Here are a few different ways you can transition to a new scene — or spice up your boring video with energetic cuts.
Whether you’re in the business of editing, shooting, or directing, knowing how to apply transitions to your scenes in natural, organic ways can keep your audience subscribed and keep you in consistent work. There are many, many, many different ways you can execute a transition. It all depends on the style of video you’re producing. Trust your footage and the story you’re trying to tell before you start making snap judgements on what cuts work and what don’t.
Let’s look at a few different edits to consider before you hit that export button.
Editors and shooters everywhere are pretty divided on jump cuts. Some professionals oppose the idea of cutting before a scene ends naturally because of the “cheating” nature of the cut. Some might call it lazy or a cop-out to hide a bad scene or shot. However you look at it, the jump cut is an effective transition within the scene. The tactic can speed up the rhythm or provide a generally fast-paced feel for your overall project. The jump cut has made its way onto silver screens, often for comedic effect, but it is a perfectly viable solution for anybody who needs to save their edit by way of transitional creativity.
Another effective way to transition between scenes, regardless of the type of project you’re working on, is the J-cut. This cut is a very-simple-yet-wildly-immersive move that takes your audience on an auditory journey before they even know it. The cut is simple: transition into your next scene with new audio before you cut to new visuals. It’s a way to tease your audience about what is about to happen while withholding the next scene/location.
Move Down Through the Floor
If you’ve just finished Season 2 of Stranger Things, you’ll know they often slowly flip the camera upside down to simulate a character entering the realm of the “Upside Down.” This Cinecom tutorial walks us through a similar approach by moving the camera down toward the ground and transitioning to the “other side.” It’s a popular effect in movies and music videos.
(Cinecom is an excellent resource for anybody looking to get into videography, video editing, and filmmaking in general. Here are a few other excellent tutorials on different ways you can transition between scenes.)
- Laptop Transition in Premiere
- Camera Through Mirror Transition
- 5 Tips for a Fast Cut Edit
- 3D Parallax Zoom Transition
Using Motion Graphics
Motion graphics can seem like a daunting world, especially if you’ve never worked in After Effects. I’m not experienced with creating motion graphics from scratch, but luckily for all of us, there are better people to do the job. Motion graphic transitions are perfect for anybody working with corporate clients or creating news packs. You can use them for documentaries, too — it just depends whether you want to align with the overall aesthetic you’ve created thus far. Here at Rocketstock, we offer several different types of transitional packs that are easily customizable for anybody not comfortable working in After Effects.
Prism & Stanza
These video packs are, frankly, pretty crazy. The colors are wild, and the transitions range from circles to waves to spirals. If you’re just beginning your YouTube or wedding videography career, you might need to create a crazy recap video or highlight reel for a client. These packs will give your video a jolt of energy that aligns with a rapid-fire edit. So, if your song matches the beat, throw in some quick transitions that maintain that pace.
A more documentary-style approach to your work, Hisan lays down some cinematic transitions you’d see in a doc or a Guy Ritchie film. Whether you’re introducing your characters or providing some sort of exposition for your narrative, the transitions are easy to apply to your timeline, and you can customize them as you please.
If you’re just starting out editing, don’t worry about each individual cut. It takes time to get comfortable making risky transitions and edits between scenes. Part of the fun of being an editor is trying new things and coming up with new ways to tell stories.
Looking for more information on transitions? Check out these articles.