On today's Reel Rebel Stephen Schweickart of VScreen.com gives some simple video editing advice on one way (using a 'cut') to ensure your transitions don't make your video look like you are at amateur status or more closely resemble a Power Point Presentation then a professional, classy video.

There are a lot of stock transition animations out there that can be used for video, however while they are easy to use and look fun, in the end they often make your video look cheesy and highly distracting.
In most cases a simple cut is all you need to transition from one clip to the next. This will give your video a clean and professional look and this can be done in three easy steps.

How to Create a Basic 'Cut' to Transition Between Clips

  1. Select the clip from the bin.
  2. Use the handles on either side of the clip and trim it to the desired length.
  3. Drop the clip in the timeline and drag it up to the previous clip to ensure there is no gap in between.
  4. And that's it.

Again, a cut is the most basic transition you can do in video editing but it's the quickest, cleanest, and smoothest way to transition from one clip to another and it helps sometimes to avoid those more flashy transitions that can distract the viewer from what's most important in your video.

Stay tuned for more video editing tips and and advanced video editing series to come.

Question: What's your favorite video transition/swipe to use for patching together interview footage?

  • catchofthedayvideonews

    Good job Mark! 

  • PhillipBarnhard

    Sometimes a solid cross dissolve does the trick. It's not as harsh. Depending on the clips you're bringing together, shorten/lengthen the dissolve for effect.Keith, I'd stick with the hard cut. The audience will be pretty forgiving. If the audio is harsh, you might try a hard cut with an audio transition. A 2-second stinger might help. 

    • KeithShaw

      PhillipBarnhard Thanks for the suggestion! I hadn't thought about the audio stinger idea.

    • Stephen Schweickart

      PhillipBarnhard Couldn't have said it better~ great job!

  • KeithShaw

    When you're editing a video as a live interview (like a product demo at a trade show, for example), and either the interviewee messes up - or there's some dead spots during the recording (like a computer or tablet booting up) - what's the best way to cut that out without a transition? A hard cut seems to disrupt the audio too much - a transition (a simple one, not the star wipe or other such) seems to say... "Later in the interview..." Still too cheesy? Or is disrupting the audio cut still OK?

    • JimS

      That's where shooting b-roll comes in handy. Have something to cut away to to cover edits in an interview. But make sure the cutaway shots are relevant.

      Regarding cuts vs transitions, maybe I'm old school but cuts often mean that there is no change in venue or time, whereas a dissolve implies a change in venue or time.

      Cheesy wipes are generally not a good idea (and don't compress as well). Just because you CAN do an effect doeesn't mean you SHOULD.