7 Effective Video Transitions and When to Use Them

7 Effective Video Transitions and When to Use Them

How do you make professional-looking video content without spending too much money or time?

You've just finished editing your video and hit play, but something doesn't feel quite right. The shots are good, but they don't go together as you've imagined. There's just something off about how they are glued together. You've done your cuts, trims, and other basic editings, but those trendy transitions that you used to jump between different scenes just don’t show that particular mood you aimed for. But which one? Is it the fades, the wipe left, or maybe right, or the dissolves?  

They come in all shapes and sizes, so despite being created to make video editing run smoothly, finding the right types of video transitions that elevates your video can be quite annoying. But don't you worry! We've narrowed it down and put together the best transitions for your next project that don’t just look cool, they also give your audience a storytelling experience worth sharing.


What are video transitions, and why use it?

Hop on this transition journey if you are one of the few video editors exploring how to transform your skills for the ever growing social media marketplaces, even if you don’t have the budget, time, or crew to create professional-looking videos. 

The sun never sets on improving your video editing skills. And we're here to shed some light on the wide world of transitions so you won't have to wonder to no avail.  

Making viral videos that grab viewers' attention comes down to the perfect mix of artistry and practicality. By the end of this journey, you'll dissolve the cheesy transitions but won't fade out your own style by trying new transitions, and a glitch might lead you to the perfect cross-dissolve of originality. So, let's dive deeper!

What makes or breaks a scene? What knits together your video? Transitions, also known as the editing's backbone, are the ones that move a scene smoothly from one shot to another. They will smoothly get your viewers from one scene to another without missing a moment. The effectiveness of transitions is what makes or breaks a video.

Whether you're a video editing rookie or a highly skilled video editor, understanding common transitions and how to use them thoughtfully in your editing process will help you tell better stories and open new doors in the industry. So let's see how you can subtly change scenes, seamlessly transition from one shot to another, and smoothly put together shots, and what video editing tools to use so your video editing process won't take you until doomsday.


Mastering video transitions

Shoot with the edits in mind — Why not ease your editing process right from pre-production? Shoot with a plan, how the scenes will transition from one another, and what special effects you'll add. Plan everything in seconds, if possible, to have a smooth editing journey. 

Know the narrative —Edit your video with viewers' emotions in mind. Transitions can provide viewers with emotional reactions to the narrative and guide them from one scene to another. Before dragging and dropping transitions to your Timeline, consider the context. Glitch transitions are great for action-packed content, but fade transitions are more fitting for dramatic storylines that include changes in setting or time.

The best transitions are the invisible ones — When we refer to invisible transitions, we mean those that viewers can't notice, but they still build momentum or help the story progress smoothly. You don't want to distract viewers from the video content itself, that's why tools like Flixier offer a wide range of subtle transitions to avoid jarring scene flow. 

80% of videos are read — We’ve already covered here why we cannot stress enough the importance of adding subtitles and why people don’t watch anymore online video content with sound on. So play it pro, meet your audience’s needs, and add captions to your videos to double your chances of being watched and shared.



7 creative transitions that will transform your video editing

1. Fade Transitions

Fade effects are a revolutionary subtype of dissolve transitions used to transition to or from a solid color, usually white or black. They're a very popular gradual transition between scenes, sometimes overused, but when placed right, they definitely pack a punch. Since the dawn of video editing, fade transitions, because there are two of them, like in every successful romance story, are still more effective than standard cuts. Some might consider them dated effects. However, there are plenty of viral content examples that state otherwise. 

When to use it? Mostly used in movie trailers or eye-catching teasers, fade usually helps show a change of time or location without explicitly having to say it or a jump forward or backward. It's a staple transition used to create parallelism and draw more attention. A slow fade from one scene to another after an impactful line gives viewers a visual pause, a time to reflect. So use it wisely in moments when you want it to be noticed. 

While a fade from black marks the beginning of a journey, a fade out to black states the opposite, the end of a journey or a heavy moment, enhancing the storytelling effect. And remember that it's not just what your audience sees but how they feel when the shot slowly fades in.


2. Butterfly wave

An energetic subtype of fade effect that simply fades out the sluggish feel of any video. The use of Butterfly wave transition in your videos depends on your video's purpose and tone, not only for tying together two scenes but also to convey an emotion or rhythm. Don't go the road of overdoing the bells and whistles; wave-like distortion edits should be used sparingly and match the mood of the shot. Using too much to create an undulating effect in a single video could make it seem choppy. 

