New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Applying transitions

From: Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training

Video: Applying transitions

In this movie, I explain how to apply, replace and change the length and position of transitions between clips in the Sceneline and in the Timeline. Transitions go between clips. They move from one scene to the next. You use transitions to let your viewers know you're going from one place, person or time to another. Applying transitions between clips is easy. Let me first show you the transitions and to see them we need to go from the Organize workspace to the Edit workspace and I click on the Transitions view.

Applying transitions

In this movie, I explain how to apply, replace and change the length and position of transitions between clips in the Sceneline and in the Timeline. Transitions go between clips. They move from one scene to the next. You use transitions to let your viewers know you're going from one place, person or time to another. Applying transitions between clips is easy. Let me first show you the transitions and to see them we need to go from the Organize workspace to the Edit workspace and I click on the Transitions view.

Here are the transitions. There are dozens of transitions in a variety of groups. Just click on one to animate it and get a preview. There we go. It's the doors transition, Swing In transition. Just a sense for how the transitions will work, going from the A clip, which is the clip to the left, to the B clip, which is the clip to the right. A to B. That's an old way of editing called AB editing but they are used in film and that concept continues with transitions today.

Let's start with the Sceneline. To apply transitions here, all you do is drop them to these placeholders between the clips or before the first clip or after the last clip. So I will just pick the sort of the default transition that people use all the time and that is the Cross Dissolve transition. I will put it right there between those two clips and it drops there. you can see it there and actually that little icon is the Cross Dissolve icon, so it matches that icon up there. And it throws the Current Time Indicator right before the beginning of the transition here at the end of the first clip or before the next clip, so you can play and see how it looks.

It transitions from one to next. It's a typical Cross Dissolve transition. That's called a two-sided transition from this side to that side. You can also do one-sided transition. So I will take the Dip to Black put, at the beginning. Not only is it a Dip to Black. It's a dip up from black. So that puts the Current Time Indicator right at the beginning of your project and it's black. It would normally be a frame of video there because of the fish for we added that transition. So it's going to transition from black to your clip. There we have it.

It's easy to change transitions after you apply them. So I got the Cross Dissolve between those two. I am going to do something obviously different and put the Doors transition here. Once you do that, it will replace it and notice that the icon changes to show you that's the Doors transition. Throws the current time indicator right there before the beginning of the transition. I will click Play and I'd say Door transition. By the way, we are using transitions here, some of which will not be in the Mac version of Premiere Elements. So if you were at the Mac side and look at this going, "I don't see that transition," it's because the Mac version has fewer than half of the transitions that are in the Windows version.

But I do want to demonstrate these things and the application of the transitions are the same from one version to the other. I just might be picking different ones that are available on your Mac version. So that's basically how you apply transitions and replace them here inside the Sceneline. The Timeline gives you more options as you might expect. Let me go over the Timeline. We can see the transitions here. A little rectangle shows up. Same where those transitions went. Let me expand the view so you have a better sense of how that works. I will press the Plus key a couple of times, and then there actually is a transition rectangle there that appears that says look, that's a transition.

And it behaves just like a clip. You can actually lengthen it or shorten it or move it. This transition right now begins actually before the edit point right there and ends at the edit point. Not that you would know that when you watch it, but that what's happening. So I can say, you know, I would rather have this transition center on the edit point. I can just drag it like that. So it looks like a clip as I drag it. That's one of the advantages working inside the Timeline. I can also make it longer or shorter. If I hover over the end of the transition, I get the Trim tool, just as if I hovered over the clip, it's a big Trim tool.

Up here, there's a little one that goes with the transition. I will trim it to make it longer. It is been much longer now. Now we can do that just manually right there in the Timeline. We have a long transition. If we want to see how cool it is, I can try up the transition where that is much more dramatic and I drag it down here a little ways and find a cool looking one, this metallic gold guy. I am going to replace that current transition at that current length with this one.

