7 Easy camera transitions to enhance your videos

February 19, 2020 / By

When you’re making a video, you’ll likely have to stitch separate shots together as opposed to having one long camera shot. You can always just connect clip after clip, but to avoid a choppy video, it’s a good habit to incorporate some transitions. WeVideo provides a ton of different free digital transitions to choose from, but you can also create custom transitions with a little extra camera work. Here are some examples of easy video transitions to take your videos to the next level. 

Basic cut

The most basic transition when editing is a simple cut. This occurs all the time in movies, so much so, that we hardly notice it. A good cut will fit in naturally with the movie’s story progression. A good rule of thumb when you’re editing video is to always cut on motion. 

Whip-pan

The whip-pan is a great way to transition from one shot to another in a quick and easy flow. When you’re finishing one shot, whip the camera in a direction. Then begin your next shot by whipping the camera in from the same direction. You can also implement this same tactic in a more subtle manner by simply lifting or tilting the camera. For a more flamboyant transition, you can try a full spin, or following the motion of a body part. 

J-cut

The J-cut is when you lead your audience in with the sound of your next scene before they actually see the clip. The J-cut got its name from the J-shape it makes in the editing timeline. This transition can also work in the opposite manner when your audio fades into the next clip after the visual has already changed. In this case, it’s referred to as an L-cut. 

Jump-cut

Jump-cuts are when you cut while in the same shot. This means that the camera is stationary, shooting the same frame, meanwhile, the subject within the frame moves. These types of cuts are frequently seen on YouTube explainer videos where the person speaking quickly changes topics. They’re also great for signifying the passing of time or montages. Jump-cuts can be paired with the dissolve effect found in WeVideo’s transition library for a cool combo. 

Match-cut

Match-cuts are often mistaken as jump-cuts, but there is a slight difference. Match-cuts are when you move from one shot to a similar shot by either matching the action or the landscape. For example, ending one shot sleeping in a bed and then beginning the next shot by waking up in a different bed. Match-cuts don’t always need to be visual, they can be verbal as well. This is when you move from one scene to another by finishing a sentence. 

Shake

A shake is when you end one take by shaking the camera and start the next shot by shaking. This hides the transition in the motion blur, and is a cool way to make objects appear and disappear like magic!

Blocks or Covers

Lastly, we have blocks and covers. These transitions are pretty similar. Covers are when you end one shot by obstructing the lens with an object and then begin your next shot by unobstructing in a new location. Blocks are similar, but rather than obstructing the lens, the subject is hidden by another object (such as a tree) and then the next shot begins by the subject reemerging from the obstruction. 

And that’s all there is to it! These camera transitions can be combined with one another, or with the digital transitions provided in WeVideo. Just be creative and have fun with it!

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