Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying transitions


Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Applying transitions

We've seen before in this training series how when we put clips right up against each other like this, it creates a cut, just a spot where there is one clip and then just immediately cuts to the next clip. This is one frame, and this is the very next frame. Well, sometimes you don't want a transition that's just that harsh, that just goes from one clip and then immediately cuts the next clip. We want to have a smoother transition from one clip to the next. That's what transitions are for. In the Effects panel, there is a Video Transitions category.
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  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
    2. What is Premiere Pro CS5?
      1m 41s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 25s
  2. 16m 44s
    1. The Premiere Pro workflow
      2m 21s
    2. Adding footage to the Timeline
      2m 19s
    3. Understanding timecode
      3m 3s
    4. Making basic edits
      5m 15s
    5. Getting familiar with the interface
      3m 46s
  3. 21m 59s
    1. Setting up a new project
      3m 48s
    2. Creating a new sequence
      5m 30s
    3. Capturing and ingesting footage
      2m 51s
    4. Importing files
      5m 23s
    5. Sorting and organizing clips
      4m 27s
  4. 33m 19s
    1. Making a rough cut
      4m 0s
    2. Making preliminary edits
      4m 55s
    3. Creating overlay and insert edits
      4m 16s
    4. Using video layers to add B-roll
      3m 47s
    5. Using ripple edits and ripple delete
      3m 1s
    6. Performing slip edits
      2m 54s
    7. Using the Razor tool
      3m 51s
    8. Moving edit points
      3m 47s
    9. Navigating efficiently in the Timeline
      2m 48s
  5. 28m 45s
    1. The job of an editor
      2m 59s
    2. When to cut
      5m 54s
    3. Avoiding bad edits
      6m 31s
    4. The pacing of edits
      3m 47s
    5. Using establishing shots
      2m 44s
    6. Using emotional cutaways
      2m 1s
    7. Fixing problems with cutaways
      2m 48s
    8. Matching action
      2m 1s
  6. 21m 38s
    1. Using markers
      3m 31s
    2. Replacing clips
      2m 36s
    3. Exporting a still frame
      1m 51s
    4. Creating alternate cuts
      1m 25s
    5. Rearranging clips in the Timeline
      2m 15s
    6. Targeting tracks
      2m 32s
    7. Disconnecting audio and video
      5m 0s
    8. Reconnecting offline media
      2m 28s
  7. 9m 46s
    1. Adjusting the rubber band
      3m 13s
    2. Adjusting clip position
      1m 21s
    3. Moving the anchor point
      2m 50s
    4. Adjusting clip size and rotation
      2m 22s
  8. 8m 15s
    1. Changing the speed of a clip
      1m 58s
    2. Using the Rate Stretch tool
      1m 57s
    3. Playing a clip backward
      4m 20s
  9. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding pixel aspect ratio
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding frame rates
      2m 15s
    3. About HD standards
      2m 56s
  10. 10m 32s
    1. Using layered Photoshop files
      2m 31s
    2. Animating clip position
      3m 33s
    3. Fading layers in and out
      4m 28s
  11. 12m 40s
    1. Applying transitions
      6m 2s
    2. Using transitions effectively
      4m 41s
    3. Setting up the default transition
      1m 57s
  12. 38m 31s
    1. The importance of ambient audio
      6m 35s
    2. Cutting video to music
      7m 38s
    3. Changing audio volume over time
      9m 55s
    4. Fixing audio problems
      9m 57s
    5. Censoring audio
      4m 26s
  13. 16m 25s
    1. Creating censored video
      5m 22s
    2. Creating a lens flare
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a logo bug
      3m 27s
    4. Creating background textures
      5m 16s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Intro to compositing
      1m 11s
    2. Removing a green screen background
      9m 14s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      2m 58s
  15. 22m 37s
    1. Adjusting white balance
      2m 24s
    2. Increasing contrast
      3m 5s
    3. Adjusting luminance
      4m 30s
    4. Creating cinematic color
      5m 21s
    5. Creating a vignette
      3m 12s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      4m 5s
  16. 16m 5s
    1. Creating titles
      4m 55s
    2. Creating a lower third
      9m 12s
    3. Animating rolling credits
      1m 58s
  17. 14m 13s
    1. Exporting sequences from Premiere
      3m 57s
    2. Exporting with the Adobe Media Encoder
      2m 13s
    3. The most common formats and codecs
      4m 42s
    4. Exporting portions of a sequence
      1m 54s
    5. Rendering letterboxed footage
      1m 27s
  18. 6m 46s
    1. Examining the other apps that come with Premiere
      4m 25s
    2. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 21s
  19. 20s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
5h 6m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

