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FCP X: A Quick Guide To Adding And Modifying Transitions
David Smith on Sun, November 6th 1 comments
Once they get a handle on how FCP X works, most users agree it's the future of Non-Linear Editing. It is quick & enjoyable to edit video. David Smith shows how easy it is to add & modify transitions.

This is a quick little run-through of how FCP X adds transitions and then allows you to modify them. Just enough to get you thirsty for more, I hope.

Step 1 - Add a Transition

Click on an edit point to select it. Make certain that the Edit Point is one that has Handles, in order to allow an overlap for the transition to take place. 

Edit selection

Edit selection.

Press Command-T to insert the default cross dissolve, or else choose Edit > Add Cross Dissolve. A standard one second cross-dissolve will be added at the edit point. 

Tip: 1 second is the default length unless there is insufficient handle space for that, in which case the transition will be as long as it can be up to 1 second.

Cross dissolve in

Cross dissolve in.

Step 2 - Modify the Transition

Select one of the edges of the transition and drag back and forth to modify its length, A tool tip appears indicating how many frames are being added or subtracted as you do. 

The Tooltip

The Tooltip.

Place the skimmer in the middle of the transition and it turns into the Roll Tool. This enables you to drag the edit point under the transition back and forth to change the timing. 

Rolling the Edit Point

Rolling the Edit Point.

To make fine adjustments, hover the skimmer over the edit point, so it turns into the Roll tool and press , (comma) or . (period) to roll one frame at a time. 

Step 3 - Swap the Transition

Open the Media Browser (Command-5) and have a look through the Transitions:

Media Browser, Transitions

Media Browser, Transitions.

Skim over he Thumbnails to see an instant preview of the transitions before selecting one. Choose Dissolves > Fade to Color

Drag the Fade to Color transition from the Media Browser and place it over the top of the Cross Dissolve you inserted earlier. 

Swap Transitions

Swap Transitions.

When the Cross Dissolve highlights with a white box you can release the new Fade to Color and they will swap (note the duration and position stay the same).

The Inspector

The Cross Dissolve highlighted.

Step 4 - Modify The Fades Properties

Select the transition in the Project Timeline and open the Inspector (Command-4).

Midpoint and Hold

The Inspector.

The Inspector Window contains all the editable parameters for the selected transition. In the case of this Fade to Color you can control three areas:

  • Midpoint: The Midpoint parameter decides where in the transition the fade reaches its peak. Try setting the Midpoint handle to 20% and play around (Shift-?) you see the fade dips to the color quicker at the start than at the end. 

The Midpoint

The Midpoint.

  • Hold: Hold allows the adjustment of how long the Fade holds the Color before fading back to the image again. Try setting the Hold handle to 5%; this creates a short period of full color and keeps the transition smooth. (Tip: to slow down the transition, for a scene change for instance try a Hold of 80%).

  • Color: The Color picker enables the changing of the color that is being faded through. Convention would suggest Black (R:0 G:0 B:0), or White (R:255 G:255 B:255). You can always experiment yourself of course. 

Adjust the fade hold color

The color picker.

Step 5 - Remove Transitions

Select the Grey transition in the Project Timeline, hit Delete and it's gone!

Transitions in FCP X offer some really nice options, experiment some more. 

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Comments (1)

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  • sufiboy
    it's final cut x. that is, ten in roman numerals, please don't refer to it as final cut x.
    • 8 years ago
    • By: sufiboy
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