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iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Chapter 5. Transitions, Themes, and Travel Maps

Cutting and ordering your clips makes them infinitely more entertaining than the hours of dreck you’d have otherwise. But why stop there? This is computer video editing, after all. The next two chapters cover what you can do between your clips (this chapter) and what you can do to your clips (Video Effects) to make your whole project more vivid.

Impressively enough, there’s no rendering time required by iMovie—no delay while the program computes the effect you’re creating—as there is in most other video-editing programs. You see the effect instantly.

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 5-1.) 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.

Figure 5-1. The world’s ...

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