Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Apply a quick transition, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] We're going to work on a new project now, Running The Sahara. So, select that and click OK. But before you do, just check out the raster dimension. We've been working at HD resolution until now, and this media is NTSC, it's 720x486 standard definition. Click OK. And here we are in the project. Now at this point, you might want to just pause this video, if you are working with these media files, and have a quick look at the sequence called "Apply a transition," just to familiarize yourself with the media.
If you have a bit of time, you can also take a look in the RTS Rushes, Running The Sahara Rushes, folder. Inside of here, there's quite a few bins with some additional media. Media Composer has a lot of special effects available. And, in fact, right on the timeline, you have the option to apply what's referred to as a "quick transition" using this button right at the top. Quick transitions are applied to clips almost in the way that trimming is. You just need to park the playhead somewhere near a transition, make sure you've got the correct tracks enabled, and click the button to go into the quick transition dialog.
This particular sequence has a V1 track and four audio tracks. And you'll notice that in the quick transition dialog, by default, only the V1 track is enabled, and that's because it's the only one enabled on the timeline itself. You can go in and add transitions, if you want to, to other tracks. I'm going to leave this off for now. At the top of the dialog, you've got the option to specify a number of different transitions. I'm just going to choose dissolve for now. This is easily the most common transition effect ever used.
We've got the option to specify the timing of the transition and, interestingly, this is referred to as the "position." And I suppose if I just move the dialog up a little bit, it is the position in the sense that it's going to have an icon on the timeline that has a relative position to the clips that it's applied to. I set this to starting at the cut or ending at the cut. You can see this little icon moves in the diagram.
I'm going to come back to the duration and the start point. I just want to show you this dynamic illustration that we can use to modify the settings for this effect. If I want to, I can click and drag to move the effect icon across these clips. And I want to draw your attention to the A side of the cut, and the B side. You'll notice that after the A side of the cut video, that's the video on the left of the cut, there's a darker region. This represents the available handles for the media.
And before the B side, there's another dark region. Again, this represent the handles available, that's the leftover media for the video clip to the right of the cut. We've got shortcut buttons here to specify whether we want the effect to be centered or not on the cut, and of course we can type in here to specify duration, or even type in and specify the start for the transition. Just under these controls, which I think I are mostly really self-explanatory, we've got the option to specify a target drive.
And that's because anything that is a visual effect may or may not need to render, and rendering is the process of turning any visual effect into a new media file that looks like your original media combined with the effect. Once you render anything on the timeline in Media Composer, although it appears you're playing back the original media with an effect on it, that's not actually what's happening. What's actually happening is Media Composer is playing the render file.
Those render files are referred to in Media Composer as pre-computes, which is short for "previously computed." These are the files that are referred to as "preview files" in Premiere Pro, for example. The process of rendering takes time, and it takes storage space, and you'll probably want to avoid it, if you can, for those two reasons. For an effect like the quick transition, you almost certainly will not need to render. And that's why you'll find the outline, here, this is what happens when you press the Enter key, is around the Add button, and not around the Add and Render button.
Still, if you were to render the effect, the new video clip would have to go somewhere, and that's why we've got a target drive menu. This particular machine I'm working on only has one drive that Media Composer can use, anyway, so I've only got one option in the menu. If I want to, I can use this diagram to drag out and change the duration of the transition. And now that I've done that, you can see that this representation of handles makes a little bit more sense.
Media Composer is actually showing me how much media I've got available for the overlap required to create the effect. Let's set this in the center for now. So I'm happy with these settings, and I'm going to click Add, and now, I've got a cross-dissolve applied between the first and second video clips in this sequence. The little green dot indicates that Media Composer expects this effect to play back without needing to render, and at the same time, it expects that it's probably not going to drop any frames.
If your system struggles to play back any effects combined with your original media, usually that will manifest as dropped frames. That means, for example, instead of playing back 29.97 frames per second media, you might get 12 frames per second. Time will pass at the correct rate, you just won't get all of those frames playing back to give you smooth movement. Let's take a little look at this effect. I'm going to press the space bar to play.
That works pretty well. But actually, if I go to my project window, I've got a list of transitions available here. Quite a lot of them, in fact. And if I look under the Blend category on the left, on the right I've got another effect I might want to use, which is the Dip to Color. On the timeline, I'm going to zoom in a little bit so we can see this effect more clearly. And you can see, as I zoom in, that the beginning and end of the effect is marked.
There's a line there showing the overlap between the clips. And what you're seeing there is the way that each of these clips is extending into what was originally handles. That means, originally, it was not visible, and not included in the sequence. And those handles are creating the cross-dissolve, or the transition effect. It's important to check your transitions after you've applied them, because you might've had a really good reason to exclude a bit of your media. So do check first of all, particularly to make sure you don't have flash frames, leftover little extra bits of media from another scene.
If I want to replace my beautifully configured transition effect in the timeline with this Dip to Color effect, all I have to do is drag one onto the other. And you notice, before I release the mouse, that I get a highlight to show me that the new transition effect is going to inherit the settings from the old one. I'm going to release the mouse, and let's take another look.
Perfectly straightforward. And in fact, if I move my playhead close to this transition again, and go back into the Quick Transition dialog, you can see that now this menu shows Dip to Color. If I want to, I can change any of the settings in here. In fact, let's reduce the duration of the effect. I'll click Add, and we can carry on.
- Setting up the editing environment
- Creating a new project
- Importing media
- Finding, organizing, and linking clips
- Building a sequence
- Editing and trimming
- Adding transitions
- Applying segment effects
- Combining effects
- Applying freeze frame and motion effects
- Creating titles
- Exporting video projects