24 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2009 6:42 PM by Lame Tigrrrr

    Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says


      Hi all. I've searched for answers to this, and there are many attempts, but none of them really address the problem.


      I'm trying to do the most basic thing. I have a single clip that, prior to importing into Premiere, contains some transitions that are simply abrupt cuts from one frame to the next. I would like to cross dissolve them. Yet, when I split the clip and place a cross dissolve in between, it does absolutely nothing. All the other transitions work. Not cross dissolve.


      Most of the other responses to this malady discuss needing handles. Not if the documentation is correct. According to the documentation, when you split the clip, it actually creates two versions of the clip abutted together with their in and out points trimmed to meet at the split. So there is plentyl of handle there! Additionally, even if there were none and you wanted to dissolve from the last frame in the first clip to the first frame in the second clip with no handles available, the documentation says it will automatically pad it with duplicate frames in order to create the transition. Neither of these two things, in fact, happen.


      The clip in question is a screen-capture type software training video. I would like to add a dissolve between some of the screen changes. So padding duplicate frames is just fine - that's what there would be even if there were handles. Why is it that I can't find a single piece of software anywhere that actually does what the documentation says it does the way it says it does? (Or maybe I'm asking the question backwards - why can't I find any documentation anywhere that actually describes the software's functionality correctly?)


      If someone can explain this to me, I'd be incredibly grateful. I can't imagine much more basic a task to ask of video editing software than to apply a simple cross-fade. Why is it so difficult?


      Inordinately frustrated,


        • 1. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
          Paul_LS Level 4

          Yes, you can not do a cross dissolve when you have simply split the scene. You need to trim frames from the end and beginning of the two sections OR you can also click on the transition, select Edit Transition and then click the little stop watch icon top right to reveal the transition handles that you drag around to generate the extra frames or overlap.

          • 2. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
            FGx Level 1

            I have once been puzzled by this behaviour also.  I imported footage with scenes that had straight cuts. I cut them apart and tried to put a transition in between. Other transitions did work, but the cross dissolve seemed to do noting. My explanation: a transition between scenes 1 and 2 always uses footage (if any) from just after scene 1 and from just before scene 2. But in this particular case, that happens to be exactly the same material... So you try to dissolve a sequence of frames with exactly identical frames. Like dissolving water into water. The scenes actually do blend, but (because the cross dissolve transition does not affect the footage in other ways) the end result appears precisely as what you had in the first place.

            It should be possible to instruct the program NOT to use the frames from before the in-point or from after the out-point, but (unless I am mistaken) PE does not have that option.

            My two workarounds:

            Save the clips separately as avi-files. Import those and put them next to each other on the timeline. Now a cross dissolve will work.


            Put scene 2 on a higher track on the timeline; move it to the left (above scene 1) for the same length of time as the transition should be. Now let this scene 2 start with an opacity of 0 (scene 1 will still show) and end with 100 at the spot where scene 1 ends.


            If anyone knows better/faster ways, please say so.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
              Paul_LS Level 4

              Felix, regarding your second option, thats what the handles do when you drag them to the side as mentioned in my post, but you dont have to worry about adjusting the opacity..

              • 4. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                FGx Level 1

                Sorry but I don't get it. I have a clip on the timeline with footage that cuts from one scene straight to the next. Where the camera stopped and then started again. I split the clip right where this cut occurs. Now there is no way I can get a cross dissolve working over those two adjacent clips.

                By operating the various handles, I can trim the transition, slide it, roll it, set the start and end points at whatever value, but this does not help. Have no clue how to get it done otherwise than mentioned... So if there is a way, I would be grateful for your explanation.


                • 5. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  Every transition needs what are called "head" and "tail" material. That means that it borrows a few frames from before the in point and after the out point of a clip to create the transition.


                  If you simply cut a clip and drop a dissolve transition on the cut, the head and tail material will consist of frames from the adjacent clips. In other words, the transition is there, but it's invisible because your head and tail material are identical!


                  Here's an illustration from my Muvipix Guide to Premiere Elements 7 book that illustrates it.

                  • 6. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                    FGx Level 1

                    Yes Steve, thanks. You put it in much simpler and clearer words, but that's exactly what I meant.


                    • 7. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Maybe this example will help. It shows the old cine method, which involves A - B Roll editing, but works for this example. What confuses most people, is that nowadays, we edit with multiple Clips on the same Track in the Timeline.






                      [Edit] Steve's image had not posted, while I was uploading mine..

                      • 8. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                        Paul_LS Level 4

                        Felix, when I say drag the handles you are effectively overlapping the clips as you are doing with two tracks... however you do it on the one track. In this way you have no need to trim the end and beginning of the clips. See this little video that explains it nicely:


                        • 9. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                          the_wine_snob Level 9



                          You just pointed out that my illustration is not quite complete - I do not show the "overlap." Guess I was in too big a hurry. Will re-do it and save for later. Thanks for your comment, 'cause you helped me "edit" my artwork. Where do I send the check again? Off to incorporate your comments.


