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Types of Video Transition

Cut

The most common transition — an instant change from one shot to the next. The raw footage from your camera contains cuts between shots where you stop and start recording (unless of course you use built-in camera transitions).

In film and television production, the vast majority of transitions are cuts.

 

Mix / Dissolve / Crossfade

These are all terms to describe the same transition — a gradual fade from one shot to the next.

Crossfades have a more relaxed feel than a cut and are useful if you want a meandering pace, contemplative mood, etc. Scenery sequences work well with crossfades, as do photo montages.

Crossfades can also convey a sense of passing time or changing location.

 

Fade

Fades the shot to a single colour, usually black or white. The "fade to black" and "fade from black" are ubiquitous in film and television. They usually signal the beginning and end of scenes.

Fades can be used between shots to create a sort of crossfade which, for example, fades briefly to white before fading to the next shot.

 

Wipe

One shot is progressively replaced by another shot in a geometric pattern. There are many types of wipe, from straight lines to complex shapes.

Wipes often have a coloured border to help distinguish the shots during the transition.

Wipes are a good way to show changing location.

 

Digital Effects

Most editing applications offer a large selection of digital transitions with various effects. There are too many to list here, but these effects include colour replacement, animated effects, pixelization, focus drops, lighting effects, etc.

Many cameras also include digital effects, but if possible it is better to add these in post-production.

 
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