I edit dance shows where I have to cut extra video in between dances and fade each dance in at the beginning and out at the end. I also found out I had to leave space between clips or cross dissolve was affecting both clips together and not fading out then fading in. I use some keyboard shortcuts for a faster workflor. This is what I do. Hope it helps:
- Be sure that the video and audio layers you want to affect are selected (highlighted at the left)
- Get to a point a little before the beginning of the scene you want to fade in.
- hit CTRL-K to cut the clip. Then drag the left end toward the right to the point you want to start.
- Do the same with the end of the clip (cutting a little after),
and drag the right side toward the left to where you want to end.
- This leaves space between other clips (you need this so cross dissolve doesn't affect the next clip).
- Then use page up and page down to get to beginning and end.
- Hit CTRL-D and CTRL-SHIFT-D at each end to apply fade in and fade out for audio and video.
- Then click on each blank space between clips and hit ALT-BACKPACE to do a ripple delete.
If you want a fade to black, you don't want to change the opacity of your clips--you want to fade to black.
Yeah, that seems totally obvious, but this is a common mistake.
A "dissolve" and a "fade," while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing. A dissolve is a change in opacity--that is, an alteration of the clip's alpha channel/transparency informaiton--whether it's used as a single-sided transition (such as to dissolve in a graphic overlay) or as a double-sided transition (such as to create a transition between two clips). A fade implies a transition between a clip with 100% opacity and a solid color, which is also at 100% opacity. That can be a fade to black, a fade to white, or a fade to aquamarine--the point is that you're not creating a change in the opacity at the transition. That's why a video mixer has a "Fade to Black" and not a "Dissolve to Black."
So, why not use a dissolve as a way of fading out one or more clips? The reason is that the black you see in your Program Monitor generated by an empty section of your sequence is not really black. It's transparency--that is, an alpha channel with a value of 0. Don't believe me? Set the Display Mode in the Program Monitor to Alpha, and then position the playhead over a clip (you'll see pure white) and then over an empty section of your sequence (you'll see pure black). That's not saying that this latter section is black--it's saying that it has no opacity.
When you dissolve one clip out in an effort to "fade to black," you're actually creating an alpha channel "hole" in your sequence--while still in Alpha display mode, add a dissolve to single side of a clip on Video 1, and watch the display go from pure white to pure black. In a real fade to black, watching the alpha channel would show no difference--you'd see pure white all the time.
Now, generally speaking, this isn't likely going to cause you many issues--you'd have to be careful if you were exporting to a format that supported an alpha channel, though, because that hole you created would become a hole in the alpha channel of the exported clip. It's also a problem if, for example, you wanted to "fade out" multiple clips at one point in time--if you used dissolves on all the clips, they'd each be changing their opacities individually, and you'll see through each of the clips. This is a sure sign of amateur video--I see it on local TV all the time.
So, what to do? Well, you need to use or create a transition that doesn't alter the opacity of the clip it's applied to--that means you can't use a Dissolve transition. J-MS suggestion of using Dip To Black is partially correct--but you have to be careful. If you use it as a single-side transition (which it sounds like you have to do since you don't have handles), you can't apply it "as-is." The reason is that this transition generates, effectively, a dissolve to and from a black solid/color matte simultaneously. It would work on the first half of the transition, since you're altering the opacity of your source clip to this pseudo-black solid (you can see this in the Alpha display mode), but on the second half, the opacity is changing from the pseudo-black solid to full transparency. That's not what you want. Most people don't realize this, but you can set the start and end value for your transition; just select it and check it out in the Effect Controls Panel. In this case, if you set the End value to 50%, you're telling Pr to create a fade to black with this transition; that's because it's stopping at the halfway point, and not continuing on to alter the opacity of the clip after it dissolves to the black solid. Go ahead--try it out. I'll wait...
You're back? Good. You can create a fade in, as well. In this case, you'd set the Start value to 50 and the leave the End value at 100. Try that now. Not bad, eh?
That's all fine and good, but it's still not my preferred way of creating a fade to black or even a dip to black, for that matter. What I find far easier and more flexible is to simply create a piece of Black Video in Pr, edit it into my sequence on a track above the transition point, and add a dissolve in, dissolve out, or both. That way, you have an actual footage item that you can trim, move, alter the duration of the dissolves, copy and paste--whatever. I find it far more flexible than any actual "transition."
Sorry--that's information overload. I'll let you process while I go get some more coffee.