13. Creating Transitions

Transitions are a small but essential part of film grammar. Over the years, transitions have developed an important role in film story language. Filmmakers rely on the audience’s knowledge of the transition “code.” This grammar of transitions and what they signify in movie language has grown up with the movies. These days, viewers are hardly aware of the translations that they make while watching film: Fade-out/fade-in means the passage of time; a ripple dissolve means “it was all a dream”; and a heart-shaped iris wipe means you’re watching reruns of The Dating Game.

Final Cut Pro offers a library of more than 50 transition effects, which range from simple dissolves to complex 3D transitions. This chapter introduces the ...

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