Overview

A transition moves a scene from one shot to the next. Generally, you use a simple cut to move from shot to shot, but sometimes you can also transition between shots by phasing out one and phasing in another. 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 a Timeline panel results in a cut, where the last frame of one clip is 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 various 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.

Transitions are available in the Video Transitions and the Audio Transitions bins in the Effects panel. Premiere Pro provides many transitions, including dissolves, wipes, slides, and zooms. These transitions are organized in bins by type.

Kevin Monahan shows how to create transitions based on effects in an article on the Adobe website: using effects as transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro in this blog post.

Note:

You can create custom bins to group effects any way you’d like. (See Work with bins.)

Learn tutorial

Clip handles and transitions

Usually, 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.

Clip handles and transitions
A clip with handles

A. Media Start B. Handle C. In point D. Out point E. Handle F. Media End 

Sometimes, the source media does 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 are repeated to cover the duration. If you decide to proceed, the transition appears in the Timeline panel with diagonal warning bars through it.

Transition using duplicate frames
Transition using duplicate frames

Note:

For best results with transitions, shoot and capture source media with sufficient handles beyond the In and Out points of the actual clip duration you want to use.

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 near another clip or sitting by itself on a track. You can apply double-sided transitions only when the clip before the cut has a handle at its tail, and the clip after the cut has a handle at its head. For more information, see Applying transitions.

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 a 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.

Single-sided transition
Single-sided transition with clip beneath it (left) compared to single-sided transition with nothing beneath it (right)

Note:

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 a 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.

Types of transitions 
Types of transitions 

A. Double-sided transition using duplicate frames B. Double-sided transition C. Single-sided transition 

Note:

If a double-sided transition must repeat frames (rather than use trimmed frames), the transition icon contains extra diagonal lines. The lines span the area where it has used the repeated frames. (See Clip handles and transitions.)

Apply transitions

To place a transition between two clips (centered on the cut line), the clips must be on the same track, with no space between them. As you drag the transition to a Timeline panel, you can adjust the alignment interactively. Whether the clips have trimmed frames determines how you can align the transition as you place it between the clips. The pointer changes to indicate the alignment options as you move it over the cut:

  • If both clips contain trimmed frames at the cut, you can center the transition over the cut or you can align it on either side of the cut so that it either starts or ends at the cut.

  • If neither clip contains trimmed frames, the transition automatically centers over the cut and repeats frames from the first clip, or from the second clip, or from both clips, to fill the transition duration. Diagonal bars appear on transitions that use repeated frames.

  • If only the first clip contains trimmed frames, the transition automatically snaps to the In point of the next clip. The transition uses the first clip’s trimmed frames for the transition and does not repeat frames from the second clip.

  • If only the second clip contains trimmed frames, then the transition snaps to the Out point of the first clip. The transition uses the second clip’s trimmed frames for the transition and does not repeat frames from the first clip.

    The default duration of a transition, for either audio or video, is set to 1 second. If a transition contains trimmed frames, but not enough to fill the transition duration, Premiere Pro adjusts the duration to match the frames. You can adjust the duration and alignment of a transition after you place it.

Note:

Transition commands operate on all merged audio track items together. However, timeline targeting must be enabled to apply the default audio transition to multiple audio tracks at one time. The desired audio transition must be the user selected default, and you must use the Apply Audio Transition command. If you drag-and-drop the transition, it gets applied to a single audio track only.

Apply a transition between two clips

  1. In the Effects panel, find the transition you want to apply. Expand the Video Transitions bin, and then expand the bin containing the transition you want to use.

  2. To place a transition between two clips, drag the transition to the cut line between two clips, and release the mouse when you see the Center At Cut icon .

    Note:

    As you drag over heads or tails of clips in the Timeline panel, you can see the area covered by the transition outlined.

  3. If a dialog box appears containing transition settings, specify options and click OK.

To preview the transition, play the sequence or drag the current-time indicator through the transition.

Apply a single-sided transition

  1. In the Effects panel, find the transition you want to apply. You’ll need to expand the Video Transitions bin, and then expand the bin containing the transition you want to use.
  2. To place a transition on a single cut, Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Cmd-drag (Mac OS) the transition into a Timeline panel. Release the mouse when you see either the End At Cut or Start At Cut icon.

    End At Cut icon

    Aligns the end of the transition to the end of the first clip.

    Start At Cut icon

    Aligns the beginning of the transition to the beginning of the second clip.

    Note:

    As you drag over heads or tails of clips in the Timeline panel, you can see the area covered by the transition outlined.

