You Need to Know This Video Transition

While there are a seemingly infinite number of creative video transitions you can incorporate in your projects, learning the fundamentals first is essential. Check out this great video to learn how to use the J Cut.

The J Cut is an essential transition that every good filmmaker should be able to utilize effectively. When done well, it can act as a strong storytelling device, propelling the action forward by giving the audience more context and understanding of the environment. In his latest tutorial lesson, Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid discusses this transition and how to create it in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. While Dodson utilizes Premiere Pro, the basic concepts are valid and the cut can be created in any editing software suite.

The basic premise of a J Cut is that the audio of a scene is heard before the audience sees the visual. The audio introduces the video of the next clip. This subtle effect can make for a smoother viewing experience than by using a standard hard cut where the audio and visual of the next scene hit at the same time, though of course which transition to use is situation dependent. The name comes from the notion that the shape of the edited timeline clips looks like a "J."

What are your go-to essential video transitions? Let us know in the comments below.

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Aneesh Kothari is a Houston-based travel, landscape, and cityscape photographer. He enjoys reading, traveling with his family, and making lists of things he enjoys. He yearns to be a Civil War buff but has yet to finish the Ken Burns series.

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The straight cut, the easiest cut to actually do IN the edit, but the HARDEST to make work because if it's bad you can tell right away. Transitions hide bad edits in many ways, so yes...this is absolutely a cinematic style edit. The idea behind editing for the most part is that it's invisible not to distract people out of the story.

I actually liked the FIRST edit you did first, because when it cut back to the presenter after the shot of the building he was looking at it. The shot of the building then him looking at it is the connection of motion that is super nuanced, but so critical.

Eyelines, probably THE biggest thing to consider when cutting.

You see the J cut implemented often between scenes in a film, where the sound of the next scene will bleed into the end of the last scene.

J cut GO!

Nice video.

Thanks for reading, watching, and commenting, Mark! I agree, great video by Nathaniel and a great video transition to try and master.