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Animate Video Editor Transitions

Blender 3d tutorial

Video Transitions

Transitions are a key part of a video or slide show. Done right, they can set your work apart from everyone else and take your work to the next level. Fortunately for Blender users, the built in video editor gives us many ways to create transitions in our videos.

To create basic transitions in your videos in Blender 3D, we will load and align various strips in the sequencer and create various transition effects. Transitions created will include a basic fade, wipe, slide, and fade to black effect.

Opening the Video Editor

To get things started open up Blender. To get to the video editing tools we have to change the layout of Blender. You could do this manually by changing each of the windows or you can use the Video Editor layout preset.

You can find this preset with all of the other layout presets in the dropdown directly to the right of the help menu. Simply click on the dropdown button and select Video Editing.

Loading Strips

The video editor includes many types of strips you can use. Movie, image, and sound strips come from files saved on your computer. Scene strips use a scene you have created in the Blender file you are currently in. Effect strips are strips that effect other strips in the video editor. There are also Mask and Clip strips, which we will not go over in this tutorial.

To start our slide show with transitions, load an image into the editor. To do this, select image from the Add menu, as shown in the image here. Then select an image.

Once you have selected your file, you should see a strip appear in the editor. If you cannot see it (which happens quite often), try zooming out or using the middle mouse button to pan around until you find it.

Aligning Strips

Now that you have your first strip we need to make sure it is positioned correctly. You can move strips by clicking and dragging them in the editor or by selecting a strip and changing the settings in the properties panel (Press N). Make sure that your first strip has a Start Frame of 0, Length of 100, and put it on channel 1.

Now add another image strip to the scene, just as we did with the first. Once added, drag it to the row above the first strip with some overlap between the two, similar to what you see in the image here. Like the other strip, give it a length of 100 frames.

Each row is the video editor is called a channel. Channels act similar to layers. Strips on higher channels will overlay and cover strips below. This will be important when we start making transitions.

Basic Fade

A very common transition is to fade from one image to another. This transition requires two strips to overlap, as we have already set up. Now you need to select the two strips that are meant to fade into each other. The order you select is important! Select the first strip, then the second strip. The first strip will be the one that fades out. The second will fade in. Blender doesn't care what channel the strip is on.

After selecting the strips in the correct order, add a Cross strip (Shift-A, Effect Strip, Cross). You'll see a new strip above the overlap of the two strips. If you hit play or click and drag over this part of the timeline, you should see the fading effect in action.

Something to note before continuing is that Gamma Cross creates a similar effect, but it does it in a different way.


Another simple transition is the wipe transition. To do this, add another image strip to the editor, give it a length of 100 and make it overlap with the second strip in the same way we have done with the first two. If you need to extend the scene duration from the default 250 frames, feel free to do so.

Now, select the second strip, then our newly added strip. Remember, order matters! Add a Wipe effect strip (Shift-A, Effect Strip, Wipe).

Unlike the previous effect, this one has many options to change the way it looks. In the properties panel (Press N), under the Effect Strip section, you can change the amount of blur on the edge of the wipe effect, the angle of the wipe, and the direction of the wipe. Play around with the settings to get something you like!

Slide Out Setup

Like before, add another image strip to our video editor and make sure it overlaps with the last image strip. Then select the two strips, in the correct order, and add an Over Drop effect strip (Shift-A, Effect Strip, Over Drop). Right now, the effect won't do much, so let's change some settings.

Select the Over Drop strip, and open the Properties Panel (Press N). Change the Blend setting in the Edit Strip section to Over Drop. The will allow use to see the image behind our sliding image in the video. Other settings simply show black.

Now turn on the Image Offset setting in the Strip Input section. The X and Y settings that appear will give us control over the sliding effect that we will create in the next step.

Slide Out Keyframes

For this transition to work, we need to use keyframes. We will use the image offset settings to do so. To insert the first keyframe, move the vertical green bar in the strip editor to the first frame of the transition. Then, right click the X value on the Image Offset setting and select Insert Keyframe.

For the second keyframe, move the vertical green bar to the last frame of the transition and change the X value of the Image Offset setting until the image fully slides out of view. Then, right click the Image Offset X value and select Insert Keyframe.

If you play your video, you should see your image slide out of view, revealing the next. Keep in mind, you can combine the X and Y offsets to change the direction of the slide and, just like any other animation, the F-Curve editor can give you even more control over the transition between keyframes. However, I will leave that to another tutorial.

Fade to Black

Finally, the trusty fade to black at the end of every video. Instead of adding another image, add a color strip. You can find this under the Effects strips (Shift-A, Effect Strip, Color). Then position it so it overlaps the last strip like we have done before.

It is black by default, but you can change the color in the Effect Strip section of the Properties Panel.

Now, select the last image strip then our color strip and add a Cross effect strip (Shift-A, Effect Strip, Cross). Once you've done that, your transition is done!

With that, I will end this tutorial. If you want, you can render your video and you should get something similar to the video at the beginning of this tutorial.

Keep Learning!

No single tutorial will cover everything, so if you want to dig deeper, here are some resources for you to check out. If you have other resources you think I should add to this list, feel free to let me know!

Blender Docs



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  •  anonymous / 39 / rookie
    These tuts are clear and very well-written. I've always like their format, with just enough depth to get things started in new areas. Thanks for posting them.