|Movie Maker 2 comes with a huge selection of transitions that you can place
between your video clips. There are 60 transitions to choose from, ranging from simple fades
to complex geometric shapes.
When first presented with such a plethora of transition options, you may be tempted to use
them judiciously throughout your video. For a home movie, that’s fine, as your audience will
probably enjoy them. However, if you are trying to create a “professional looking” video, you
may want to go easy on the transitions … after all, you don’t see any transitions in movies or
Actually, there are a few transitions that you will see in movies and film, but they are subtle
and you probably don’t notice them …
- The “Cut”
This isn’t really a transition, but a switch in movie clips … when one clip ends, the next
one immediately begins. The timing of cuts is very important and there are many funny and
amazing things you can do with careful timing. Fortunately, Movie Maker makes it easy to
cut your scenes by allowing you to “trim” the ends of your video clips.
- The fade
The fade is the most useful (and most used) transition. It is simply a cross-dissolve between
two scenes, and in movies typically occurs when the story changes locations.
- The wipe
This effect is used less often than the fade, but implies the same thing … a change in location.
This effect is more obvious than the fade, and the audience is supposed to “notice” the effect.
The wipe denotes a major change in location … and even a change in time. In a movie like
“The Gladiator” or “Conan the Barbarian” the wipe might be used to show the main character
changing over time … wiping between clips of the character aging and getting stronger.
The audience should be focused and engrossed with the movie and not with your transition effects.
So, it’s important to keep your transitions “transparent” or “invisible” by using them sparingly.
An exception to the rule
One place that you might want to use fancy transitions, is in a photo slideshow. Movie maker
lets you import pictures from your digital camera and lay them on your timeline as a “video slideshow.”
You can even add music or a descriptive voice track over these photos.
Because photos are static and non-moving, transitions are great because they add “motion”
to your movie. A photo slide-show is one place that you can get away with those crazy transitions
and still create a video that looks professional.
Other ways to transition …
There are other ways to create “transitions” between scenes that don’t rely on your computer
but careful planning. If you ever want to see a movie with clever transitions, rent the 80’s
action movie “Highlander.” The main character in this movie (a 1,000 year old sword master living
in New York) has constant “flashbacks” to his youth in medieval Scotland. To transition to these
flashbacks, the director uses only clever editing. In one scene, the camera will zoom in on the
character’s eyes while he drives his car, cut, then zoom back from his eyes while he is in the
middle of a ancient sword fight. In another scene, the camera pans over to his office aquarium
and moves up to the aquarium water’s surface … then the scene cuts to the water surface of a
medieval lake. Clever stuff … but it takes a lot of preplanning!
Rules are meant to be broken, and the above transition recommendations are only observations.
If you want to use crazy transitions in your video … go right ahead! After all, you are the creative
genius behind your film!
Next: Add Music to your Movie Maker projects
You can find more
useful home-video "tips and tricks" like this one at Mighty Coach
- they even have an online-video course that teaches you to edit
video on your home computer!