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iLife '04: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 15. Transitions and Special Effects

This chapter is about two iMovie tools—Transitions and Effects—that can make your raw footage look even better than it is. Both of these tools are represented by buttons on the Clips/Effects/Sound panel that occupies the right side of your screen. This chapter covers both of these powerful moviemaking techniques.

About Transitions

What happens when one clip ends and the next one begins? In about 99.99 percent of all movies, music videos, and commercials—and in 100 percent of camcorder movies before the Macintosh era—you get a cut. That’s the technical term for “nothing special happens at all.” One scene ends, and the next one begins immediately.

Professional film and video editors, however, have at their disposal a wide range of transitions—special effects that smooth the juncture between one clip and the next. For example, the world’s most popular transition is the crossfade or dissolve, in which the end of one clip gradually fades away as the next one fades in (see Figure 15-1). The crossfade is so popular because it’s so effective. It gives a feeling of softness and grace to the transition, and yet it’s so subtle that the viewer might not even be conscious of its presence.

The world’s most popular and effective transition effect: a cross dissolve.

Figure 15-1. The world’s most popular and effective transition effect: a cross dissolve.

Like all DV editing programs, iMovie offers a long list of transitions, of which ...

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