Modifying Transitions in the Timeline

Once a transition is placed on a track, you may want to alter the duration to make it longer or shorter, or change its alignment by choosing where the transition begins relative to the edit point between two clips. You can also replace transitions.

Note: To make very precise adjustments to transitions, you can use the Transition Editor. For more information, see Refining Transitions Using the Transition Editor.

Changing the Duration of a Transition in the Timeline

You can change the duration of a transition, as long as there are enough overlapping frames to accommodate your new duration. When you change the duration of a transition in the Timeline, the way the duration changes depends on the alignment of the transition.

  • If the transition ends on the edit point: The duration affects the clip to the left of this point (the outgoing clip).
  • If the transition is centered on the edit point: Changes in duration extend in both directions.
  • If the transition starts on the edit point: The duration affects the clip to the right of this point (the incoming clip).

You can change the duration of a transition by dragging or by using timecode.

To change a transition’s duration in the Timeline by dragging
  1. Select the Selection tool, then move the pointer to the beginning or the end of the transition in the Timeline.

    Figure. Timeline window showing a transition being lengthened by dragging.
  2. Drag either side of the transition to make the duration longer or shorter.

To change a transition’s duration in the Timeline using timecode
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Double-click the transition in the Timeline.

    • Control-click the transition in the Timeline, then choose Duration from the shortcut menu.

    • Select the transition in the Timeline, then press Control-D.

  2. In the Duration dialog, enter a new duration for the transition, then click OK.

    Figure. Duration dialog showing the Duration field.

    Tip: If you enter a duration that’s longer than the available amount of overlap between these two clips, you hear an alert sound and the maximum duration possible is displayed in the dialog. You can change the duration or click OK to use the maximum duration. A convenient way to determine the maximum duration of a transition is to enter a high number here, such as 9999 (in most cases, much less will do) and click OK. The maximum duration possible appears in the dialog.

Changing the Alignment of a Transition in the Timeline

Transitions can either start on, center on, or end on an edit point. This alignment can be changed at any time. Changing the alignment of a transition allows you to precisely control which frames are fully visible when a transition begins or ends.

To change the alignment of a transition in a sequence
Do one of the following:
  • In the Timeline, select the transition, choose Sequence > Transition Alignment, then choose another alignment from the submenu.

  • Control-click a transition, then choose another alignment from the shortcut menu.

  • Select a transition, then do one of the following:

    • To start the transition at the edit point: Press Option-1.
    • To center the transition on the edit point: Press Option-2.
    • To end the transition at the edit point: Press Option-3.

The transition moves to the new alignment position.

Changing an Edit Point After Adding a Transition

Even with transitions applied, you can still trim one or both sides of the edit point (for example, using the Ripple, Roll, Slip, or Slide tool). Both the alignment and duration of the transition remain the same. For more information on these types of edits, see Performing Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll Edits.

Figure. Timeline window showing a transition being dragged to a new location.
Figure. Timeline window showing a transition moved to a new location.

Note: The transition itself limits how far you can trim clips on either side of the edit point, because the transition requires a certain amount of media on one or both sides of the edit point.

Replacing Transitions

If you change your mind about which transition you want in an edit, it’s easy to change it.

To swap a transition in your sequence with another
Do one of the following:
  • Move the Timeline playhead over the transition you want to change (or click to select it), choose Effects > Video Transitions or choose Effects > Audio Transitions, then choose another transition from the submenu.

  • Drag a transition from the Effects tab in the Browser onto the transition you want to change in the Timeline.

    When the pointer is over the old transition, it will be highlighted to show it’s about to be replaced.

    Note: If you replace a transition in your sequence with a transition you’ve saved as a favorite, the favorite transition’s duration overrides that of the transition it’s replacing. For more on favorite transitions, see Saving a Transition as a Favorite.

  • Control-click an audio transition, then choose another transition from the shortcut menu. Since there are only two kinds of audio transitions, they both appear in this menu.