These smooth transitions are all over Instagram and Youtube. Here’s how to create them in your own projects.
If you’ve spent much time watching travel vlogs on YouTube or videos on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a hundred of those popular smooth transition effects.
Source footage via Shutterstock.
The transition above is a really good example. YouTuber Sam Kolder is known for popularizing the it, which some also call the “vensition.” The transition essentially uses the Motion Tile, Transform, and Offset effects in After Effects to create a seamless transition using some motion blur (usually with a blur effect like zoom blur or Reelsmart Motion Blur).
You can use the effect to create a zoom-in, zoom-out, rotation, or whip-pan-based transition. You can even make it seem like the camera moved (moving from a faraway wide-shot of a building to a much closer shot, etc.).
Sam Kolder’s Hawaii v1.0 video features quite a few examples of the effect.
The entire approach is the hallmark of a new era of editing. With seamless editing in Premiere and post-production effects and transitions in After Effects using dynamic link, it’s very easy to jump back and forth between the two programs. New types of transitions and text effects are popping up frequently (like the luma fade transition — also popularized by Sam Kolder).
The first example I can recall that used this new approach to editing and transitions was the excellent short-film Watchtower Of Turkey (below) by Leonardo Dalessandri, which was an early instance (if not the first) of this seamless transition style (and excellent use of sound for transitions).
Doing It Yourself
Footage via Shutterstock.
There are a lot of tutorials about how to do the effect yourself in After Effects. The breakdown is to use a combo of the transform and offset effects to achieve the movement itself. To do this, you use an adjustment layer on top of the two clips and apply all of your effects to that. You use the transform effect for any sort of scale or zoom transitions (as well as rotation). The Offset effect adds side-to-side movement, for whip-pan style transitions.
Then you use the Motion Tile effect to create copies of your footage on the edges (be sure to always check mirror edges for a more seamless look) so there is no black space. The Motion Tile effect will fill in the dead space (by increasing the output width and height) created by using the scale tools in the Transform effect.
The following tutorial by TK tv is a nice and quick explanation of how the process works.
Baker from BakersTuts has created a really handy and easy-to-use effects preset that makes the process much easier, quicker, and more enjoyable. In seconds, you can create quite a few different looks and transitions. He sells his preset at a name-your-price rate, with a minimum of $5.
With Baker’s preset, it’s as simple as moving the automatic keyframes to the position of the third keyframe at the start of the second clip. Then you can customize everything about your transition in the settings and speed it up or slow it down by moving the keyframes around.
This preset is a really clever use of expressions and on/off switches. You might be able to figure out the process yourself, but I would rather pay a few bucks for a solid product.
If you haven’t seen Baker’s channel, you should check it out. He has tutorials on all of these cool transitions (including the luma fade transition) and more — not to mention some really crazy Call of Duty edits.
Do you have tips for smooth transition effects? Let us know in the comments.