I will just drag it down and we will put the new one there and retain the length of the old one. See how that one works. Wow. All kinds of cool transitions in Premiere Elements and it's tempting to overuse them, but I just want to give you an example of some of the fun stuffs that can be done. And you move down a line here a little bit to a couple other clips where there are some exceptions to the rule a little bit. I want you to look here really closely. It's kind of hard to see but this clip and this clip have little triangles that appear in the upper-left hand and upper-right hand corner.

See these guys there? Yhey are going to be grey triangles and those triangles are telling you that you have used every single tail frame in this clip and every head frame in this clip. There are no extra frames for you to use here to overlap to allow the transition to happen normally. Now, in a consumer level video-editing product, when you apply a transition, it automatically shortens your whole project by the length of the transition. It causes those two clips to overlap, creating that transition. In Premiere Elements, it doesn't do that. Thank goodness! You don't want to suddenly shorten your project by the length of a transition every time you add a transition. That's just a horrible thing.

But things can happen when there aren't enough head and tail frames to allow the transition to happen smoothly. So rather than shorten your project to compensate the lack of tail frames in the left one and the head frames in the right one, it creates duplicate frames. It creates freeze frames to compensate for the fact that there aren't enough head or tail frames. So I will show how that works. I will take an obvious transition where you can see that happening. I will do, let's say, the Swing In. Drag it down there to the two of them and now I'll play it slowly. Watch the fish in the left.

It's going to keep on going and then right at the edit point the fish is going to stop swimming. It's going to be a freeze frame, while the turtle comes in and the turtle is swimming now. Now, if you watch really carefully to the left again, you will see the turtle is a freeze frame on the left and it starts swimming here on the right. So what happens is that where there aren't tail frames here, when it gets to the edit point and runs out of frames, it creates freeze frames. The fish stops moving and then before the edit,the turtle is not moving but after the edit, it is moving. But if you play this in real time, hardly anybody would notice that, because the transition sort of distracts you from the fact that they are freeze frames.

But it's a good thing that Premiere Elements create these freeze frames because otherwise you would have to overlap them and that would shorten the length of your project. Let me show you what happens in one issue, where you don't have enough head frames here but you have got plenty of tail frames to compensate. If I drag a transition down, that one will do all the Swing Out instead of Swing In. So I get down there. Now, look at this little line that appears. Instead of appearing in the middle saying you can put the transition in the middle here, it's forcing you to put the transition starting at that edit point and then going over the clip to the right where there aren't enough head frames.

It's taking the tail frames in the one on the left to overlap the head frames in the one on the right, and there will be no freeze frames. It's basically saying, "Look it, I can do this without doing any freeze frames. So I am going to take care of that for you." The turtle will keep on swimming over the fish and the fish will not have freeze frames, which is a great thing. It's basically compensating for the fact that you don't have enough head frames here. But you can override that and I explain the details of how to work with adjusting transitions and fine-tuning transitions in my "Adjusting transitions" movie. But let me show you kind of a preview of that.

I am going to select this transition by clicking on it and I click on Edit Yransition. That opens up this Edit Transition dialog box and normally this little Timeline in the right wouldn't be visible. The default view is like that. You don't see the Timeline. But if you click on this little stopwatch, lo and behold, there is this Timeline. Over here is the clip to the left, the A clip, and over here we have a clip to the right, the B clip, and this little purple thing here is the transition. If I drag through, you can see that the transition begins at the edit point and then start going after the edit point, allowing there would be no freeze frames, so there is the beginning of the fish.

Then the turtle overlaps. This little blue part here is all the overlapping tail frames from the turtle. But if you insist on moving your transition such that it happens right here in the middle, I can take that transition and drag it to the left, notice what happens. You have this zebra striping. The zebra striping is freeze frames. Premiere Elements is saying "Look, I am making freeze frames for you here because you insist on moving the transition over there. So I am going to fix it for you so that it will work but they are freeze frames." And the freeze frames will be the fish, the first frame of the fish.

As it comes in, no one is going to notice that there is a freeze frame but that's what's happening. You look at the fish are not swimming until they get right there, then they start swimming. You can sort of see their fins start moving around there. Let me just play the transition for you. And like you're hardly going to notice that there are freeze frames there. That's one of the coolest things about Premiere Elements. It takes care of that if you insist on moving the transition over to the left. So I think you see that's easy to add transitions between clips, adjust their lengths, and replace or delete transitions.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training
Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training

58 video lessons · 8188 viewers

Jeff Sengstack

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Understanding the workflow
      1m 19s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 44s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 18s
  2. 16m 52s
    1. What is Premiere Elements 9?
      6m 16s
    2. Touring the interface
      6m 28s
    3. Clarifying differences between the Mac and Windows versions
      4m 8s
  3. 44m 16s
    1. Creating a new project
      7m 18s
    2. Getting media
      2m 0s
    3. Capturing video from a cassette or a webcam
      7m 14s
    4. Downloading assets from external devices and storage media
      8m 53s
    5. Importing media from a hard drive
      3m 32s
    6. Managing media in the Project workspace
      7m 3s
    7. Using the Organizer
      8m 16s
  4. 30m 57s
    1. Using the Sceneline and the Timeline
      3m 45s
    2. Adding, rearranging, and deleting clips in the Sceneline
      6m 20s
    3. Adding and deleting clips in the Timeline
      9m 51s
    4. Adding and rearranging clips in the Timeline using modifier keys
      11m 1s
  5. 32m 8s
    1. Adjusting clip length in the Sceneline
      7m 56s
    2. Adjusting clip length in the Timeline
      8m 44s
    3. Adjusting clip length in the Preview window
      6m 4s
    4. Creating freeze frames and changing clip speed, duration, and direction
      9m 24s
  6. 25m 4s
    1. Understanding transitions
      4m 49s
    2. Applying transitions
      9m 37s
    3. Adjusting transitions
      10m 38s
  7. 41m 53s
    1. Understanding video effects
      9m 25s
    2. Applying and modifying video effects
      8m 46s
    3. Repositioning, scaling, and rotating clips with the Motion effect
      6m 50s
    4. Working with the Motion Tracker
      10m 1s
    5. Using the Effects Mask tool
      6m 51s
  8. 52m 31s
    1. Understanding animation
      7m 48s
    2. Animating video effects
      13m 52s
    3. Using the Motion effect with keyframes
      11m 43s
    4. Working with effects presets
      9m 55s
    5. Controlling changes between keyframes
      9m 13s
  9. 32m 44s
    1. Recording narrations
      3m 12s
    2. Making music soundtracks with SmartSound (Windows only)
      5m 38s
    3. Advanced audio editing with J-cuts and L-cuts
      6m 31s
    4. Applying audio effects
      11m 41s
    5. Mixing audio tracks manually and with the SmartMixer
      5m 42s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Creating text and geometric shapes
      7m 1s
    2. Editing and formatting text and shapes
      5m 10s
    3. Using styles and templates with text and shapes
      6m 40s
    4. Animating titles
      6m 47s
  11. 25m 46s
    1. Understanding compositing
      5m 23s
    2. Creating picture-in-picture overlays
      8m 46s
    3. Making portions of clips transparent using Green Screen, Videomerge, and other techniques
      11m 37s
  12. 16m 54s
    1. Understanding Auto-Analyzer and Smart Tags
      4m 11s
    2. Using InstantMovie and themes
      6m 4s
    3. Trying out Smart Fix and Smart Trim
      6m 39s
  13. 13m 43s
    1. Understanding DVD authoring
      2m 12s
    2. Adding DVD markers to the Timeline
      4m 47s
    3. Creating DVD menus using templates
      6m 44s
  14. 20m 7s
    1. Understanding project exporting
      3m 15s
    2. Exporting to standard file types
      5m 54s
    3. Creating files for online and mobile phone use
      3m 39s
    4. Creating DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and web DVDs
      7m 19s
  15. 33s
    1. Goodbye

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?


Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.