How to Create Smooth Video Transitions

So most people know how to edit in transitions between two clips of video footage. We have all used a fade, wipe, or cross dissolve to make one clip transition into another one. However, sometimes these transitions can seem jarring or jumpy. So in this post, we will teach you how to create smooth video transitions before you even get into the post-editing process. This way, when you do get to editing, creating smooth transitions is easier.

Plan Shots Ahead of Time

By planning shots ahead of time, you can set up your footage for seamless transitions between two shots. This might mean panning from left to right in one clip and then continuing that pan in another clip. If you can capture motion in your footage, then you can use that motion to cut to the next clip and make the transition flow more naturally. Peter McKinnon has a great YouTube channel that dives into this subject.

The following are 9 cuts that can be implemented when planning your footage and transitions:

  1. 1. Standard Cut
  2. 2. Jump Cut
  3. 3. J-Cut
  4. 4. L-Cut
  5. 5. Cutting on Action
  6. 6. Cross-Cutting
  7. 7. Cutaways
  8. 8. Montage
  9. 9. Match Cut

Standard Cut

A standard cut, or hard cut, means simply cutting from clip A to clip B. This is most often used when a scene has not changed because otherwise, the transition could be jarring for the viewer. However, they are often used during conversations.

Jump Cut

A jump cut cuts from a frame in a clip to a later frame in the same clip or to a clip that looks very similar. Jump cuts can be very situational, but they can be used to:

  • • Show the passing of time
  • • Show repetition over time


A J-cut occurs when the audio from the next clip is heard before the video. This just means that while you are looking at clip A, clip B’s audio is playing.


An L-cut is when the video switches before the audio. This just means that you are still hearing the audio from clip A, but you’re seeing clip B.

Cutting on Action

When you are cutting on action, you are just cutting on movement. It can be any type of movement, from a thrown punch to a man shaving his beard! The idea is to get the viewer to follow the action and make it so they don’t notice the transitions. If you cut in the middle of the action in one clip to the reciprocating action in the next, then the viewer’s mind will fill in the details not shown without them even noticing. An example would be of clip A showing a punch thrown and cutting to clip B of the person getting hit and stumbling backward.


A cross-cut puts two character’s perspectives into one scene. This could be a phone conversation or a chase scene. The idea is to show both perspectives happening in real-time of each other. If they are not in real-time, then the cuts would not make sense


Cutaways show the character’s environment. These can often be used to transition to a new scene. Think of it as b-roll. You are establishing the scene for the viewer, but it is important to not make the cutaway scenes too long so you do not lose their attention.


A montage is just simply a series of clips in quick succession. The cuts between them could be simple or more complex depending on the pace of the footage, but they are great to show:

  • • Passage or time
  • • Series of growth

Often jump cuts are used, so they are very similar.

Match Cut

A match cut is a cut from one shot to another where the composition of the two shots are matched by the action or subject and subject matter. This means that match cuts could cut on action.

By planning your footage ahead of time and using camera movement you can create seamless transitions that the viewer might not even notice! If they don’t notice it, then you did a great job! All these different cuts have their situational uses, but you may have already been using them without even knowing it. After all, transitions are a lot about making clips flow naturally.

Hopefully, you learned how to create smooth video transitions! Here at Camera Drop, we specialize in camera gear that helps you to take the perfect photo/video! Visit our store to see what we have to offer!