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How to Do Video Transitions

You’ve recorded several video clips, edited them and even added some sound. Now what? Video transitions are an important, yet often underestimated tool when creating social media videos. It’s not that they aren’t important, it’s that many people don’t know how to use them. We’re here to give you the info you didn’t know you needed to take your videos to the next level! 

First, what exactly are video transitions? Video transitions are used to piece together multiple video clips, making one seamless video. Video transitions turn clips into a story. If you have ever made a PowerPoint slideshow, you might already be familiar with video transitions, and you didn’t even know it!  

So, how do you add them to your social media video content? Let’s take a look.

What do video transitions do?

First things first – transitions help to create energy and emotion in a video. Therefore, not every transition makes sense for every video. The first thing you will want to do is determine the goal of the video. Ask yourself what emotions you want it to invoke. Is it funny, emotional, or educational? Then, use the guide below to help you select the best transition.

  1. Fade to a color or into another scene. This is a good option for educational videos where you aren’t looking to create emotion. It’s neither calming nor exciting. A color fade is simply an artistic way to connect clips with a smooth transition. Fading is also a technique used to begin (color fades to film) and end (film fades to color) a video.
A word of caution with fading to black in the middle of a video is that it may appear to be concluding the video. For this reason, black fading is usually used at the end of a video.
  1. Movement: Up and down, side to side or spiral. Quick movement is an energetic way to rev up excitement and bring attention to the next scene. The movement captures the viewer’s attention and interests them to wait and see what’s going to happen next. This is a good transition for funny and action videos. You can use the audio to match up with the movement transition and really enhance the effect. 
  2. Blur. When one scene blurs into the next, it creates a soft and zen-like transition that is gentle and calm, rather than exciting. This is a good transition for serious or emotional videos. 

Once you have decided on your goals and selected the transitions you will use, experts advise filming your video clips with transitions in mind. For example, if you are going to be filming a product spotlight video, you will want to create focus on the product. You may want to spin from talking into a product shot where you then zoom in on the product. The main thing to remember is just that – remember transitions. 

Next, let’s talk about a few best practices for transitions on social media videos. 

How to best use video transitions

When using video transitions, more is not always better. You want the transitions to flow naturally with the video. If you have too many transitions, it might appear choppy. Additionally, using too many different types of transitions in a single video is not advised as it can be distracting. You do not need a transition between every clip.

Even though earlier we said to keep transitions in mind when filming, they should be one of the last edits made to your video. You never know when you might need to edit or add another clip.

The average transition length is one second. Depending on your video, you may want to go longer or shorter. However, start with one second and see how it looks.

There is so much more to learn! We searched the internet and found these popular learning resources to help you master video transitions. 

  1.     Adobe takes your transitions to a new level by teaching you how to use the straight cut, the jump cut and the dissolve. 
  2.     Studio Binder has a series of videos on YouTube that will teach you how to use video transitions. If you are serious about your video-making, this is a great channel to learn even more tools such as camera movement and working with text on video. 
  3.     LinkedIn Learning has numerous courses you can take on this topic. They even have a course specific to video transitions for social media, taught by Richard Harrington, Digital Video Expert, Educator, Speaker.

We hope that this entry-level overview of video transitions has given you the confidence and tools necessary to start using them. Now get out there and create amazing content! We’ll be watching. 

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Allie Teegardin

Allie Teegardin is a contributing writer at PLANOLY. As a writer, adjunct professor, and baker, she makes sure to add value to whatever she creates.

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