This week, Nick takes a look at getting the most out of a dissolve in FCPX by using shortcuts, by looking at options under the inspector, and by changing the edit point to maximize the transition
- Hi. Thanks for tuning in to Final Cut Pro Ten Weekly. I'm Nick, and Jeff's not here this week. We're going to talk about getting the most out of a dissolve. When to use it, switching dissolve modes, and ways to tweak it in this week's episode. So, when to use the dissolve, where to find it, how to apply it and considerations we need to keep in mind when we apply any transition. Look at ways to tweak it that you might not be aware of and also, how can we save another version that's slightly different than the default cross dissolve? Just ways of exploring and looking a little bit further within Final Cut Pro Ten.
So without further ado, let me hop into Final Cut Pro. I already have a timeline open. And where I want to find my transitions is actually, there's all these transitions available in Final Cut right over here on the far bottom right hand side. So, I can load up the transition browser by simply pressing Shift Command Five and you can see there all the various transitions available in Final Cut. Potentially, any type of presets you might have installed like My Effects Factory Pro all show up in one place.
Let's just go in the dissolve category. The transition that rules them all happens to be the cross dissolve. In fact, this is the default transition and what you need to know about it is that you can apply with a shortcut. You could change any type of dissolve. You can make it a default by simply control clicking it and choosing make default. Now the magic part about this default shortcut is that you can apply a dissolve without even having to select the clip that you're underneath. Just take a look here. I'm on the edit pointer on the first frame of the second clip right now in the timeline.
If I press command t, a one second dissolve is added. Now, there's a little bit of optical flow that's going on right there. And that's for the reason that I've slowed down the first shot. But you can see here that I've applied a transition between these two clips. Cross dissolves, in the past, were meant to reflect a passage of time. So, if there was a change in time, you would use a dissolve. Now dissolves can be used for many such things having a change in scenery between two shots and for stylistic treatments as well. No matter what you use a dissolve for, it's always best to think of why you're applying a dissolve in the first place.
In this case, there's a major scene change between two characters, between a singer and then someone else in the future. And I thought that would be a good application to apply a dissolve at this point in time. The cross dissolve starts at a default duration of approximately one second. Something to keep in mind is under Final Cut Pro's preferences, if your piece is faster, you might want to change the duration of all the transitions within your project. You can increase this to two seconds or three seconds, let's say if it's a drama.
Or even bring that down if a piece where you're adding a lot of transitions or types of dissolves that might even have glow effects and want to speed it up a bit. You have a universal preference where you can do this to all the transitions in your project. Now, what about the transition that we just added? So let me, in the timeline, press command equals to zoom in. This is a one second transition. For this particular treatment, I like this transition to be a lot longer. So one way of doing that is to either grab on the cross dissolve's handles or alternatively, if you press control D, you'll notice that I have the transition selected and I can see its little icon on the bottom right of the viewer.
If I type in three period, I've made it a lot longer and this is just perfect for the type of feeling I'm trying to convey, more of a slow movement between those two shots rather than something fast. This dissolve happens literally across these two clips. There's no change in speed of how the dissolve comes in and how the dissolve goes out. What we can do is if you select the dissolve, under the inspector, and if it's not showing, you can press command four, you have the option of easing this dissolve. So if I were to increase this amount to 100, I would have a lot more easing taking place of how we go into dissolve as well as how we go out.
Kind of creating a nicer treatment, especially for how long this dissolve is. Another thing to keep in mind with dissolves is that we can treat them stylistically. So selecting that again and seeing the options and parameters available to us, in the inspector, you can see that this dissolve has a look. Currently it's set to video but if I want it to look more like film, I have an option to do so. And you'll see that it just brightens up a little bit more and it's meant to mimic how dissolves used to work in the film process.
Not to mention just this, but some types of looks here, if you choose something such as bright, you get an amount slider and can really brighten up the look of how you're dissolving between your two pieces of footage to create a stylistic treatment for the scene that's at hand. So keep in mind for things such as bright, you have that amount slider. You'll also have it for some things such as cold. That's way too much for our purposes here in the amount. So I'm going to actually bring it down to 41 and you'll see a much different type of dissolve take place over those two clips.
Many times you might find yourself applying a dissolve to a transition, later to know that you would prefer to have dissolve later on the first clip and maybe earlier on the second. Dissolves, if you hover over the middle of them, you're able to slide or roll them across two clips. So in this case, I'm actually changing the edit point between these two shots, the incoming and the outcoming shot, but still maintaining the dissolve across those two clips. So what you see here is essentially where the dissolve begins, followed by where it ends.
And depending on where that is, I'm just moving it to be a little bit earlier, in this case. And you can see there the change in how the dissolve goes. So there you have it, working with dissolves and getting the most out of it. Anywhere from adjusting the time, to playing around a bit more with the parameters, to playing with the universal preference of how all transitions work within Final Cut. I'm Nick and thanks for tuning into Final Cut Pro Ten Weekly.
- Maximizing your color board
- Mastering speed effects
- Working with Compressor
- Learning helpful keyboard shortcuts
- Uploading videos to the web
- Setting up workspaces
Skill Level Intermediate
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