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Chapter 5. Adding the Right Transition

Chapter 5. Adding the Right Transition

Look at any feature film and count how many scene changes occur. Probably hundreds. Now count how many page peels and warp effects you see. My guess is none. Now turn on MTV, Nickelodeon, or your local cable station running mom-and-pop store commercials. I bet you see more twists, turns, and fly-in transitions in one hour than you care to see for the rest of your life. The point is that you can't just pick any transition from the list and plunk it down wherever you feel like. You need to gauge the type of project you are working on, who your audience is, and a number of other factors that we will cover throughout this chapter before you add random transitions to your video masterpiece.

note

There are basically three types of transitions: cut, dissolve, and Digital Video Effect (DVE), as shown in Figure 5.1.

Figure 5.1. The cut, dissolve, and Digital Video Effect (DVE).



The point with my first comment is that feature films that are winning Academy Awards and other top honors consist of 90% or more cuts and dissolves. Just because all these amazing computer-generated transitions exist, do not feel obligated to incorporate every single one into your edit session. As you can probably guess, I am one for clean, simple transitions when appropriate. There are many situations where adding a transition helps the flow of your content or where you have to use a transition to fix an inconsistency with an edit's continuity. Producers and directors are not always perfect, so we, the editors, need to fix their mistakes. Unless you are cutting one of those cheesy used-car commercials, you should want your audience to pay attention to the content of your program, not the transition. If they are more intrigued by the special effects that occur between each shot, they probably cannot focus on your program's message. But keep one general rule in mind when working with transitions: They should help make the program flow without distracting the viewer.


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