How Video Editing Works

Editing a Video: Timeline and Transitions

The timeline with a single clip in it (Note that your view of the timeline may look slightly different. Right-click on the timeline and change the preferences to select your view of the timeline).

Once you have marked a clip by selecting the IN and OUT points in the Source window, you can add the clip to the timeline. Simply drag the image from the Source window down to the timeline. You will see something that looks like this:

What the timeline now shows is that your movie contains one clip, about five seconds long.


Now what you can do is repeat this process and drag several more clips onto the timeline. You will end up with something like this:

The timeline with three clips in it

This is the simplest possible movie -- a bunch of clips strung together on a timeline. But it is a movie nonetheless, and it is 10 times better than raw footage because you have chosen the best parts of the raw footage to assemble on the timeline. To play your movie, you can click the play button on the program portion of the monitor area, or you can click in the time portion of the timeline area to move the pointer and then press the space bar to start playing from that point.

Let's say that you would like to change the length of a clip once you have it on the timeline. There are several ways to do this:

  • You can drag either end of the clip on the timeline with the mouse.
  • You can use the razor blade (upper left corner of the timeline window) and cut a clip, and then delete either end by clicking on the end and hitting the delete key. Then you can right-click on the gap that you created and choose Ripple Delete from the menu that pops up.

Transitions Sometimes simple cuts from one clip to the next work well, but other times you might want to use fancier transitions from scene to scene. For example, you might want to use a dissolve, or a wipe or a fade. Premiere has all sorts of transitions available. Simply choose one from the transitions area and drag it to a spot between two clips on the timeline:

The transitions area contains dozens of transitions for you to try.

Once in place on the timeline, right-click on the transition to adjust it if you like. The transitions will look like this on the timeline:

The timeline with a transition in place

When you play your movie, you will not be able to immediately see how the transition will actually look. That's because transitions take some extra processing to complete the effect. Premiere tells you that extra processing still needs to be done by putting a small red bar above the transition, as seen in the previous illustration. To activate the extra processing, you Render the timeline. From the Timeline menu, choose Render Work Area. When the processing is finished, you can play your movie to see the transition.

In the next section, we'll learn how to add music and sound effects to your movie.