The process of adding video transitions is simple but the "why" and "when" to add video transitions require a bit more explanation and experience editing video.
This article will cover how to add transitions in Premiere Pro.
What are Transitions?
Transitions are an effect created between different media on the same track that creates an animated link between them. Transitions move scenes along between different shots.
In real-world terms, you've seen this effect countless times: a dissolve between two shots of a person walking across a room and the next shot of them walking out a door.
Different transitions might be used to pass time as opposed to physically moving two or more clips for a sense of energy on the Premiere Pro timeline.
In video editing, many different types of transitions can be used to add style or energy to your project.
The most common type of transition is a cut, which is when one video clip instantly replaces another.
But for this article, that might be considered the lack of a video transition, since we haven't added a transition to the cut between clips.
There are also fades, wipes, and other more creative transitions that can be used to add variety to your project. More on those in a minute.
When should I use transitions?
There is no hard and fast rule for when to use transitions in your video edit. However, as a general guideline, you should only use transitions when it helps the storytelling of your project.
If a cut from one scene to the next makes sense without a transition, then don't add one just for the sake of it. However, if a particular transition helps to add energy or style to your edit, then, by all means, use it!
Using too many transitions might be distracting so watching from the first clip to the end of your timeline panel a few times will help you review.
How to Apply Transitions in Premiere Pro
Adding transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro is simple. Just follow these five easy steps:
- Select the clip you want to apply a transition to.
- Click on the "Effects" tab in the Premiere Pro toolbar (it looks like a wrench).
- Expand the "Video Transitions" folder.
- Drag and drop the desired transition onto the clip
What are Some Commonly-Used Video Transitions?
Some of the most commonly-used video transitions include:
Cross Dissolve: This is a basic transition type that fades one clip into a second clip. It's often used as an intro or outro to a scene. It's one of the more commone default transitions in use by video editors.
Fade to Black: A fade-to-black transition is exactly what it sounds like. It fades the video from its current state to complete blackness. This is commonly used at the end of a timeline or used as a dip to black when used between a clip and second clip.
Dip to White: A dip to white transition is similar to a fade to black, except it fades to complete whiteness between two clips.
Wipe: A wipe is a transition type that moves one clip out of the frame while another clip moves in. There are many different types of wipes, such as a clock wipe or wind wipe. George Lucas is famous for using Edge Wipes and Diagonal Wipes in his Star Wars movies.
Shape: A shape transition is when a geometric shape, such as a circle or square, is used as a reveal between two clips in the sequence.
Spin: A spin transition rotates the video frame around a fixed point, giving the illusion that the scene is spinning around.
Zoom: A zoom transition slowly or quickly zooms in or out of the video frame between two clips.
3D Spin: A 3D spin is similar to a regular spin, except it uses a 3D perspective to make it appear as if the scene is spinning around you.
Types of Audio Transitions in Premiere Pro
In addition to video transitions, various types of audio transitions can be used in Premiere Pro.
- Crossfade: A crossfade transition fades one audio clip into another. This is commonly used to smoothly transition between two pieces of dialogue or two songs.
- Fade In/Out: A fade in or fade out transition slowly increases or decreases the volume of an audio clip until it can no longer be heard
The Default Audio Transition in Premiere Pro is a Crossfade, which you can apply by dragging it onto an audio clip in your timeline.
To access the various types of audio transitions, expand the "Audio Transitions" folder in the Adobe Premiere Pro effects panel.
Using clip handles
You can use clip handles to add extra frames to a clip on your timeline, giving you more room to apply transitions.
To do this, simply select the clip you want to add handles to, then press "Cmd + Shift + D" (Mac) or "Ctrl + Shift + D" (PC). This will add extra frames to the beginning and end of your clip, giving you more room to work with.
Clip handles are especially useful when you're working with audio clips, as they give you more control over the timing of your audio transitions.
How To Edit a Transition
Adding transitions in Premiere Pro is simple. But what if you want to edit a transition to make it longer or shorter?
To do this, simply select the transition on your timeline, then press "Cmd + D" (Mac) or "Ctrl + D" (PC). This will open up the effect controls panel for that particular transition, where you can adjust its length. Depending on the type of transition, effects panel might have additional parameters you can adjust, for example the feathering of the edge of a wipe.
You can also use the "Ripple Edit Tool" to quickly trim the beginning or end of a transition. To do this, simply select the transition on your timeline, then press "B" on your keyboard. This will enable the Ripple Edit Tool, which you can use to trim the beginning or end of your transition.
Retiming transitions in the timeline panel is as easy as dragging the edge of the transition to make it longer or shorter.
Working with the default video transition in Adobe Premiere Pro
The default video transition in Adobe Premiere Pro is the "Cross Dissolve" transition. To apply this transition, simply select the two clips you want to transition between on your timeline, then press "Cmd + D" (Mac) or "Ctrl + D" (PC).
You can change the default transition in Premiere Pro by going to Preferences > Timeline > Default Transition. From here, you can select a different default transition, such as the "Fade to Black" transition.
How do I add transitions to all clips in Premiere?
To add transitions to all clips in Premiere Pro, simply select all the clips on your timeline that you want to transition, then press "Cmd + D" (Mac) or "Ctrl + D" (PC). This will apply the default transition (Cross Dissolve) to all selected clips.
You can also bulk add transitions in Premiere Pro by selecting multiple clips on your timeline, then choosing "Add Selected Transitions" from the "Edit" menu.
Finally, you can add transitions in Premiere Pro by dragging and dropping them from the "Effects" panel onto your timeline.
Third Party Transition Effects for Adobe Premiere Pro
In addition to the default transitions included in Adobe Premiere Pro, there are also many third-party transition effects available. These can be found online or through a plugin.
Some popular third-party transition plugins for Adobe Premiere Pro include:
- DVE Ultimate Transitions
- Misfire Film burns
- FxFactory Pro