“I ate ten donuts. As a result, I felt sick.

You may wonder what that sentence has to do with this blog. The truth is that in the given sentence phrase “As a result” acts as a transition. In texts, transitions are words or phrases that show the relationship between two separate sentences. They create better cohesion by signaling how ideas relate to one another. 

But what are transitions in animation?

In videos, transitions are changes between two scenes that provide visual continuity to the user interface. They can be considered as “bridges” that connect a story sequence from the start point until the finish line.

No matter whether you are watching a Hollywood blockbuster or two-minute commercial, any video is composed of a number of individual frames that are edited together into the final result.

The transitions can be portrayed by using different kinds of visual effects and motion techniques e.g. cut, fade, slide, and morphing. Certainly, there are many more, but for now, we will discuss a few of them.

In most cases when a video maker wants to join two shots together, they use a basic cut.

– in which the first image is instantly replaced by the next. Here is an example of such a transition.

But it looks too simple, wouldn’t you agree? Now let’s take a look on more artistic transitions.

A fade is when the scene gradually turns to a single color

— most frequently black or white (also, it can occur when a scene gradually appears on screen). Generally, fade-ins occur at the beginning of a scene, while fade-outs take place at the end. Take a look at the example.

The next transition is – slide (also referred to as wipe)

Slide is a transition from one shot to the next while it moves across the screen. They can begin at any corner and move diagonally in the opposite direction.

And last but not least – Morphing transitions.

Morphing is a special effect that changes one image or shape into another through a seamless transition. Morph works across two separate frames and recognizes any objects that are on both in order to make a harmonious transition between the two.

Most video editing programs have a large library of built-in transitions, which gives opportunities to make your videos fancier. I always start by drawing sketches to better visualize transitions. I’m looking for the main shape that can creatively be part of the next scene.

In the below example, I used the fridge as a transitioning object, which helped move to the next frame smoothly without breaking the consistency of the shot.

One of my personal favorite examples of morphing transitions is an animation prepared by an Apple. The whole video is based on morphing transitions which create an astounding sense of consistency and produce an elevated piece of art.

The most important rule that will help you improve transitions is to KEEP IT SMOOTH.

If transitions are put in the wrong places, they will seem harsh to the viewers’ eyes. Try to make everything seem effortless and natural.

Always remember that the human eye is sensitive to motion. When watching an animation they are on a train of thought and transitions keep the vehicle running smoothly to not interrupt the viewer’s ride.