Help Center Apple iMovie Transitions

When to Use Transitions

Simple transitions can add a lot to the emotional impact of a piece. However, in the same way that you do not want to have ten fonts in a single document, you must choose your transitions wisely.

You need to be able to answer yes to each of the following questions before you use a transition:

  • Is a transition truly needed?
  • Is there a good reason for having this transition?
  • Is this transition the most appropriate one?

To view and Add transitions click on the bin tab "editing," as though you weren't already doing just that. Now we're editing with style!


Previewing a Transition

The Transitions panel contains a list of the transitions available in iMovie. To see an example of a transition click on a transitions name.


Adjusting a Transition

The Transitions Duration slider above the list of transitions can be dragged to lengthen or shorten the length of the transition. The numbers at either end of the slider show the shortest and longest time you may use. When you release the slider you will see a quick preview and the actual length of the transition will be displayed in the lower right corner. Never make a transition longer than the clip that you intend to use. The time is shown in seconds and frames. A transition lasting 1:10 would last one second and ten frames.

Inserting a Transition

To insert a transition, click and drag the Preview screen to the Movie Track and place it where you want it to be. The transition will join the two clips. A TV icon will appear where the transition is placed. Most transitions go between two clips. Fade and Wash can only go at the beginning and end of a movie, because they interact with a single clip.

Rendering a Transition

Each transition has to be rendered. This means that every frame in the transition clip has to be reconstructed for the movie. A red line along the bottom of the TV icon shows that this is happening. You may continue to work with your movie while rendering takes place.

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