Making a Digital Transition in a Home Movie

There are many DVD editing software programs that can be used to add a digital transition within home movies. This is an excellent choice to save well loved home movies and edit them into a piece of film that flows smoothly and provides a theme or storyline. Most of the editing programs contain tools that can be used to easily create these digital transitions. Even beginners using home movie software will be able to use these tools. Experiment with the different transitions so you know what is best for each situation.

Step 1: Capture Video

Transfer the home videos to your computer. Video capture is very easy if the videos are on disc or other digital formats such as video cards on camcorders. Additional cables, software and/or hardware may be needed to transfer VHS footage into a digital format. Once the files are digital, adding transitions is a cinch.

Step 2: Add Titles

Most individuals will add titles at the beginning of the video. It is also possible to add these throughout the video. The titles are used to catch the viewer’s interest. Decide the best place to insert the titles. Add the text that is used in the title and subtitle. Graphics can also be chosen from a range of preset options. 

Step 3: Choose Different Transitions

The number of digital transitions available will vary depending on the program. Normally, expect at least 50 or more different transitions to choose from. It is possible to smooth out transitions, do shifts using geometric shapes,  wipes, pixelate, picture in picture, green screen, rotate, fade in and out and more. 

Step 4: Edit Menu

All transitions will be made within the edit menu. Go to the transitions and choose which transition that should be added. Drag this transition to the frame where the transition should start. This transition can be added anywhere within the film clip.

Step 5: Drag & Drop

It is easy to work with these transitions. Timeline views are the easiest way to insert the transitions. Scroll until the desired spot is reached and insert the transition. These transitions are normally marked, so it is easy to find where the transitions have been inserted. Certain programs will mark these transitions with a star or a colored frame.

Step 6: Preview

Always preview the transitions to ensure that they achieve the desired effects. Click play to watch the movie to see the transitions. If the transition achieves what you want, then save the movie and move onto the next transition. 

Step 7: Audio

It is also possible to transition between different audio tracks along with the visual transitions. The audio tracks can be faded in and faded out, change the volume and merge the sound from both. Sound effects can be added to match the transition or the audio can be left alone. This is completely up to the editor.

Step 8: Advanced Techniques

There are also more advanced techniques, such as green screen and chroma key effects, that will require experience using color channels and other layering techniques. As the user gains more experience with the software, these advanced transitions will be easier to add.