Furthermore, customizing the butterfly wave allows you to create a unique and creative effect on product videos. Many creators are accustomed to editing transitions using app templates in TikTok or Instagram, but those pre-made templates give their videos an unprofessional look. Using an online video editor to add video filters and transitions to create a masterpiece does not have to involve cumbersome methods of editing.


3. Glitch

An attention-grabber in all videos, the glitch effect breaks the stillness like a modern beat. Very popular on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, as well as music videos, video games, and some horror movies, this transition is merely used to spice up a title, an intro, or a rapid change of scene, giving the video a more dynamic look. Go for an original effect with unique distortion. The easiest way to use this effect is to choose an online video editor with already preset glitch effects in their library, like Flixier, where you can apply different types of glitch effects and make fine adjustments to them for some extra visual interest to your content. Adding a sound effect to match the glitch transitions will only enhance your viewer's attention.


4. Zoom

If you want to pull out your viewers from one shot and land them into the next one, zoom transitions are the way to go. From TikTok to YouTube Shorts to Instagram Reels, zoom transitions add a lot of energy to your content and can easily shift audience focus from one scene to another, especially when there are identical or very similar shot themes. Whether it's travel vlogs, dynamic ads, or social media posts, zoom transitions give that energetic vibe to your content. From keeping your audience glued to the screen to conveying a fast-paced storyline and everything in between, Zoom in and Zoom out will help you create that sense of movement, like zooming in at the end of your first shot and zooming out on your next one, cutting from a wider shot. In addition to the standard Zoom effects, some online editors, like Flixier, have other zoom presets such as Cross Zoom, Dreamy Zoom, Simple Zoom, and Zoom in Circles. Don't worry, you don't need to be an expert to use it. It's super easy and will help you add to the storyline rather than take it away from it.


5. Ripple transition

The iconic cinematic effect of the '70s and '80s, the ripple transition, was often used to recall a moment, evoking nostalgia. Very similar to cross dissolve being under the dissolve transitions umbrella, the ripple effect is where two shots overlap each other. Usually used to move back or forward in time or jump from one storyline to another, this transition has the effect of a raindrop falling into a puddle. Use it wisely in your video editing; it's one of those common transitions that could kill a good shot.

6. Kaleidoscope transition

One of the most hypnotic transitions that you just have to leverage in your next one-of-its-kind masterpiece. When you are assigned a crazy project or just want to dive deep into your toolkit transitions for a playful way to dazzle your audience, just use Kaleidoscope. 

It's the one that sticks in most people's minds from when they were kids, so its impact at a subconscious level should not be overviewed. 

When to use it? When you are creating a fast-moving travel vlog, fashion videos, intros, trailers, or any other fast-paced short video. It is used successfully to re-adjust the viewer's focus and keep them hooked.


7. Wipe transitions

This is quite an iconic transition from Star Wars, where a scene is pushed off the screen by the next one like it would have been wiped away. It has continued to be creatively reinvented in modern video editing. Mirroring the visuals of a courting drop, nowadays, you can use it in any direction you want: left, right, up, down, or directional. 

It is more noticeable than the previous transitions, drawing attention to itself and being suitable for marketing, educational, or business videos. It transitions from one storyline to another, jumping in place and time. With a playfulness tone, the wipe transition conveys a certain style, tone, or mood, enhancing the narratives, 

The most used one is the straight line wipe that moves from left to right, right to left, up or down. There are also more complex wipe transitions, like Flixier’s directional wipe transition, where you can adjust the duration and position as per your preference.


In a fade-out tone

While there is no magic button for putting together creative and viral videos, there are magic apps, like online video editors, that don't require technical know-how. With Flixier, you can play it professionally without complicated software and long rendering time, being the most intuitive and easy-to-use editing tool that helps you create your next one-of-its-kind viral masterpiece. You'll only master these transitions through trial and error until you find what works better and in what type of video content.  You won't use a glitch effect on a historical documentary, as you won't go over the board with five different kinds of transitions in a one-minute video presentation. Great transitions don't stand out; they just guide the viewers through the narratives with seamless moves from one shot to another. 

We have been using the Flixier video editing tool to showcase all the transitions above since it is easy to use, accessible from any browser, having a super-friendly interface, making it easy to cut, adjust, and add transitions to video even if you don't possess a set of advanced editing transitions skills. Give it a try!

Frequently asked questions

When to use transitions in video editing?

How many different transitions should I use in a video?

What transition is most commonly used for video?

What is the difference between transition and effect?

Create beatiful videos in minutes with Flixier

  • fast editing on any device - no installs
  • super easy to use
  • built-in libraries of Motion Titles and Transitions
Get Started

Dramatically speed up your video editing