                          Thank you,



                          • 10. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                            Paul_LS Level 4

                            Well Hunt, there is no overlap when the clips are butted end to end... PE7 just "borrows" frames from each end of the cut. That is why you see nothing with a cross dissolve as Steve explained nicely. To actually see something with a cross dissolve you have to overlap them so borrowed frames are not used... that is where the overlap comes in... either by using two tracks or dragging the handles.

                            • 11. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                              FGx Level 1

                              Yes Paul, now I see what you mean. Amazing feature. Was not aware of this ripple trim effect (as the history window apparently names it).

                              A bit difficult to experiment with though. I had to make a test avi with 5 secs of a yellow matte and 5 secs of red to discover what happens when you drag the top or bottom clips to left or right. Appreciate your tip and help.


                              • 12. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Yes, it was from your description, that I realized that my example was for the OP's situation only, and not the best example for what one normally is doing.


                                For the OP to get a visual transition, one Clip needs to "overlap," or there is nothing to transition from/to. It remains a Butt-cut, regardless of the number of additional frames, that are generated. They are just duplicates of the last frame from Clip-A and duplicates of first frame from Clip-B.


                                Still, for *most* usage, I need to pop this back into Illustrator and make one change for later. Thanks to you, I realized that. I can also make it a bit more clear, as an example to the OP's situation. I was not as complete, as I thought that I was being.





                                • 13. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                  rbpenn Level 1

                                  Very helpful wine snob (love that), but still doesn't quite answer the question, because that's exactly what my question was questioning. I'll try to explain why I'm confused a bit better.  According to the manual (which may be incorrect), the handles shown in your illustration are exactly what Premiere is supposed to generate automatically. If clip A and clip B were split without the handles, it's supposed to repeat the last frame of clip A 15 times to create a handle at the end, and repeat the first frame of clip B 15 times to create a handle at the beginning of clip B. Since the last frame of clip A and the first frame of clip B are different (thus the need for the transition to begin with) there should be a fade. An attempt at a simple illustration:


                                  Original clip



                                  Split after F:

                                  ABCDEF | GHIJKLMNOP


                                  Now when I apply the transition, it's supposed to do the following automatically:




                                  Since the transition occurs where the frames containing F and G overlap, you should see a fade from image F to image G.


                                  That is not what happens.


                                  I have tried to split them, and then trim them right and left as someone suggested, but when I grab the end of clip A and drag right, it simply moves clip B to the right. If I then grab clip B and trim to the left, it undoes the trim I just did to clip A.


                                  Now the idea of putting them on different tracks I tried, but when that failed I saw that the documentation said that you can only apply a transition to clips on the same track. The idea of changing the opacity manually sounds logical and I'll give that a try. It may be the only solution that works anyway, because here's the problem with trimming:


                                  During the transition, if it occured as shown above, the audio needs to continue uninterrupted. When I trim the ends out like that I wind up with garbled audio during any transition I use. So placing them on different tracks and changing the opacity might be the only solution to keeping the audio intact during the transition.


                                  I also tried to split the clip and save it as two clips with handles as someone suggested. However the only piece of software I have for splitting a clip in two and saving it (WM Splitter) doesn't actually work. I have tried to split the clip in Premiere and then save the segments but I can't figure out how to do this. Does anyone know of a way to export a segment to a file after slicing it?


                                  Thanks for all the helpful (or attempts to be helpful) suggestions. I'm very impressed with the number and quality of responses. I hated to start this thread yet again, as it's been started several times, but it's never had a successful resolution and the other threads are 2 years old or more and regarding version 3 or so, and I'm using 7. If I can find a solution that works, I'll use it even if it's cumbersome. I'll keep playing around. I'm just frustrated that it doesn't do what the manual says, nor does almost any piece of software I've used in the past 10 years. And since I'm using the trial version to make sure that I can do this before I buy it, it's very important!

                                  • 14. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    As a test, gather two different Clips and make sure that they are not that similar. Try doing two things:


                                    1.) butting the Clips without Trimming either Clip. Add a Transition. What happens? PE *should* create still frames from each, based on the last frame of A and the first frame of B. The Transition, even when Rendered, should be a bit "glitchy."


                                    2.) Trim each Clip by half the Duration of the Transition, and then butt them up on the Timeline. Apply the Transition and Render. How does this one look? It *should* flow smoothly, as would be expected.


