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Crossing the line. Crossing the line is imaginary line which cuts through the middle of the scene, from side to side with respect to the camera. Crossing the line.

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crossing the line

Crossing the line

Crossing the line is imaginary line which cuts through the middle of the scene, from side to side with respect to the camera.

crossing the line1

Crossing the line

Crossing the line changes the viewer's perspective in such as way that it causes disorientation and confusion. For this reason, crossing the line is something to be avoided.

crossing the line2

Crossing the line

In this example the camera is located to the subject's left. The imaginary line is shown in red. The resulting shot shows the subject walking from right to left, establishing the viewer's position and orientation.

crossing the line3

Crossing the line

"Crossing the line" means shooting consecutive shots from opposite sides of the line. 
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crossing the line4

Crossing the line

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In this example the camera has crossed the line. As you can see in the resulting shot, the view of the subject is reversed and she appears to be walking from left to right. When cut immediately after the preceding shot, the effect is quite confusing. Because of the sudden reversal of viewpoint and action, this is known as a reverse cut.

crossing the line avoid viewer confusion
CROSSING THE LINE!!!AVOID VIEWER CONFUSION

Set up the scene so you can shoot it all from one side.

If you are using multiple cameras, position them on the same side.

crossing the line avoid viewer confusion1
CROSSING THE LINE!!!AVOID VIEWER CONFUSION

Some times, crossing the line is unavoidable. In this case you can minimize confusion by using a shot taken on the line itself to go between the shots. This "buffer" shot guides the viewer to the new position so they know where they are.

easy way to remember
Easy way to remember!

The 180° Rule

The rule of line-crossing is sometimes called the 180° rule. This refers to keeping the camera position within a field of 180°..