How to Use Fade and Transitions in Adobe Premiere

By James Withers

In television and movies, transitions are employed between scenes in order to make sudden shifts in perspective appear less disjointed. These same video effects are available for you to use in digital video production when you edit your own homemade video with Adobe Premiere software. Furthermore, if you download snazzy Adobe Premiere plug-ins, you will be poised to produce videos with the same panache as a movie-making pro. Read on to learn how to use fade and transitions in Adobe Premiere.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Premiere software
  • A digital video camera (recommended)

Step 1

Create a video time line, containing at least two clips. In order to apply a transition effect, you must be working with at least two video clips on a time line. Doing so is simple. All you need to do is to upload your clips to Adobe Premiere software, then place them in a movie making time line. Be aware that high quality video transfers will need to use a large amount of memory, so be selective about the amount of material that you upload when you are working on a digital video production

Step 2

Choose a transition from a drop-down menu of available transitions. In the "Effects" panel of your Adobe Premiere software, click on the arrow icon next to the "Video Transitions" folder to view a drop-down menu of available video effects transitions. In addition to the transitions that are supplied with your software, you may also want to search for and purchase additional online Adobe Premiere plug-ins. However, instead of worrying about getting equipped with hundreds of transition effects, try working with the video effects that come with your software. They will probably meet your needs just fine.

Step 3

Apply the transition effect at an edit point on the time line, Between the two clips. Movie-making in Adobe Premiere software is a simple process once you get used to it. However, you must be careful to apply video effects properly in order to achieve the best results. Edit points between clips are like little doorways where your transitions can enter. If you are trying to apply a transition where no edit point exists, such as in the middle of a clip, your video effect has no point of entry. So, if you desire to edit inside of a clip, you will first need to break this clip into two. Then, as long as the clips are large enough, you will be able to apply the transition at the edit point between the two clips.

Step 4

Know the difference between "Heads" and "Tails." When you are making a transition in Adobe Premiere software, you will be supplementing a pair of video clips with video effects, such as a transition or fade. The "tail" of your first clip is the portion of video that you will be transitioning out of, while the "head" of the second clip contains the video that you will be transitioning into. When you apply a fade effect, you will probably want your clip to gradually darken at the first clip's tail, and to gradually brighten at the head of the second clip. In order to do this, you must configure these heads and tails so that the transition will not be sudden and jolting.

Step 5

Preview the new transition. A good rule of thumb in digital video production is to always preview your material each time you apply new video effects to it. Doing so will allow you to repair simple glitches before you proceed further. It's much easier to backtrack and undo a transition immediately after you have applied it than it is later on down the line.

Step 6

Save your work. Once you have finished applying video effects to your work, you will need to file it away for safekeeping. Saving your work in Adobe Premiere Software is not unlike saving your work in a standard word processing program. You only need to press "File" at the top of the screen, then press "Save." This will ensure that your movie making will committed to your computer's memory.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take time to observe how video effects are used in your favorite movies or television programs. While these programs may contain highly-entertaining content, fancy video effects may also be used sparingly by their producers. Thus, notice how a range of video effects can be put to use to your advantage rather than simply be put to use for the sheer sake of trying to get your money's worth out of Adobe Premiere.
  • Unless you are using advanced editing techniques, be sure to place your transition over the "edit point" between your two video clips. If you place the transition too far the left, the video from the first clip may fade too early and then suddenly expose the material from the second clip. Similarly, if you position the transition too far to the right, the video from the first clip will fade too late, and will also enter into the second clip far later than you may intend.