Transitions in Adobe Premiere

A transition moves a scene from one shot to the next. Generally, you use a simple cut to move from shot to shot, but in some cases you might want to transition between shots by phasing out one and phasing in another. Adobe Premiere Pro provides many transitions that you can apply to your sequence. A transition can be a subtle crossfade or a stylized effect, such as a page turn or spinning pinwheel. While you usually place a transition on a cut line between shots, you can also apply a transition to only the beginning or end of a clip.

By default, placing one clip next to another in the Timeline panel results in a cut, where the last frame of one clip is simply followed by the first frame of the next. When you want to emphasize or add a special effect to a scene change, you can add any of a variety of transitions, such as wipes, zooms, and dissolves. Apply transitions to the timeline using the Effects panel, and edit them using the Timeline and the Effect Controls panel.

In most cases you don’t want transitions to occur during the essential action in a scene. For this reason, transitions work best with handles, or extra frames, beyond the In and Out points set for the clip.



Single and Double Sided Transitions

Transitions are typically double‑sided—they combine the last video or audio material from the clip before the cut with the first material from the clip right after the cut. You can, however, apply a transition to an individual clip so that it affects only the beginning or end of the clip. A transition applied to a single clip is called single‑sided. The clip can be immediately adjacent to another clip or sitting by itself on a track.

Using single‑sided transitions, you have more control over how clips transition. For example, you can create the effect of one clip departing using the Cube Spin transition, and the next clip fading in using Dither Dissolve.

Single‑sided transitions fade to and from a transparent state, not to and from black. Whatever is below the transition in the Timeline panel appears in the transparent portion of the transition (the portion of the effect that would display frames from the adjacent clip in a two‑sided transition). If the clip is on Video 1 or has no clips beneath it, the transparent portions display black. If the clip is on a track above another clip, the lower clip is shown through the transition, making it look like a double‑sided transition.


If you want to fade to black between clips, use the Dip To Black dissolve. Dip To Black doesn’t reveal any underlying clips; it always fades to black.

In the Timeline panel or the Effect Controls panel, a double‑sided transition has a dark diagonal line through it, while a single‑sided transition is split diagonally with one half dark and one half light.


Note: If a doublesided transition must repeat frames (rather than use trimmed frames), the transition icon contains additional diagonal lines. The lines span the area where it has used the repeated frames.


Clip handles and transitions

In most cases, you don’t want a transition to occur during the essential action in a scene. For this reason, transitions work best with handles—the extra frames beyond the In and Out points set for the clip.

The handle between a clip’s Media Start time and In point is sometimes called head material, and the handle between a clip’s Out point and Media End time is sometimes called tail material.


In some cases, the source media may not contain enough frames for clip handles. If you apply a transition, and the handle duration is too short to cover the transition duration, an alert appears to warn you that frames will be repeated to cover the duration. If you decide to proceed, the transition appears in the Timeline panel with diagonal warning bars through it.



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