Education, Pro Tips

How to Create Dynamic Transitions in Premiere Pro


Want to make your content pop with simple, easy-to-learn transitions? Look no further because we’ve got three quick and easy transitions to zhuzh up your projects. They’re no falling poop emoji transition, but they are still handy. Let’s get to them!


Transition 1 – Smooth Zoom

A smooth zoom is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You scale (zoom) clip A, then at the peak of the scale, you cut to clip B. Clip B starts scaled up (zoomed in) and then zooms out at the end of the move. Read on to learn how to create a smooth zoom dynamic transition.

How to Create Dynamic Transitions

To create this dynamic transition, first, make an adjustment layer. An adjustment layer is an empty layer where you can apply effects. Many editors place their adjustment layers above the clips. While we often use adjustment layers for color correction, you can use one here for this quick transition.

Create the adjustment layer by clicking the “New Item” button in the project panel or going to File > New > Adjustment layer while the project panel is selected.

How to Create Dynamic Transitions

Give the adjustment layer the same settings as your sequence, and click okay. It’ll then show up in your project panel. Now drag and place the adjustment layer on top of your footage in the location where you want your transition to occur. Then, trim it down to your preferred duration, which is less than a second in this case.

The next step is to add the movement to the adjustment layer. Go to the effects tab, search for the “Transform” effect, and apply it to the adjustment layer you created by dragging and dropping it onto the layer on the timeline.

To adjust the movement, open the effect controls tab to view the setting options. First, uncheck the “use composition’s shutter angle” box, and type in a shutter angle of at least 350 degrees. This angle gives the transition some motion blur and softens the visuals.

Second, create the “zoom” using the “scale” values in the same transform effect controls. Move the playhead/current time indicator/scrub bar to the point where you want the transition to start.

Click the button to create a new scale keyframe at the current value. Then, scrub a few frames forward to the spot where clip A and B meet, and increase the scale to about three times that of the first keyframe. Changing the value will create a new keyframe. Scrub a few frames forward again where you want the movement to stop. Set your scale back to the original number you started with to create the final keyframe.

How to Create Dynamic Transitions

You’ll need to adjust the interpolation on these keyframes to smooth the transition. Select the keyframes you created by dragging a marquee around them or shift-clicking on each keyframe, then right-click and select “bezier” in the options.

Now, play back the video, the transition works!

Transition 2 – Speed ramps

When you need to cut your content with specific pacing in mind, Speed ramps are a fantastic way to increase or decrease the momentum of the clip.

To get started, increase the size of the video layer you’re working on to give yourself plenty of room to work. Then right-click on your transition clip, and select Show clip keyframes > Time remapping > speed. You can also right-click the FX badge and choose the time remapping option there instead. A speed ramp band will now appear on your video.

To increase or decrease the speed of the video, hold command on Mac or alt on Windows and click on the clip where you want your speed ramp to start to create a keyframe. Now slide the keyframed section up or down, depending on whether you want to slow down or speed up your footage for the transition.

Now, the video speeds up in the final seconds when you play it back.

Repeat the keyframing on the next clip to complete the transition, except in the opposite order. This step will result in a fast start with a ramp down. Here’s a look at the final transition:

Transition 3 – Simple Glitch transitions

The simplest way to get glitch effects is to utilize the Pond5 After Effects library. Most available templates are easy to use and can save you a lot of time in post-production.

However, since we want to teach you how to do a glitch transition manually, let’s get to it. First, duplicate the clips you’re using for the transitions on both sides of the cut point. Either copy/paste the layer, or select the clip and hold option/alt and drag it up above the original layer. Now you should have two identical clips stacked on top of each other.

The top copy (let’s call it Layer A) should be shortened/trimmed to the desired length of the effect. I’d recommend 10-15 frames each, but you can experiment and see how fast you want it. Next, go to the opacity settings in the “effect controls” panel on Layer A and select set the opacity to 40%. Then, select the “screen” option in the blend mode settings.

Set the opacity for the original clip to 0%, or remove it from the timeline entirely. Then, go to the “effects” tab and find the “ASC CDL” effect. Apply it to layer A on the left clip. Now, duplicate Layer A two more times and stack them all on top of one another so you have three layers above the original layer.

Here’s the part where the ASC CDL effect comes in. Go back to Layer A and change the red slope in the effect controls panel until your layer is saturated with red.

Follow the same process for the other two layers, which we’ll call Layers B and C. For layer B, adjust the green slope, and for layer C, change the blue slope. You are now ready for the last part of the transition, which is keyframing some movement to sell the “glitch” part of the effect.

Starting with Layer A, set position and scale keyframes on the first frame by clicking the stopwatches. Move forward a few frames and adjust the relative values so the video appears to “jump” or “glitch.” Then go through and create more keyframes evenly throughout the duration of the transition.

For example, if your transition is ten frames, make two keyframes every five frames. Your goal here is to create random “glitch” movements, so experiment with the values depending on how erratic you want the glitch to be. Your final keyframes should match the first keyframes, so either click on the “reset parameter” button or copy/paste them from the first set.

Continue this process on Layers B and C. You can copy/paste the keyframes on layers B and C, then manually change the keyframe values so they’re different from each other. Once you finish all the keyframing, move on to the second half of the transition.

Repeat the steps of duplicating the three layers above the original layer, then copy/paste the attributes one layer at a time. To do this, select layer A, right-click, and select “copy”, then go to Layer A on the 2nd half of the transition, right-click, and select “paste.” Ensure the motion and ASC CDL effects are checked, and click OK.

How to Create Dynamic Transitions

Copy and paste the effects for the other two duplicate layers, then play back the transition to see what you think.

How to Create Dynamic Transitions

You can paste this effect on any other clip in your timeline. Just be sure to duplicate the layers to match them elsewhere easily.

Looking for more transitions? Choose from over 33,000 ready-to-use Premiere and After Effects templates to make your project stand out.

Want more editing tips and tricks? For a quick visual guide to 13 of the most common cuts and techniques for editing video check out this infographic or take a deeper dive with our full post on 13 Creative Editing Techniques Every Video Editor Should Know. Happy editing!