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Lesson 10. Applying Transitions > Changing and Copying Transitions

Changing and Copying Transitions

Once you have reviewed a transition, you might decide you want to change the duration or perhaps use the same transition on another edit point. You canchange the duration of a transition several ways, including the drag-and-drop approach. With this method, you can drag the edge of the transition icon to change its duration or drag a transition to relocate it to another edit point. You can also copy and paste a transition.

Move the playhead to the cross dissolve between the plowing fields and city street clips. Press Option-+ (plus) to zoom into this area and then play this transition.

Like all transitions, this cross dissolve has a default duration of 1 second. Extending the duration of this cross dissolve might create an interesting effect of the people walking in the field.

Move the pointer over either edge of the Cross Dissolve icon.

The pointer changes to a resize arrow.

Drag the edge of this transition away from the edit point as far as possible, but don't release the mouse.

A transition will only drag outward as far as there is clip material to support it. If you cannot drag any farther, either you have reached the limit of one or both of the clip's media, or you've reached the next edit point or transition in the Timeline. An information box indicates how much the transition has been lengthened and the new duration.

Release this cross dissolve at its longest possible duration, and play the transition.

Lengthening the duration of this cross dissolve gives the two clips a sense of being superimposed over each other.


When dragging a transition inward to reduce the duration, turning snapping off temporarily will give you greater control, as will zooming in to that area of the Timeline.

In the following edit point, between the city street and ruin steps clips, drag the edge of the cross dissolve icon out to 4:16. Play this transition.

With a longer dissolve duration, the city street walkers seem to be walking on the ruin steps.


As you drag the transition icon, both sides of the hollow duration icon change by the same amount. If you begin with an even number, it will incrementally change by an even number as you drag, adding one frame to each side of the transition.

To change the duration of the next cross dissolve in the sequence, between the ruin steps and canyon runner clips, Ctrl-click one side of the Cross Dissolve icon, not on the actual edit point directly between the two clips.

A shortcut menu appears with options to adjust the transition. Here you can also choose a different transition alignment.


Always click to the side of the actual edit point to select the transition icon. If you click in the middle, the edit point itself will be selected, and a different shortcut menu will appear.

Choose Duration from the shortcut menu.

A small Duration window appears with the length of the current transition in the Duration field. This duration is already highlighted, so you can begin typing a new duration without first clicking in the box.

In the Duration field, enter 20 for a new 20-frame duration. Press Return to enter the number, then press Return again, or click OK, to close the window. Play the new transition.

This 20-frame transition would work well applied to edit points later in the sequence. Once you've created a transition with a duration you like, you can copy and paste it to other edit points.


You can also enter the total number of frames. For example, if your tape source frame rate was 30 frames per second, you can enter 60 to represent 2 seconds. If you are editing in PAL, you would enter 50 frames for 2 seconds.

Click once on the Cross Dissolve icon between the ruin steps and canyon runner clips to select the transition. Press Cmd-C to copy it. You can also Ctrl-click the transition and choose Copy from the shortcut menu.

Press the down arrow three times to move the playhead to the empty edit point between the johnny runs and truck on road clips. With the playhead on the edit point, press Cmd-V to paste the 20-frame cross dissolve transition on this edit point. You can also Ctrl-click the edit point itself and choose Paste from the shortcut menu.


You can move a transition by dragging it from one edit point to another. You can also use the Option-drag approach to drag a copy of a transition from one edit point and drop the copy onto another edit point.

To delete the transition between the johnny runs and truck on road clips, select the transition icon, and press Delete.

You can always press Cmd-Z to undo the delete step and return the transition. Without a transition applied, the edit point is returned to a simple cut.



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