Wilson Arrowsmith, Junior Videographer


Done well, transitions can allow clips to work in cohesion; done wrong, they can upset the whole rhythm and identity of a sequence.

Fortunately, there is a huge array of pre-made transitions supplied either by editing softwares or content creators. But sometimes you need to be a bit more dynamic and ‘tailor make’ your transitions to fit a specific situation.

This being said, I’d like to share with you a transition that I created in a recent edit and give an insight into how and why it was made.

Stage 1

Technically speaking this transition isn’t difficult to re-create but I like the simplicity and creativity of it.

To give some context, I created this transition whilst editing a fast paced sequence of subject who was ice skating, which involved a lot of quick camera movements.

I came to a shot (clip 1) where the subject skates off the right edge of the frame, and the camera holds for a second on the empty frame. The camera then pans to the left slightly, see below.

Stage 2

In the next shot the subject re-enters the frame from left to right.

This is when I had the idea to stitch these shots together. I was hoping it would create the illusion that the subject walks off the frame to the right, and then re-enters the frame from the left, within a second or two.

The first step in creating this effect was to duplicate the ‘left pan’ camera movement at the end of clip 1, and reverse it to make a ‘right pan’ movement. This would make the movement in the end of clip 1 the same as in the beginning of clip 2:

Stage 3

I then sped up the second camera movement I had just created by 4x. I wanted to make it look more explosive because the subject would be jumping into frame quite violently in the next shot. There was also an ‘explosive’ beat in the music which I wanted to mimic with this transition.

Stage 4

I then found the point in clip 2, just before the subject jumped on frame, where only the ice is visible in the frame. The camera is moving to the right in this shot which matches the ‘explosive’ artificial right hand pan I created in the previous shot. The idea from this point is to blend/match those two clips as closely as possible to give the illusion that the shot doesn’t change.

Stage 5

I then smoothed out the transition by matching the colours of the ice in both shots and adding a very short cross fade between the two clips, giving the illusion that the shot doesn’t change yet the skater jumps back into the same shot he left moments ago.

Along with well timed music, this transition gives a great effect.

Here’s the final version of the teleporting ice skater!