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Final Cut Pro Power Tip: Changing the Default Transition

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There’s nothing wrong with the default video transition in Final Cut Pro, except that it’s too long. Boring! Larry Jordan shows you how to change the default into your favorite transition and make it accessible with a keyboard shortcut.
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The default video transition in Final Cut Pro is a 30-frame cross-dissolve. This means that if you select an edit point, you can use one of my favorite keyboard shortcuts, Cmd-T, to apply this default transition automatically.

What? You’re not happy with the default 30-frame cross-dissolve video transition? Well, I must confess, I don’t like it either. My personal default video transition is a 20-frame cross-dissolve.

Here’s how to change it:

  1. Click the Effects tab in the Browser (see Figure 1).
    Figure 01

    Figure 1 Click the Effects tab in the Browser to access the Video Transitions folder.

  2. Twirl down Video Transitions > Dissolves. The current default transition is underlined, as shown in Figure 2.
    Figure 02

    Figure 2 The default video (and audio) transitions are indicated by an underline. Bold text indicates real-time transitions.

  3. If you want to use a different transition as the default, select the transition you want. If all you want is to change the length of the transition, however, click the duration in the Length column to select it and change the numbers to the duration you want, as shown in Figure 3.
    Figure 03

    Figure 3 Click the duration in the Length column to change the length of a transition. All transitions default to a standard length of 30 frames.

  4. Once you have the transition selected and the length correct, select Effects > Video Transitions > Set Default. The underline indicates that the transition you selected is now your default transition. Figure 4 shows the results of my changes.
    Figure 04

    Figure 4 Press Enter or Tab to accept the changes to the duration. Then set the default transition from the Effects menu.

You can follow a similar procedure to change the default audio transition. My default audio transition is a four-frame cross-fade (+3 db). Set it by choosing Effects > Audio Transitions > Set Default. You can apply this transition to a selected audio edit point by pressing Option-Cmd-T.

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