Add transitions with OpenShot Video Editor

Jack Wallen
Jan 17, 2011
Updated • Jan 18, 2011

In my last article I introduced you to the open source OpenShot Video Editor (see my article "Create videos with OpenShot video editor."). In that article I alluded to OpenShot's ability to add transitions to your videos. Although not a terribly difficult task, these features are not the most intuitive. With that in mind (and video files in hand), let's take a look at getting more creative with your OpenShot video projects.

A simple sample

Before I move on, I thought I would share with you the very short teaser I created with OpenShot, for my latest zombie novel. The teaser can be seen here and was created using only images, fades, and transitions.


I already mentioned fading in the previous article, but I thought I should touch on it quickly. With OpenShot you can do either fast or slow fades both in and out. If you right click a clip you can select from the following:

  • Fast fade in
  • Fast fade out
  • Fast fade in and out
  • Slow fade in
  • Slow fade out
  • Slow fade in and out

If you are going to use fading in conjunction with transitions, I highly recommend you add the fades to your clips first. To do this simply right-click a click and select the fade you want to apply. Now, let's add a transition.


The task of transitioning from one clip to another is done by selecting the transition you want, placing it where you want it, and adjusting the transitions direction. To illustrate this I am going to transition from one image to another. The most efficient way to do this is between multiple tracks. So I will place the first image in track one and the second image in track two. Once the images are in place I can then place the transitions.

The first step is to add the images into the tracks. Before you can add the images you will want to add sufficient tracks. Since I am going to be transitioning between images on two tracks I add a third track so the transitions will all go where they need to go (more on that in a second). To add the images click File > Import Files. Now navigate to the image you want to add and select. Continue to add more images until you have all you need.

Figure 1

Now it's time to add the transitions. Click on the transitions tab and then find the transition you want to add. I am going to use the Smoke transition for all of mine. Figure 1 shows how I have placed the transitions. What you are seeing is the following time line:

  1. image 1 plays
  2. transition out of image 1
  3. transition into image 2
  4. transition out of image 2
  5. transition into image 3

The direction a transition is important. If it is pointing down it means a transition out of and if it is point up it means a transition into.

When you drag a transition into place, you have to make sure that the transition arrow tip is lined up with where you want the transition to start. Typically this will be at the end of an image or the beginning of an image.

Once you have all of this in place, click the Play button and see what your transitions look like. They should smoothly transition out of and into each of the images.


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