Editing transitions

Fade-out and fade-in

A fade-out is a gradual transition with a darkening of the end of the shot until the moment when the picture disappears and fades into darkness. On the contrary, a fade-in is a transition from darkness in the beginning of the shot to the appearance of our presented picture. Fade-out and fade-in effects are mostly used as transitions between larger sequences, such as an ending or a beginning. In a creative sense, their use is unlimited.




A dissolve or an overlapping is the simultaneous exchange of two pictures. One picture slowly disappears while the other picture slowly appears. The most basic use of a dissolve is to suggest the change of time and space.


Computer/ Pixel dissolve

For this effect, we need modern computer technology. Here we don’t mean the regular dissolving of one picture into another, but rather one picture directly fading into another. A picture is generated in the process of pixelation, in which the computer precisely changes each part (pixel) of the picture.


Transition without focus

A transition without focus means, that the ending of the first shot is fading by losing focus, while the beginning of the next shot is slowly appearing by gaining focus.



A whitening is the gradual lighting of a picture until the moment when the picture disappears into white or appears from the whiteness. It has the opposite effect as fade-out/fade-in but its function is similar.



This is the practice of pushing out one picture with another. It’s a less discreet transition than a dissolve. There are “soft-edge” and “hard-edge” wipes. A “hard-edge” wipe has a clearly visible line, on which the two pictures are joined. This line can travel over the screen horizontally, vertically, diagonally or in any other direction. We get the feeling that the new picture is pushing out the old. In the “soft-edge” wipe, the edges between the adjacent pictures are blurred or unsharp.


Swish pan

It’s the fastest and clearest division between two shots. We refer to a swish pan when there is a very fast and usually horizontal pan by the camera at the end of a shot or at the beginning the next. It is rarely a separately made shot, placed between two normally filmed shots.


Double exposure

It is the simultaneous use of two pictures, placed one over the other in the editing process. Triple or multiple exposures are also possible.


Divided picture

We refer to a divided picture when we combine two or more different shots on the screen, which do not mutually overlap.


Finally, we need to add that editing transitions are always changing and upgrading as they are connected to the daily development of computer technology.