How To Make Video Transitions Effects | Premiere Pro Tutorial

6 Aug 2020

8 Min Read

If we think of shots as separate islands, transitions are like bridges between them. To some extent, transitions give us the ability to create a logical relationship between different shots and even connect various locations to each other. Knowing transitions and how and when to use them is crucial as an element of professionalism in filmmaking. Many still think that dealing with transitions is the editors’ job, but that’s wrong. In filmmaking, the main mechanism to create a high-quality product is harmonizing different elements of the film. With that in mind, we should consider the effects of transitions while shooting, editing, and even sound design. So let’s see how transitions can be involved while filming.

Plan Your Shooting Based on the Transitions

Although there is a certain process and flowchart for filmmaking, this process might be different for vloggers and short film creators from project to project. Many creators tend to check the locations first, then plan the shooting and finally find out how those shots can work together in post-production. But if you pay attention to the importance of the transitions, you’ll notice that they can be a part of the shooting plan. So the process will be something like this; while checking the locations, try to think about the form and characteristics of each part. Then think about the relationship between different elements of locations to find out which transitions can show the relationship between them the best. Needless to say that having a list of transitions will speed up this process.

Then, when you’re writing your shooting plan, write the transition that is going to be applied to it as well. This way, your shots are planned to work together using a special transition and you won’t have to do it by chance in editing. If you know how each shot is going to be used in your video ahead of time, your focus and techniques for shooting will also change. Now that we’ve brought transitions into the shooting stage, let’s discover another way to make use of them, and that’s doing in-camera transitions.

The importance of the transitions as a part of shooting plan

Manual In-Camera Transitions

So we talked about shooting with transitions in mind to ease your post-production process and to be more organized and create a more cohesive final product. But now we want to step further and create transitions using some tricks while shooting.

Using colors

The first trick is the color match which is so simple. If you end a shot zooming into something black and start the next shot by zooming out from another black object, you’ll have a nice transition without doing anything special in post. But zooming is only one type of movement so you can try other ones to get different outcomes.  In this case, the similarity of the colors will be the logical relation of the shots. Just find two similar colors and create your transition in minutes.

Using objects

If you do the same thing on objects and not colors, you’ll create another form of creative transition. Imagine you have two different locations and want to switch between them using a transition, well you can easily use an object as a link between them. It can be your watch or anything you can carry with you. Take a cup of coffee as an example. You can zoom in on the coffee in the first location, then zoom out from it in the second location and that’s it. It’s tricky right!!

Using camera movement

Movement is a considerable factor in most transitions. By adding a transition to a shot in post, you create a fake camera movement. But what if you can create an actual camera movement for the transition. Well, to do that, Just hold your camera tight for safety reasons and move it based on your transition plan and the form of your subject. It’s done.
Imagine you want to have a shot from a bus moving to the right and want to mix it with another shot of a place that you want to cover in wide. You can easily set the direction of the camera movement in both shots from right to left. So move the camera from right to left in both shots and you’ll have a nice match of direction that creates a more tangible feeling of going from one place to another.

The intended camera movement for transition doesn’t have to be related to the movement of your subject, you can do it randomly. This way, you create a fast-moving blur transition that can connect any shots but it’s not easy to create a cohesive relationship between unrelated movements so it’s not recommended.

A Shortlist of Cool and Cinematic Transitions

Although we investigated some interesting ways to create transitions for our videos, there are still a number of transitions that must be done in editing. So I’ve listed some of the most cinematic transitions to decorate your projects using them. So let’s jump in

Flash transition

A stylish transition you can use to jump into your next clip. You can do it by applying the Dip to White effect. After adding it, go to the Effects Control panel and change the Alignment to Center at Cut. This way, it happens between two clips. Then change the duration to something like 5 to make the white appear quickly like a flash.
Using Dip to White Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 1)
Using Dip to White Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 2)

Luma Fade in / out

In order to create a nice luma fade transition, you need to put the second shot on top of the first shot. The duration of the transition is the same as the duration of the overlap between clips. Then apply the Gradient Wipe effect from the Effects panel to the shot you’re going to transition into (the top one) and go to the Effects Control panel to make these changes. Set two keyframes for Transition Completion under the Gradient Wipe, one at the beginning of the transition (overlap) and the other one at the end of the transition.
Using Luma Fade Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 1)
Set the first one at 100 as you want the top layer to be hidden at first, and then set the second keyframe at 0 to make the top layer completely visible at the end of the transition. Normally the luma fade will be started from the light to the dark but if you check the Invert Gradient box it will happen the other way round. You can also change the Transition Softness to sort of blend the dark and the light a bit together to have a smoother transition. Well, this was luma fade in, so if you want to create the luma fade out, all you have to do is to set the first keyframe at 0 and set the second one at 100. Needless to say that the overlap and keyframes must be set at the end of the clip to create a fade-out transition.
Using Luma Fade Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 2)
Using Luma Fade Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 3)

Glitch transitions

I presume Glitch transition is everyone’s favorite as it is so stylish and eye-catching and it suits many types of videos. The way to do it starts with creating an adjustment layer. You can create it by right-clicking on the Project panel, then from New Item choose Adjustment Layer. After that, place the layer on top of the cut between two clips and find Wave Warp from the Effects panel and add it to the adjustment layer.
Creating Glitch Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 1)
Creating Glitch Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 2)
Then in the Effects Control panel, under Wave Wrap, you can set the wave type, height, width, direction, and speed. It’s completely customized for you to create the kind of glitch that you have in mind by playing with those settings. My suggestion is to speed the wave up and shorten the length of the layer to make it exactly like a glitch. If you have any problem with dark edges showing up, you can solve it by changing the Pinning to All Edges and change wave height and width until it’s solved. You can copy the adjustment layer to apply the transition to any other shots.
Creating Glitch Effect For Transition in Premiere Pro (step 3)
At the end of the day, dealing with transitions is an interesting part of editing. Sometimes you find several effects that suit a clip, other times you get completely confused about how to connect two shots. And maybe this is why you should use some transition presets or templates to have many more options in hand, so the perfect pack I recommend you to use is the Infinity Tool pack. This pack has more than 5000 tools to get you to boost your videos. Its tools are not only for transitions but also for many other purposes like showing titles, motion graphics, logos, and many many more.  

From my point of view, a combination of in-camera transitions and post-production ones will spice up your video a lot. and as I said, knowing what you want from different shots and matching the process of shooting with transitions plan, not only ease your work but also organize it and doubles the quality of the end product. So try out this method for your next project and let me know how it worked. Good luck!