Join Jeff Sengstack for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding transitions, part of Premiere Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training.
This tutorial is about transitions, effects that take you from one clip to another. There are a variety of reasons to use transitions. For example, you might want to send a message to your viewers that we are going from one time or place to another, and use a transition to send that message. You might want to set a mood. For instance, we've been using these fall colors video clips and it's kind of abrupt just to cut from one to the next, so you put a gradual dissolve and that's much nicer for your viewers. Sometimes you have two clips that are so similar that your viewers might get confused when you go from one to the next. So you say look it. Put a wipe transition and a really obvious transition, then the viewers know, oh, this is a new subject matter.
Finally, there is a mantra in the video editing world that goes like this. If you can't solve it, dissolve it. What that means is if you have two clips that when put together are jarring or confusing, solve that problem with a dissolve or some other kind of transition. Now Premiere Elements has more than 120 video transitions. Some are subtle, some are wild. It's tempting to use them a lot. I would ask you to use some restraint though. Find places where you really need a transition and then find the right transition for that moment. Let me show you a few examples.
I set up this project with six sets of clips between which I'm going to put some transition. So to do that I go to Edit > Transitions. As I hover over a transition it plays for a moment. The first one is this clip here from the red water to the red leaves. It's abrupt just to cut from one to the next. I'm going to use a standard Cross Dissolve to go there. Just drag the Cross Dissolve down between the two clips. Now I'll play it. Much more gradual, really works for a clip like that to have that kind of gradual transition.
Here is a trucking shot. The trucking shot has these trees going through it. So they sort of lend themselves to using what's called a wipe transition. I can't find the wipe transitions necessarily amongst these dozens and dozens of transitions, so I'm going to write down wipe here, w-i-p, and it takes me to all the wipe transitions. I use a standard wipe transition. I'll drag that down here and now I'll go from one to the next to see how that looks. Just sort of matches the flow of that shot, but what I can do is I can click on this, edit the transition, have it be a little bit longer.
So perhaps it will actually more or less match that tree going by. Let's see. It's hard to get it exact, but we're going to slide it over a little bit and we'll just see if we can get it to more closely match the tree. There we go, more or less get it right there. But you can adjust transitions as you can see here. Let's try that one more time. There we go. Now we've got pretty close to the tree, that one by there, and see that sort of more or less fits the tree going by. So you can transition. You're going to have a wipe that sort of matches the action. Let's go to this next one. It's rotating, then going to the next scene.
It's like there are some kind of transitions that sort of rotate as well. So I'm going to go to sphere, type in sphere, s-p-h, takes us to Sphere. Drag that down here. It's a pretty wild transition. Let's take a look at this one. Sort of wraps this thing up in a sphere and goes onto the next scene. By the way, I can say I'm going to have that transition go backwards. Something you can do with some transitions. I'm going to play it in reverse and so instead of the trees wrapping up on a ball, the next scene wraps up in a ball and comes in, like that, so you can make transitions go backwards.
Let me go down here to this golf shot and we go from this tee shot to this next shot, and trouble is with this tee shot, we've got the ball by itself, then here is a ball with a golf club behind it. So to sort of make it less obvious that was kind of an abrupt cut, I want to put a transition between that. To do that, I'm going to put down something called the Zoom. There are all kinds of zoom. I'll try the Zoom Trails. I'm choosing this one for a reason I'll show you in a second. Can expand the view of the Timeline, so you can see it there.
When you put a transition, that leaves a little rectangle. And now I'm going to play that. See how that worked? It kind of zooms in on that particular object goes to the next scene. That's a Zoom or a Zoom Trail. That way you didn't really notice that by the way there is no club here and there is a club there. So we kind of distracted them for a moment. That's okay to do that. We move down the line here to this next clip. Got this guy where he is hitting the tee shot. (Whack! Golf ball being hit.) I can actually have a transition that sort of works like a swing.
Let's type in 'clock wipe.' That will sort of match his golf swing. We can make it match exactly, but we'll just show you how that works here briefly. (Whack! Golf ball being hit.) Oops! It went the wrong way, which we can fix. That's the default way. Let's click this for a second. Instead of going from clockwise, let's have it go counter-clockwise. Now we have to match to the swing. (Whack! Golf ball being hit.) There we go. Let's go to the last one here. This is where we have two similar shots.
We've got this guy teeing off and we've got this guy teeing off, both from behind, both wide shots. So you want to tell your viewers, look it, it's definitely a different guy. So sometimes you want to make a really obvious transition. So I'll put down 'page,' have a Page Roll. I'll drag that between the two. This is a GPU Transition, Graphic Processing Unit. As you pull back, you notice that actually has the back side of the clip. Isn't that something? That takes a lot of processor power to do that.
That's why you need the Graphic Processing Unit on your computer actually to do this edit. Here we go. There we go. So these are some examples of how you can apply transitions to enhance certain circumstances. I suggest you play around with these guys and you'll come up with ways to use them on your own.
- Getting video from a DV camera, USB camera, or hard drive
- Adjusting timing for smooth transitions between clips
- Adding text and shapes to clips with titling tools
- Mixing audio tracks by hand for a custom sound
- Building DVD menus with scene markers
- Creating a good story for the final output