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In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adding footage to the Timeline
  • Creating dynamically linked content
  • Making overlay and insert edits
  • Moving edit points
  • Playing a clip backwards
  • Understanding pixel aspect ratio and frame rate
  • Applying motion effects
  • Cutting video to music
  • Compositing with green screen and blend modes
  • Correcting color
  • Creating titles and lower thirds
  • Exporting sequences
Premiere Pro
Chad Perkins

Applying transitions

We've seen before in this training series how when we put clips right up against each other like this, it creates a cut, just a spot where there is one clip and then just immediately cuts to the next clip. This is one frame, and this is the very next frame. Well, sometimes you don't want a transition that's just that harsh, that just goes from one clip and then immediately cuts the next clip. We want to have a smoother transition from one clip to the next. That's what transitions are for. In the Effects panel, there is a Video Transitions category.

Click the little arrow here to open that up. You'll see we have several categories of transitions that we can add. Let's say, for example, between this B- roll_RideBy_04 clip, the clip where the guys are riding bikes, and then the clips where these guys are kind of standing next to the water. Let's say we want to have a smoother transition here. Open up Dissolve. We're going to add Cross Dissolve. This is the most common transition. There is little red outline around its icon. We'll talk about what that means a little bit later on in this chapter. What I'm going to do is I'm going to grab this and I'm going to drag this over to the cut point, the point between the line dividing these two clips.

Now I don't want to put it here on the end of the first clip and I don't want to put it here at the beginning of the second clip. I want to put it here at the midpoint between the two clips on the cut point. Let go, and there we have the transition. Now if I hit the Spacebar-- (Music playing) You see that instead of cutting directly from one clip to the next, we have a nice slow fade, a cross dissolve, between these two clips.

In this case, it's really a beautiful look. Now if you want to make the transition go on for longer or shorter, then we can put our cursor at the beginning and drag over to the left. Put our cursor at the end, just kind of like we're trimming a clip, and extend this, so it's longer. So now when we play this transition, it will go on for longer. (Music playing) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) (Male speaker: Beautiful weather.) Now you'll notice that was a little bit jerky through here. If it is jerky and there is a red bar at the top here, that means you need to render the footage in order to get it to play back at perfect speed.

So you can just hit the Return key and it will create a video preview for you. Again, this process is referred to as rendering. I'm just going to go ahead and hit Cancel now. I don't want to take the time to do that, but that's how you could get it. You could see the green area here has been rendered for you and that indicates that this will play back in real time. Now, it's important when you're talking about adjusting transitions to realize the difference between selecting a clip like this and selecting a transition, like this. So once the transition itself is selected, not the clip that it's transitioning into or from, but the actual transition itself, then we could go to the Effect Controls panel and adjust the parameters of the transition.

Now, Cross Dissolve is probably the transition that you will use the most. We'll talk in the next movie about why you'd want to use that particular transition. There is another one called Dip to Black that I use a lot as well. This is good for fading in and fading out. You could use transitions not only in between clips, but at the beginning or end of clips as well. If I put this at the beginning of the B-roll_train clip, then when we play at the beginning of this-- (Music playing) It actually just fades in from black, which is kind of nice.

It's little bit jarring to start your video presentation right there with a frame. It's good to kind of fade in, just to kind of get viewers acclimated to what's going on, what they're saying. Likewise, we can put a Dip to Black at the end, and kind of fade out. Now, one thing about transitions that's important to keep in mind, you want to make sure that if you're going to transition between one frame and the next, [00:03:523.07] that you have additional frames that you are not seeing, so hidden frames of each clip.

So I want frames after the tail end of this clip and frames before the head of this clip or before the in point of this clip. So, that way they can blend together. So right now in time, even though we haven't got to the StandingAround clip yet, we could still see frames of that here. That's important for an effective transition. If we didn't have those frames, in other words, if this was the actual beginning of this footage and there was no way we could back up anymore, then we would not have this same Cross Dissolve.

