The classical use of transitions, though not flashy, can be a powerful means to communicate.
Hardly anyone needs to be introduced to video transitions like cuts and fades. Even the dampest newbie instinctively recognizes them from years of watching TV.
Still, the use of such elements needs a closer look. Transitions are key components in the language of video communication --a visual language that's as sophisticated, in its way, as verbal speech. While the beginner speaks video at the "Me Tarzan; you Jane" level, the skilled practitioner communicates more eloquently and precisely.
We'll begin with a quick review of the basics and then move on to using transitions correctly and deploying them with style and above all, restraint.
The classic transitions are, of course, the fade, the cut and the dissolve.
A fade is a gradual transition between an image and black (or sometimes white or another color). "Fade in" brightens from black to picture; "fade out" goes from picture to black.
A cut is an instantaneous change from the last frame of the outgoing shot to the first frame of the incoming shot.
A dissolve is a gradual transition in which the outgoing shot fades out at exactly the same rate, frame-for-frame, as the incoming shot fades in. This perfect overlap is essential because it maintains full screen brightness throughout the transition.
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