Using Effects as Transitions in Premiere Pro

A soft edge wipe can be created with the wipe effect

A soft edge wipe can be created with the wipe effect

Over on Creative Cow’s Premiere Pro forum, user Jaysin Osterkamp asked, “where is the white flash transition in Premiere Pro?” This transition is a common effect used by editors, but is not included in Premiere Pro. So, what do you do in this situation? My advice is to create your own transition using video effects.

There are a couple of ways to create a transition from an effect, one involves the use of transparency to reveal the incoming clip. This typically requires that you overlap the clips on two different video tracks. The other way to create a transition from an effect is to ramp up controls to obscure the incoming clip, then ramp those controls back down to reveal it. In this case, it is not necessary to overlap the clips.

Let’s look at the first way to create a transition from an effect: revealing an incoming clip using transparency. For example, let’s say you want to reveal an incoming clip using an edge wipe with a soft edge. Normally, the Wipe transition would be the one to choose, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, there is no option to feather an edge in a wipe transition, so, now what? One group of effects that is most useful for custom transitions is, yes, the transitions category. In this case, transparency is used to reveal the incoming clip. One of these is perfectly suited for my edge wipe with a soft edge. Here’s how:

  1. Overlap the outgoing and incoming clips. The outgoing clip should be on V2 and the incoming clip on V1.
  2. From Effects>Video Effects>Transition, drag and drop the Linear Wipe on the outgoing clip.
  3. Place the playhead where you want the effect to begin.
  4. Add a keyframe for Transition Completion and leave it set to 0%.
  5. Move the playhead where you want the effect to end, typically at the end of a clip.
  6. Click on Transition Completion and enter 100 to complete the transition.
  7. Move the playhead to be between the keyframes to see the transition reveal the incoming clip.
  8. Adjust the Feather parameter to taste.
  9. Playback the effect and see if you are satisfied with it.

Now, let’s take a look at creating the white flash transition. It is made using the second method: ramping effects up and then back down to reveal an incoming clip. Remember, it is not necessary to overlap clips to pull off this effect. Premiere Pro Help moderator and editor extraordinaire, Ann Bens, provides this recipe for creating the white flash effect.

  1. Add the Fast Blur effect and the Levels effect to each clip.
  2. 10 frames from the end of the outgoing clip, set keyframes for blurriness, RGB white input and RGB gamma.
  3. 5 frames from the end set RGB Gamma to 50.
  4. Now go to the last frame and set RGB white input to 0 and blurriness to 20.
  5. For the incoming clip set keyframes to be the reverse of the outgoing clip. For example, on the first frame set a keyframe for blurriness to 20, and RGB white input to 0, etc.
  6. Playback the effect and make any adjustments, as necessary.

Of course, once you have created these cool new effects, save them as effects presets. For details on doing that, see this page in Premiere Pro Help.

These are just a couple of examples of using effects as transitions. The options are really limitless. Next time you can’t find a certain kind of transition, try building your own using effects.

8 Responses to Using Effects as Transitions in Premiere Pro

  1. “Unfortunately, there is no option to feather an edge in a wipe transition” – actually, there is. It’s called “linear wipe”. Some cool tips just the same.

  2. Oh wait, I commented too soon, haha. I see you mentioned it after all.

  3. Thanks – So simple and effective yet a pain in the butt to figure out without your knowledge.

  4. Mihael says:

    Oh yes. Everything can be crated. Even nice S-gamma dissolves, by playing with keyframes on transparency at overlaping clips. But this is not nearly as creative as pressing CTRL+D for a standard dissolve. Not even we have several shortcut for several transitions (shortcut can be only for ONE!), but we not have even such a must have and modern transitions to speed up work, such as feathered wipe, s-gamma dissolve and others. That remind me to my first NLE: Avid media composer. Even the simplest stuff needed to be created by hand.

    But we waited several (5?) versions of PPro to get “exponential fade” for sound, so for shure we will get wipe with feather in a version 9 or so. If I calculate Adobe’s income they get from us and such a tiny progress they make from version to version… As Audition and Premiere, they buy most of the software from real programers, than they need 5 versions to figure out how to adopt GUI to common Adobe layout, and as for both mentioned programs, they needed all that version to figure out mediocre (stil improving) dynamic linking between thoose. They can’t even implement excelent save/backup system from Audition to Premiere, where Premiere still have 20-years old “stop all-lock all” saving “procedure”, and bogus database system (xml) which crashes regulary (even on 2600K, 16GB, 64-bit), when a regular full feature is (tried to) being edited.

    But yes, I’m using Premire Pro from version 1, since it’s the cheapest from all capable software (I worked on Avid, Liquid and Incite, +all possible linear sytems).

    Among all workaround, It is still good to know something new. Let say hot to save some (regular) transition to favorites, to search it faster.

  5. Pingback: HOWTO: Using Effects as Transitions in Premiere Pro « Web Page Authority Blog

  6. ray says:

    I don’t have transition effects all the folder it’s empty why???

  7. GIORGIO LARI says:

    I am looking for a manual, a written guide to study and learn Adobe premiere.
    I find not useful the videos that you suggest: me and most of as, we don’t know perfectly the English language.
    We can read it, but we have difficulty understand en follow in every steps the people toking in your videos with so many different accents and where the icons of Premiere are so small.

    Can I find a guide that take as step by step from the getting-start?