs.

  • More than 700 visual examples support Zettl’s thorough coverage of aesthetic theory.

  • Providing the most up-to-date material available, the text reflects the latest ideas of media aesthetics.

  • Extensive information about special effects in film and video productions is integrated throughout the text.

  • A comprehensive glossary defines all of the fundamental media aesthetic terms. Students are encouraged to consult the glossary before reading the text to ensure complete understanding of the various concepts.

  • The text explores the major aesthetic features of electronic cinema and how it differs from video and conventional film. Emphasis is placed on the elusive “film look” in electronic cinema.

About the Author

Herbert Zettl

Herbert Zettl is a professor emeritus of the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University (SFSU), where he led the Institute of International Media Communication and received the California State Legislature Distinguished Teaching Award and the Broadcast Education Association's Distinguished Education Service Award. Prior to joining the SFSU faculty, Zettl worked at KOVR (Stockton-Sacramento) and as a producer-director at KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, where he participated in a variety of CBS and NBC network television productions. Because of his outstanding contributions to the television profession, Zettl was elected to the prestigious Silver and Gold Circles of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Northern California, and received their highest honor, the Governors’ Award, which includes an Emmy. He is also a member of the Broadcast Legends of the NATAS Northern California Chapter. Lecturing extensively at universities and professional broadcast institutions both in the United States and abroad, Zettl has presented key papers at a variety of national and international communication conventions. He is the author of VIDEO BASICS, TELEVISION PRODUCTION HANDBOOK and SIGHT SOUND MOTION, which are translated into several languages and published internationally. His numerous articles on television production and media aesthetics have appeared in major media journals worldwide, and he also developed an interactive DVD-ROM -- Zettl's VideoLab 4.0 (Cengage Learning). His previous CD-ROM version won several prominent awards, including the Macromedia People's Choice Award, the New Media Invision Gold Medal for Higher Education, and Invision Silver Medals in the categories of Continuing Education and Use of Video.

Table of Contents

About the Author.
1. Applied Media Aesthetics.
2. The First Aesthetic Field: Light.
3. Structuring the First Aesthetic Field: Lighting.
4. The Extended First Field: Color.
5. Structuring Color: Function and Composition.
6. The Two-Dimensional Field: Area.
7. The Two-Dimensional Field: Forces Within the Screen.
8. Structuring the Two-Dimensional Field: Interplay of Screen Forces.
9. The Three-Dimensional Field: Depth and Volume.
10. Structuring the Three-Dimensional Field: Screen Volume and Effects.
11. Building Screen Space: Visualization.
12. The Four-Dimensional Field: Time.
13. The Four-Dimensional Field: Motion.
14. Structuring the Four-Dimensional Field: Timing and Principal Motions.
15. The Five-Dimensional Field: Sound.
16. Structuring the Five-Dimensional Field: Sound Structures and Sound/Picture Combinations.
17. Visual Narrative: The Syntax of Continuity Editing.
18. Visual Narrative: The Syntax of Complexity Editing.

New to this edition

  • Reflecting the latest practices from industry, SIGHT, SOUND, MOTION: APPLIED MEDIA AESTHETICS, 8e is packed with valuable insight illustrating how to compose effective shots for the tiny mobile media display as well as the large screens in motion picture theaters.
  • The aesthetics and principal features of stereoscopic 3D are thoroughly explained throughout the book and examined more extensively in the chapters on the three-dimensional field. The major technical and aesthetic differences between 3D and virtual reality (VR) are also spotlighted.
  • More engaging than ever, all photos are now in full color -- except those that emphasize the aesthetics and power of black-and-white images.
  • Although the classic 4 × 3 aspect ratio is still considered, almost all screen representations are now shown in the 16 × 9 aspect ratio of high-definition television (HDTV). The variable aspect ratios of smartphones are also discussed in this context.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305579623 | ISBN-13: 9781305579620)
MindTap Radio, Television, & Film, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zettl's Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics  (ISBN-10: 1305579674 | ISBN-13: 9781305579675)

MindTap Radio Television & Film for Zettl's Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics, 8th Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap. MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap gives you complete ownership of your content and learning experience. Customize the interactive syllabi, emphasize the most important topics, and add your own material or notes in the eBook.

eBook: Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics  (ISBN-10: 0357228413 | ISBN-13: 9780357228418)

Student Supplements

MindTap Radio, Television, & Film, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Zettl's Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics  (ISBN-10: 1305579674 | ISBN-13: 9781305579675)

MindTap Radio Television & Film for Zettl's Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics, 8th Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. Take advantage of the MindTap Mobile App to learn on your terms. Read or listen to textbooks and study with the aid of instructor notifications, flashcards, and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU CREATE YOUR OWN POTENTIAL. GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Track your scores and stay motivated toward your goals. Whether you have more work to do or are ahead of the curve, you’ll know where to focus your efforts. And the MindTap Green Dot will charge your confidence along the way. MINDTAP HELPS YOU OWN YOUR PROGRESS. MAKE THE TEXTBOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards. When it’s time to study, gather everything you’ve flagged into a study guide.

eBook: Sight, Sound, Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics  (ISBN-10: 0357228413 | ISBN-13: 9780357228418)