Applying Transition Effects

A transition effect is a special effect that alters the way you move from one shot to the next. The classic transition effect is the cross dissolvewhere one shot disappears and is replaced by the next shot. But just as important is the fade-out (where one shot disappears to black) and the fade-in (where the next shot changes from black into an image). Slightly more hokey, but no less important, are wipes: geometric patterns that mediate the transition from one shot to the next. iMovie provides a series of different kinds of wipes as well.

Those who are new to making videos tend to overuse effects. Because iMovie makes it so easy to add effects and provides so many interesting options (as, in fact, all professional video tools do), it's tempting to play with them and cobble together a visual oddity for your video projects. But go easy: Less is more.

In truth, transition effects are used very sparingly in Hollywood movies and television programming. Almost all shows begin with a quick fade-in, and they end (at commercial breaks, for instance) with a quick fade-out. Dissolves are relatively rare, occurring only to show the passage of time or perhaps a change of location. You hardly ever see wipes. Oddly enough, almost all transitions from one shot to another are just plain cutsexactly what you now have in your sequence.

But in this particular kind of sequencea video invented from still imagestransition effects would help. You're going to add a series of them, one after another, and then preview the results.

As with adding shots from iPhoto or the Titles window, you begin by selecting the menu button for Transition effects.


Click the Trans (short for transition effects) button.


Click Fade Out.


Using the Speed slider, set the speed of the fade-out to 00:14.

This is 14 frames, which is just about ½ second. It wouldn't be a problem if your fade-out were 1 second. But whether it's ½ second or 1 second, it should be fast. And for visual consistency, all the fades you use within a project should be the same speed.


Drag the fade-out to the end of the shot before the first scrolling title.

This means the first image will fade to black, and then the titles will start to scroll.

If you were using this transition between two video clips, you would fade in on the other side, but since it's transitioning to a title over black, it's not necessary.


Fade in on the head of the blue and white sgraffito clip (MVC-110S), then fade out on the end.


Drop a fade-in on the very beginning of the first shot for good measure.

Every video project should begin with a nice little fade-in. In this way, titles and video clips can transition back and forth smoothly.


Finish adding titles to the video, either over black or over the clips (as you feel appropriate).

Instructions and steps are effective as subtitles (or subtitle multiples, depending on how much you have to add).


If you don't want a title to start at the beginning of the shot, "fake" a beginning by breaking a clip a moment after the start, then apply the effect to the second part of the clip. Lesson 7 will explore this and other ways to break up your clips.


Add some "beauty" shots of finished pieces that exhibit the sgraffito technique.

These are in the photo album you accessed through the Photos tabin the Sgraffito album or perhaps in other Biz Owner rolls.

And that's it. Because this video will be shown in a busy studio, Jennifer doesn't want narration or music to accompany the imagesit would compete with the store ambience. A QuickTime movie of Jennifer's finished video project, Sgraffito, is in your Lesson 6 lessons folder.

    Apple Training Series(c) iLife 05
    Apple Training Series: iLife 05
    ISBN: 032133020X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 141
    Authors: Michael Rubin © 2008-2017.
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