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Inserting a transition

You will first use the Automate to Timeline feature to move two clips into the Timeline with the default transition—Cross Dissolve—between them. Later in this lesson, you will use other methods to insert clips and transitions.

Using Automate to Timeline and the default transition

First, make your clips and transitions a little easier to see in the Timeline.

  1. Choose Windows > Window Options > Timeline Window Options. Then, select the medium-sized Icon Size if it is not already selected. Click OK.

  2. From the Time Zoom Level pop-up menu at the bottom of the Timeline window, select 1 Second so you can see the action clearly, as it happens.

  3. Hold the Control key (Windows) or the Command key (Mac OS) as you click first on the Solar1.mov icon and then on the Earth.mov icon in Bin 1 of the Project window to select both clips.

  4. Choose Project > Automate to Timeline to bring both clips to the Timeline.

  5. In the Automate to Timeline dialog box, change the Contents setting to Selected Clips, change the Ordering setting to Selection Order, and change Clip Overlap from 15 frames to 30 frames. Verify that Sequentially, Beginning, Use Default Transition, and Ignore Audio are selected in the dialog box. Click OK.

    Figure 4

  6. The Cross Dissolve transition appears in the Timeline window between the two clips.

    Figure 5

  7. In the Timeline window, click the Track Mode button () to the right of the Video 1 track label to display the Video 1 upper track, the Transition track, and the Video 1 lower track. This reveals the substructure of the Video 1 track in Single-Track editing mode. Use this expanded view of the tracks for the entire lesson.

Now the Timeline window contains two clips, starting with Solar1.mov in the upper track of Video 1 track and ending with Earth.mov in the lower track of the Video 1 track. The default transition, Cross Dissolve, has been inserted in the transition area between them.

Figure 6

You could also create a storyboard with the clips, use Automate to Timeline using the default transition, then modify or replace selected transitions as needed later. For additional information about creating a storyboard, see Lesson 3 in this Classroom in a Book.

Changing parameters of a transition instance

A transition instance refers to an individual occurrence of a transition in the Timeline. The default settings make the transition operate from clip A to clip B. You can change the direction for a specific instance without changing the default. You do this by changing the direction of the transition after it has been inserted into the Timeline.

  1. Double-click the Cross Dissolve transition icon in the Video 1 Transition track of the Timeline. Now, the Cross Dissolve Settings dialog box appears.

    Figure 7A. Start/End slider  B. Track selector
    C. Transition thumbnail icon area

    The Cross Dissolve Settings dialog box shows the "start" clip in the upper left and the "end" clip at the upper right. By default, "A" and "B" are displayed in these clip thumbnail viewers, but you can display the actual clips instead by clicking the Show Actual Source box below the viewers.

    Now you'll explore transitions.

  2. Click in the Show Actual Sources box to display the starting and ending frames of the clips used in this transition. Solar1.mov is now displayed as clip A and Earth.mov is displayed as clip B, because the direction is set for "A-to-B".

    Below each clip thumbnail viewer is a Start/End Slider that allows you to change the initial and final appearance of the transition. You can adjust the Start sliders separately for different settings, or you can adjust them simultaneously if you want the same setting.

  3. Press and hold the Shift key as you move one of the sliders to 40%. Notice that the other slider moves to the same position.

  4. Put the Start and End sliders back to the original settings for this transition instance.

  5. Click the track selector tool () in the Cross Dissolve Settings dialog box once. The track selector tool sets the direction of the transition—from A-to-B or from B-to-A.

  6. Notice that the direction of the transition is now from clip B to clip A and the arrow faces up. Click OK.

  7. In the Timeline window, select 1/2 Second from the Time Zoom Level. Now you can see the track selector tool with the Cross Dissolve transition icon.

  8. Click the track selector tool once to restore the A-to-B direction for this transition instance. (The arrow now faces down).

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