For example, let's look at this B-roll_train clip. I'm going to for the time being drag this to the next video track. I'm going to go and put my cursor at the end of this and try to trim and extend it. We'll see that there are no more frames here. There are no more frames that are hidden. That's all we got. So, if I put this back to where I got it from, get back there you, and then if I try to add a transition between these two clips it will say, "no, I can't do it." I can either put a transition at the end of this clip, so just a Dip to Black from here, but I cannot really accurately transition to the next clip.

We're not seeing the end of the train clip or any more train footage, because there is none there. So, it's good if you're going to have an effective transition that you trim off some of that footage first. That way, the transition has some extra footage to play with. Now I'm going to close out of this Search field, because as long as we're looking at the Search field we're not going to be able to see any of our other effects or transitions. So I'm going to click this X here. If you look through these transitions, there are a lot of categories here, a lot of really fun stuff to play with.

People that are brand-new to video editing and brand-new to Premiere usually love the feeling of going into some of these transitions, especially like 3D motion and things like that, and just adding these really complex transitions that take virtually no effort whatsoever, just drag-and-drop, and it's a lot of fun to play with. Now, as fun as these are to play with, it's important to note that these need to be used very artistically in professional projects. I'll talk about how to do that in the next movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: When attempting to open the project exercise files into Premiere Pro CS5, an error message appears: 
This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file codec could be associated with this sequence type. 
What could be causing the error, and how can the files be opened?
A: There are a few possible explanations. 

First, if the projects are not importing correctly, the error could be with the codecs being used on a particular machine. Check to make sure the Video Previews codec setting matches the file type being used.

Another possible issue could stem from using the trial version of Premiere CS5. Some codecs for encoding MPEG formats are available only with the full version of Premiere CS5. 

Additionally, the "Video Previews" codec setting for the Custom Sequence Presets could cause the issue if it is defaulting to “I-Frame Only MPEG”. Changing the setting to Microsoft AVI might fix the problem.

Lastly, if the projects are not importing into Premiere, try importing the video footage by itself, rather than the entire project file.
Q: How does one perform internal edits within a piece of video in Adobe Premiere? For example, if I have a single clip of video, comprised of multiple segments strung together, how would I go about removing gaps and/or cleaning up each segment and then assembling the clips in a desired order? Most tutorials emphasize laying down multiple clips on the Sceneline or Timeline, but not editing one clip of video.
A: To remove footage from a single video clip:
  • Drag the Current Time Indicator (CTI) to the first frame of the segment to be deleted, click the Split Clip button in the Monitor panel, drag the CTI to the last frame of the segment to be deleted, and then click the Split Clip button again.
  • Delete the segment by clicking on the clip and either choosing Edit > Delete And Close Gap, or pressing the Delete or Backspace key. That will remove the segment and the rest of the projectwill slide over to the left to fill the gap.
Q: I can't view the exercise files.
A: Most of the video clips in the training were encoded using H.264. If you are on a PC, you may need to download the latest version of the free
QuickTime player from Be sure to install QuickTime with your Adobe applications closed. QuickTime installs a series of codecs on your
machine, and many Adobe apps require QuickTime components to function properly.
Q: Why are many of the video files H.264 if some users must download additional components to view them?
A: This is one of the most common video formats in the world right now, certainly for distribution. This is because it is currently the most optimal
way to provide high quality video at the low files sizes that we need to be able to distribute these assets online. Even though it may require an extra
download for some users, this is the best way to be able to get you the highest quality exercise files. There isn't another video standard that is
cross platform that is free and that works as well as H.264.
Q: What is the most effective way to import a JPEG into Premiere Pro (i.e. best quality resolution, best playback speed)? When I import a photo as a JPEG and add it to a sequence, only a very small part of my photo is shown, because of the high resolution of these photos. Should they be resized in Photoshop first? Will changing it using effects provide the quality I am looking for?
A: Images can be scaled down using the Scale Transform in the Effect Controls panel as explained in the training. You can also scale down the images in Photoshop to match the size of your sequence in Premiere. But I prefer to use the Scale Transform as it gives me more flexibility and allows me to "zoom in" (aka scale up) photos without loss in quality. You'll probably want to make sure that the proportions of the image match the sequence though.
Q: Does Premiere Pro offer Z-axis editing like After Effects?
A: Premiere Pro does not offer 3D as After Effects does, but you can use the Basic 3D effect in Premiere to simulate that environment.
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