Creating a Whip Pan Transition in Avid Composer

In Avid Composer, you can achieve a fairly convincing whip pan even after you forgot to do it in the camera. This takes a few layers of effects that may need to be tweaked depending on your footage.

Step 1: Create a Push

Go to the splice point, where you want to add your whip pan. You can access your Effects Palette either through the project window's purple effects tab or by going to "Tools" and clicking on the "Effects Palette". From the "Push" menu, choose either "Left to Right" or "Right to Left". Add it to the cut that you are concerned with. Now, open your "Effects Editor", which can be found in the "Tools" drop down. Set the duration of the effect to an even number of frames, somewhere between 10 and 6.

Step 2: Copy the Push

You will now need to add a V2 track (if one does not already exist). With the timeline window active, go up to "Clip" and select "New Video Track". Now, set a mark in at the first frame of the previous effect, and a mark out at the last frame. Select the V2 track only. Go up to "Clip" again and this time "Load Filler". The filler will appear in the source window, but all you need to do is overwrite it to the V2 track. If the "Effect Editor" is not still open, reopen it. With only the V1 track selected, you should see the effect that you created in step 1. Grab the little purple effect icon, and drag it down to the filler you just created on the V2 track. This will copy the effect exactly.

Step 3: Add a Blur

Take a look at what you have created frame by frame. To make this work, you will now need to add a blur on top of everything. So if there is not already a V3 track, create one by going to "Clip" and "New Video Track". With only the V3 track selected, place a mark in at one frame before the start of the effect and a mark out at one frame after the end of it. Your filler should still be loaded, so hit overwrite and you will now have a clip of filler on V3 slightly longer than your other two effects. Go back to the Effects Palette and into the "Image" section. Apply a blur effect to the V3 filler and open the Effect Editor. Add a keyframe at the center of the effect so that the blur increases then decreases in intensity through the effect. Check that the center key frame has 100 horizontal and 0 vertical blur and that the beginning and end frames have 0 on both blurs. Make sure that your mask covers the entire frame. Render the effects and see how it turned out.

A whip pan will always look best if done in camera, but Avid can simulate the transition. Knowing these steps can come in handy when trying to spice up your edit.

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