Learn how to add and customize transitions.
- Transitions communicate to your audience that a scene or sequence is over, and that a new scene has begun. Playing a transition in Premier Elements is very simple, and the program includes dozens of them. What's most amazing is how customizable each transition is, giving you countless ways to customize your move from one scene to the next. The transition panel is located here on the toolbar on the right, there's our transitions panel, click on that, and as you can see we have a number of categories of transitions, and a number of transitions available in each one of those categories.
Now before I get into adding a transition, jump over to Quick View, and you'll see that in Quick View, you have a limited number of transitions. How many is that? That looks like about 16 of them. That's all you've got. Here in Expert View, you have a much wider library, or a much larger library of transitions, in addition to some audio transitions, which we'll also look at here in a moment. Let's go here to the wipe category, and when I apply the Band Wipe it's a nice visible transition, before I do, I want to point out something here.
Here on the timeline, you notice at the intersection of the clips, in the upper right-hand corner of one clip, in the upper left-hand corner of another, you see a little gray heel. There it is, a little gray triangle in the upper corners. That indicates that the clips are fully unspooled. In other words, we're at the end. The very beginning of one clip, and the very end of another clip. Transitions need head and tail material. They need a little transitional material beyond the end of a clip.
In other words, there's going to be a point, if my transition is a second long, there's going to be a point for half a second before this clip, and hale a second after this clip, where both clips are on screen at the same time. If we have our clips fully unspooled, I want you to watch what happens. Let's grab the band clip, I'll drag it down between those two clips, ignore this right now, and watch what happens as I scroll through here. It may or may not be obvious, but once we get to the end of the first clip, it's still on screen, but we've run out of video, and so it becomes a freeze-frame.
Likewise, the second clip, before we get to the beginning of that clip, it's on-screen, but it's a freeze-frame. Until the two come together. Now if you watch this, I dunno if it'll become real obvious if you watch this, but sometimes if there's a lot of motion in your video, it's going to be real obvious to you and your viewer that things freeze for a second. That's probably not what you want. So I'm going to remove that transition by selecting it and pressing Delete, and this is what I always recommend, whenever you're going to add transitions between clips, that you just sort of trim off half a second or so off each clip.
Now we have a little video, you notice those heels are gone, they're in the upper right and upper left corner, now we have a little bit of video beyond the beginning of one clip, and beyond the end of another clip, so that when we apply our band wipe, between the clips, we will now have no point where there's a freeze-frame, because we're using the video that has been trimmed off as our transitional video. Now when we add a transition to our timeline, we get a popup window that allows us to customize that transition, I'm going to just double-click on the transition to re-open that, there it is.
And you notice there's some basic things you can set like the duration of the transition, and where the transition falls. In most cases by default, you want it directly between the clips, click on the More button and you'll see some other options. Now this particular transition has some cool things here, you can add a border, let me just move the bands in here, I can add a border between those bands that are coming in, I can affect the color of that border, I can reverse it, and this is more obvious with other video transitions.
For instance, if I was using a transition that zoomed out from the center, clicking that Reverse button would make it so that it zoomed back from the sides to the center of my video. So reversing it can change the whole direction of the transition, by clicking on it here, you may not see a lot of difference, because my bands are now coming in differently, but not significantly so. The biggest customization for the band wipe is under this little Custom button.
When you click on this, you can choose the number of bands, and you can see it's at seven. I think it goes up to 32, but let's try it at, say, 15. By changing that, now instead of having a couple bands come in, we now have lots and lots of bands. So depending on the transition and the nature of the transition, there are a number of customizations you can do. As with effects, you can browse to a transition by selecting its category, or by going Show All, and browsing this way, or you can select a transition by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner, and typing its name.
So for instance if I go to Venetian Blinds, typing in v-e-n it automatically brings up Venetian Blinds. I can drag it right over the existing transition like that, and it will replace it, and once again, all effects or all transitions have their own unique customization, and here, as with the band wipe, we can choose how many bands of Venetian Blinds there are. We can extend the transition here, by the way, simply by dragging on it here on the timeline, and making it longer if we'd like.
Now there are audio transitions, you'll find them under the audio tab on the transitions panel here in Expert View. There are two of them; Constant Gain, Constant Power. They're both essentially an audio fade from one to the other clip. A lot of debate over which one is the superior, there's not a lot of difference between the two and I challenge your ear to heard the difference, but Constant Power is probably the default selection, it's probably the one you'll most often choose to create your audio transition. Transitions can be as obvious or as subtle as you'd like them to be, but they're part of your movie's style and tone.
So use your transitions deliberately, and with a purpose. As with any visual effect, sometimes you can say more with a whisper than you can with a shout.
- Adding and importing media
- Comparing Quick view and Expert view
- Trimming, splitting, and rippling clips
- Adding narration
- Motion tracking
- Time remapping
- Creating movies with the Video Story tool
- Correcting color
- Adding video effects
- Mixing audio
- Adding transitions, including fades
- Adding titles
- Creating animations with keyframes
- Creating DVDs
- Exporting and sharing movies