Video Transitions: Which are best and how to use them properly

You want to know how to use video transitions to make more impactful videos ? Here's which ones are good for your project.

July 15, 2021
Video editing

With the proliferation of short formats on social media, it has never been more important to create a sense of speed for viewers. Video transitions effects are the best way for video editors to do this.

But these visual effects are often despised by video professionals. With good reason: they can look superficial and reveal a lack of consistency in the shots.

Here’s how to make good transitions for your online and social media videos, while not overdoing it.

What are video transitions?

Video transitions are all the visual effects that allow you to move from one shot to another. They define a movement or a shift of the image itself that allows a more or less natural transition from one scene to another.

In the professional video world, they are used to create aesthetics and awaken specific emotions (the fade-in, fade-out in trailers for suspense). But film purists are rather minimalistic about it.

On the other hand, on YouTube and other social networks (Facebook, Instagram…), video transitions are gaining more and more success. On these platforms, users don’t like to waste time, and these effects allow them to immerse themselves in the narrative.

You still have to be careful when using them, because if you overdo it, you may lose credibility. Eventually, it’s all about using them in purpose.

Transition effects: the different types and when to use them

There are many transition effects that can be applied to your videos. Here are the most basic and effective ones to create a nice flow:

1# Hard Cuts

video transitions : hard cuts

Hard Cuts are simply the superposition of two shots without any transition effect. This is the most common and natural way to go from one shot to another in the video industry. But the effect is received differently depending on the context and the timing of the cuts.

Shots that have no visual or narrative connection may seem too harsh, while cuts that are too close together may seem overdone. For example, in action films these cuts are often close together to create a strong sense of momentum and suspense, while in art films there may only be a few cuts.

2# Dissolve

The Dissolve effect consists in the disappearance of an image gradually replaced by another. It is one of the most fluid and artistic transition effects. It gives the viewer the impression of seeing double, especially if the two images are joined.

Depending on its length, it can appear more or less subtle (a long Dissolve can give the impression of a dream). Use it to play with the psychology of the viewers!

3# Fade in/Fade out

fade in & fade out effect : video transitions

The difference of this effect compared to Dissolve is the presence of a black screen between the two shots. It allows the spectator to notice that the scene and the scenery are changing.

Depending on its length, it can add a dramatic or emotional note to your narrative (an ellipsis that leaves the viewer wondering). It is often used to create a sense of beginning and end in movies.

4# Wipe

Wipes add speed to your videos, literally pushing one frame on top of the other. Whether it’s a shift motion from the right, left, in a circle, up and down, they make your transitions look edgy and dynamic. They are ideal effects to energize tutorial, sales and presentation videos. But obviously, the effect should not be abused as it can look superficial.

5# Split

Splits are even more pushy than Wipes, as they cut the images from the inside. They are well known from presentations, souvenir,s and wedding videos. They can also help to create a very dynamic sense of change of subject or scene. But they are often obviously very forced transition effects to the viewer’s eye.

6# Zoom

Video Transitions: Which are best and how to use them properly

Want to take your viewer’s eye on a visual adventure? Then zooms are the best way to stick them to the screen. Even if they are very forced, they work well if the two images do not have the same scale (a shot that shows the earth from space, then a particular country…).

It can also have a metaphorical use, to go into the details of a subject or a character. Of course, this effect should not be exaggerated, as it is very powerful.

Which video editor for the best visual transitions?

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a complete tool for applying transitions to your videos. It has all the basic effects (dissolve, fade, wipe, slide). The timeline allows you to easily add effects between clips or on a single clip, in addition to many other optical visual effects.

Filmora Wondershare

Filmora Wondershare is known to have a huge stock of transition effects. You can find any type of effect. Whether it’s zoom, 3D, blur, cube or sphere effects, Filmora has the most effective and eccentric transitions. You are sure to express your creative potential with so many choices!

Vegas Pro

Vegas Pro provides video professionals with the transition effects that suit their artistic vision. Whether it’s light Wipes, Disolve, Flash, Vegas Pro is all about authenticity and consistency. You won’t find anything better to add drama to your video with transitions.

How to use transition effects in your video

As explained throughout this article, video transitions are an art of fluidity and minimalism. They should only be used if they mean something narratively and if they help the viewer to figure out the scene.

You need therefore to maintain coherence in these shots that avoid the untimely use of transitions. For this, you should :

  • Prioritize the movements of the camera and the people to keep a natural fluidity.
  • Use hard cuts if you want to immerse the viewer without making him aware of the changes of shot. In this regard, you should look for shot changes that provide optical and narrative cues.
  • Apply transition effects to create specific emotions or to energize a presentation.
  • Don’t hesitate to use them for social media videos: Internet users love videos with rich and interactive visual effects.

There you go, you now know everything about video transitions. We’ll let you experiment and test these effects to increase the impact of your videos.

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