The best transitions are those which are easy to use. Cross Dissolves are straightforward and work in all kinds of projects, but as the effects get fancier, it becomes harder to sneak them into an edit. Finding a balance between attracting attention and elegantly moving from one clip to another can be tricky.
3D Space Transition bridges that gap by smoothly moving one shot out and moving the next shot in, within 3D space. Unlike other transitions, it allows the editor to change its appearance completely, so that every instance can be subtly (or totally) different. The controls are simple, but effective.
Start out by downloading the effect, then find it in your Downloads folder. Select the "3D Space transition" folder, then choose Edit > Copy. Navigate to your home directory, then the Movies folder, then Motion Templates, then Transitions, and if you wish, create a subfolder here (like "Other"). Choose Edit > Paste.
In FCP X, choose the Transitions tab, then select All, or if you created a subfolder, select that instead. 3D Space transition will be near the top of the list either way, so find it, then drag it to a timeline between two clips. Option-click on the transition to select it and park the playhead over it.
On default settings, the transition moves only slightly, but the controls let you reposition and rotate the incoming frame. To experiment, click on the numbers next to one of the B Position or B Rotation parameters and drag it sideways. Changing just one of these values will change the look quite a bit, but a few to try (for Position, then Rotation):
- 0/150/0, 0/0/90: a right-angle turn and slight move
- 50/110/0, 0/60/0: a vertical move with a twist
- 180/0/0, -50/-40/0: a sideways move with a more subtle 3D spin
- -145/35/-150, -50/-40/-350: a push forwards in 3D
- 0/-170/0, -170/0/0: a vertical extended flip
While it's always worth experimenting with different settings, it's rare to get so many looks from the one transition. The next time you need to add a little more life to an edit, give this one a shot.
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