    Note:

    To place a transition at the end of a clip that is not next to another clip, drag-and-drop the transition. Don’t Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Cmd-drag (Mac OS). The transition automatically becomes single-sided.

To preview the transition, play the sequence or drag the current-time indicator through the transition.

Specify and apply default transitions

You can specify a video transition and an audio transition as default transitions and quickly apply them between clips in a sequence. A red outline marks default transition icon in the Effects panel. Cross Dissolve and Constant Power Crossfade are preset as the video and audio default transitions.

If you use another transition more frequently, you can set it as the default. When you change the default transition setting, you change the default for all projects. Changing the default transition doesn’t affect transitions already applied to sequences.

Note:

If you want to apply the default transition to most or all the clips in a sequence, consider using the Automate To Sequence command. Automate To Sequence places the default video and audio transition between all the clips it adds. See Add clips to a sequence automatically.

Specify a default transition

  1. Choose Window > Effects and expand the Video Transitions or Audio Transitions bin.
  2. Select the transition that you want to make the default.
  3. Click the Menu button for the Effects panel, or right-click the transition.
  4. Choose Set Selected As Default Transition.

Set the duration of the default transition

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows), or Premiere Pro > Preferences > General (Mac OS).

    • Click the Effects panel menu button. Choose Default Transition Duration.

  2. Change the value for the Video Transition Default Duration or Audio Transition Default Duration, and then click OK.

Add the default transition between two clips

You can apply the default transition to adjoining pairs of clips on one or more tracks.

  1. Click one or more track headers to target the tracks where you want to add the transition.
  2. Position the current-time indicator at the edit point where the pair or pairs of clips meet. To navigate to an edit point, you can click the Go To Next Edit Point and Go To Previous Edit Point buttons in the Program Monitor.
  3. Choose Sequence > Apply Video Transition or Sequence > Apply Audio Transition, depending on the target tracks.

    Note:

    You can add the default video transition between clips in a video track by pressing Ctrl+D (Windows) or Cmd+D (Mac OS). You can add the default audio transition between two clips in an audio track by pressing Ctrl+Shift+D (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+D (Mac OS).

Apply default transitions between selected clips

You can apply the default video and audio transitions to any selection of two or more clips. The default transitions are applied to every edit point where two selected clips touch. The placement does not depend upon the position of the current-time indicator or on whether the clips lie on targeted tracks. The default transitions are not applied where a selected clip touches a non-selected clip or no clip at all.

  1. In the Timeline, select two or more clips. Shift-click clips, or draw a marquee over them, to select them.
  2. Select Sequence > Apply Default Transitions To Selection.

Copy and paste a transition

You can copy any transition in a sequence, and paste it to any other cut line on a track of the same type: video transitions to video tracks, and audio transitions to audio tracks.

  1. Select a transition in a sequence.
  2. Select Edit > Copy.
  3. Move the current-time indicator to the cut line where you want to paste the transition.
  4. Select Edit > Paste.
  • When you paste a double-sided transition to a double-sided location, the transition remains double-sided.

  • When you paste a double-sided transition to a single-sided location, the transition becomes single-sided.

  • When you paste a single-sided transition to a double-sided location, the transition becomes double-sided.

Copy and paste a transition to multiple edit points

You can add a transition quickly to several edit points within your sequence by copying and pasting the transition. This feature is helpful if you've changed a transition's default settings and want to use the modified transition again.

  1. Select a transition in the Timeline.
  2. Select Edit > Copy, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C (Win) or Cmd+C (Mac).
  3. Select multiple edit points in the sequence by dragging a marquee around the edit points, or by using the Shift key with any trim tool.
  4. Select Edit > Paste, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V (Win) or Cmd+V (Mac).

Some important points:

  • If you paste a transition without selecting edit points, the transitions are pasted to edit points at or near the playhead, without overriding track targeting.

  • If a selected edit point already has a transition, and:

    • If the pasted transition is different from the existing one, then the transition type changes but preserves the existing transition's duration and alignment. For example, pasting a Cross Dissolve transition over a Barn Door transition.

    • If the pasted transition is the same as the existing transition, then the duration and alignment are changed. For example, both are Cross Dissolve transitions.

  • A copied transition's alignment is preserved if it's set to one of the presets, but not if it has a custom setting.

Replace a transition

  • Drag the new video or audio transition from the Effects panel onto the existing transition in the sequence.

    When you replace a transition, the alignment and duration are preserved. However, this discards the settings for the old transition and replaces it with the default settings for the new transition.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy