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In Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack breaks down the editing workflow into bite–sized pieces, covering topics from setting up a project to exporting the final video to any format. The course also covers the basics of editing and advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays and audio and visual effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
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.
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