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 it's a good habit to incorporate some video transitions to avoid a choppy video. WeVideo's online video editor provides a ton of different free digital transitions to choose from, but you can also create custom video transitions with a little extra camera work.
Here is a quick look at what we'll cover in this blog:
What are video transitions?
Video transitions are exactly what they sound like. They're a quick way to move from one clip or shot to another in a sequence. Some are quick and sudden transitions while others are slightly longer. You can go the easy route and add no video transition but, as stated above, that could make for a choppy video. Going this route can make your video look amateurish and make you look like you were too lazy to take the time and edit your video.
How to add and make transitions in WeVideo
Adding video transitions isn't rocket science. After you've trimmed your video, audio and images, select one of WeVideo's transition effects and drop it before, between or after your clips.
1. Create a new video project (or continue editing an existing video project).
2. Import your media.
3. Drag and drop your media into the timeline.
4. Navigate to the "Transitions" tab and select the transition that you would like to use.
5. Drag and drop the transition between two clips in the timeline.
6. If you want to adjust the duration of the transition, click on it in the timeline and select your desired duration. After this, you're done!
Pro tip: You can add transitions by selecting a clip and clicking the square transition icon.
Examples of camera transitions
Here are some easy-to-use camera transition examples you can do for any of your projects.
The most basic transition when video 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 a movie’s story progression. A good rule of thumb when you’re editing a video is to always cut on the motion.
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 any 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 follow the motion of a body part.
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.
A jump-cut is 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.
In our video editor, jump-cuts can be paired with the dissolve effect (found in our transition library) for a cool combo.
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.
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 freeing the lens 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 with 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 many digital transitions provided in our video editor. Just be creative and have fun with it!