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The Transitions palette

Adobe Premiere 6.5 includes a wide range of transitions, including 3D motion, dissolves, wipes, and zooms. The transitions are grouped into folders, by type, in the Transitions palette. Each transition is listed with a unique icon to the left of its name.

Figure 1

  1. If the Transitions/Video/Audio palette is not visible, choose Window > Show Transitions. If necessary, click the Transitions tab to make it active and resize the Transitions palette by dragging its lower right corner.

  2. Double-click the Dissolve folder or click the Expand/Collapse button to the left of the Dissolve folder to see the types of dissolve transitions available. Notice that the Cross Dissolve icon is outlined in red. This indicates that Cross Dissolve is selected as the default transition.

    Figure 2

  3. On the Navigator/Info/History palette, click the Info tab (if the Info palette is not already active), to see a description of the selected transition. As you select a transition, its description and icon appear in the Info palette.

  4. Now, click and hold the small black arrow in the upper right corner of the Transitions palette and choose Animate from the menu, if it is not already selected. Animate allows you to see the style of each type of transition. If you find the animated icons distracting while you work, de-select Animate.

Transition parameters

All transitions have duration, alignment, and direction parameters. Some transitions have additional parameters such as borders, edge adjustments, and anti-aliasing. The parameters depend on the nature and complexity of the specific transition type.

Duration refers to the number of frames required for the transition. All transitions use frames from the end of the first clip—called tail material—and frames from the beginning of the second clip—called head material—to create the transition.

Alignment refers to the position of the transition in relation to the cut between the two clips. The options are Center at Cut, Start at Cut, and End at Cut.

Direction indicates how the transition operates on the two clips. Normally, the direction will be from clip A to clip B—from left to right in the Timeline. In most cases, Premiere sets the direction of the transition automatically, and you won't have to worry about it. Later in this lesson, you'll use the Track Selector and other controls to modify the direction of a transition.

About the default transition and default settings

Cross Dissolve is the factory setting for the default transition in Premiere 6.5 because it is so frequently used in video and films. In a Cross Dissolve, one scene "dissolves" into another over a brief duration. You can select another transition as the default at any time. The default transition and the default effect settings apply not just to the current project on which you are working; but to all your projects. Working with a default transition is a quick way to insert transitions between clips. You can modify or replace them after you are satisfied with the general flow of the project.

It is often useful to restore the default preferences of Premiere—including the default transition and the default effect settings—to the factory settings before you launch the program for a new project. In this way, you avoid any unintended carryover of specialized settings changes to another project. See "Restoring default preferences" on page 5.

The default effect settings for all transitions specify a duration of 30 frames with the alignment of the transition centered at the cut between the two clips. You can change both the duration and alignment of the transition in the Default Effect dialog box.

For most transitions, the default direction of the transition is from clip A to clip B (left to right in the time sequence). You alter the direction of the transition to move from clip B to clip A by double-clicking the transition icon and making changes in the transition Settings dialog box. Additional effect parameters, if they pertain to a transition, are also changed in the Settings dialog box for that transition.

Modifying the default transition settings

Now, you will modify the default effect settings of the Cross Dissolve transition before you add any clips to the Dream.ppj timeline.

  1. In the Transitions palette, double-click the Dissolve folder and look at the Cross Dissolve transition icon. The icon should be outlined in red to indicate that it is the default transition. Click once on the icon to select the transition.

  2. From the Transitions palette menu, click Set Selected as Default. Now the Cross Dissolve icon is still outlined in red, but the Default Effect dialog box appears so you can modify the settings of the default transition.

    Figure 3

  3. Type 15 to replace 30 as the number of frames to be used for the transition's Effect Duration. Verify that the Effect Alignment is shown as Center at Cut. Click OK.


The Default Effects settings apply to all transitions, not just the transition you have specified as the default transition. So, from time to time, the Fix Transitions dialog box will appear as you work with various transitions, if the parameters of the default effects are in conflict with the number of frames available in the two clips used in the transition.

Working with the default transition

Premiere automatically uses Cross Dissolve as the default transition, as it is one of the most commonly used transitions. If you frequently use another transition, you can set it as the default. The default transition can be added to any project quickly, without stopping to open the Transitions palette by dragging the transition to the Timeline.

To specify a different transition as the default:

  1. Choose Window > Show Transitions.

  2. Select the transition that you want to use as the default.

  3. From the Transitions palette menu, choose Set Selected as Default.

  4. Type the duration that you want for the transition. (You can later change the duration for any specific transition instance in the Timeline.)

  5. Choose the default alignment for the transitions: Center at Cut.

  6. Click OK. These settings remain in effect for all projects until you change them.

To apply a default transition to your project in Single-Track Editing Mode:

  1. Add or position two clips on the Video 1 track so that they meet.

  2. Position the edit line where the two clips meet.

  3. Click the Apply Default Transition button() in the Monitor window, or press Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac OS). If extra frames are not available at the In and Out points of the involved clips, the Fix Transitions dialog box appears. If necessary, select options from this dialog box.

–From the Adobe Premiere 6.0 User Guide, Chapter 4

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