                                    Since you are working with screen-caps, there is not much change between your Clips. If still frames are created at the Tail of Clip A and the Head of Clip B, there is not much to "change," when adding the Transition. To get some form of Transition, and you may have to look very closely, Trim back the Tail of A by 15 frames, and the Head of B by 15 frames (based on a 1 sec. Transition). Now, butt these Trimmed Clips up, add the Transition, Render (use the WAB for just this area) and play. Look closely. This should show Clip A transitioning into Clip B.


                                    Now, I am not trying to defend anything that the manual might say. My version, while the full version, did not come with any manual, and I have not printed out the PDF from the installation disc. It could be wrong, or confusing, or a combo of both.


                                    Good luck,



                                    1 person found this helpful
                                    • 15. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                      rbpenn Level 1

                                      Thanks, I'll try that. I've tried everything else. However, because I'm dealing with screen caps doesn't mean they're not different. The first 12 seconds of the clip is one web page, basically a still image for 12 seconds.. The next 20 seconds is a different web page, another still for 20 seconds. The cut between them is web page 1 --> web page 2. Two very different images. Trimming them versus padding them with extra frames should be identical processes because the frames are all identical before and after the cut.


                                      I tried the idea of placing them on two different tracks and fading in the opacity of track two. Didn't work. The two tracks overlap by two seconds with a keyframe at the start and end of the overlap. Track two's opacity goes from 0% at the start and up to 100% at the second keyframe. When I move the slider across the fade it starts to fade in for about four or five frames and then BANG. 100%. Even though I'm watching the opacity slider in the effects panel go from 0 to 100 over those two seconds, when it gets to about 20%, boom, the image is abruptly opaque.


                                      I've pretty much determined that the only way I'll be able to do this is to reshoot my screen capture video one "scene" at a time and leave at least two seconds of handle at either end where there is no audio happening. (it's all narrated voice-over). However, because the audio has to sync exactly with what's happening in the video (i.e. when I say "now click this button to see the results" it has to sync exactly with the clicking of the button in the video.) This would be almost impossible to achieve if I just shot video and edited it and then tried to narrate a voice-over after the fact.

                                      • 16. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                        FGx Level 1


                                        As regards this second option of placing Scene 2 on a different track:

                                        very strange it does not work. Are you sure that the last part of the clip on the lower track does not contain frames identical to the frames in the clip above? Because otherwise I really wouldn't know why the fade "bangs" into a (seemingly) 100 percent opacity suddenly.


                                        Furthermore: I always understood the following to be correct.

                                        Let's say your original clips consists of frames ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRS

                                        Let's say you want a cut at F/G and L/M, resulting in 3 clips: A-F, G-L and M-S

                                        Now a cross dissolve would NOT give you










                                        because of of the "borrowing" feature explained above. And that's why you do see anything happening with a cross dissolve transition.

                                        The first example only occurs if you had 3 separate original clips: A-F, G-L and M-S. They would not have anything to borrow from before frames A or G or M or from after frames F or L or S, and would therefore repeat those first and last frames as many times as necessary given the length of the transition.


                                        I hope this does not get you confused...



                                        • 17. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                          Lame Tigrrrr

                                          Since I started working my video with Adobe Premiere CS3, I encoutered this same problem of yours (see "A crossfadind dismay"). But out of desperation I was able to do it just what I want. Maybe my method still needs refining (and maybe it's not as simple as what the software I'm referring in my post does) but it's working. I have here attached a .JPG file for you (and others who might be interested) to see. I hove this will help you---US.

                                          • 18. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                                            What you are doing is A-B Roll editing. You are effectively creating Handles, by overlapping your Clips on Video Track 2, over the Clip on Video Track 1. The exact same thing can be done with all Clips on Video Track 1, and just setting the Out Point of Clip 1 to accommodate the necessary Handles, then the In Point on Clip 2 to accommodate those Handles. Keep going down the line, and you can do the exact same on one Video Track.


                                            You are using/creating Handles, with your method, just with the use of two Video Tracks. There is nothing wrong with A-B Roll editing. It WAS the way that NLE programs used to operate and was how I edited film for decades. With the advent of Premiere Pro 1.0 (do not know when it was incorporated in the PrE workflow), there was no need, but one still needed those Handles to edit with all Clips on the same Video Track.


                                            Thanks for sharing. You are using Handles, whether you know it, or not.


                                            Good luck,



                                            • 19. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                              Lame Tigrrrr Level 1

                                              With two video tracks, do you mean to different video sources? If that's what you mean, it's not my case. I was working with just a single video source. I am actually working with a video footage of a friend's wedding that I want to give her as a late present. I was applying the video crossfading transition to every change of events like from the presentation of the dresses, the entourage, the mass, etc. But, anyway, thanks to your reply. I will study it further later since I am now on the finishing touches of my little craft.

                                              • 20. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                With two video tracks, do you mean to different video sources? If that's what you mean, it's not my case. I was working with just a single video source.


                                                Everything will depend on how you define "different Video sources."


                                                If one understands the concept of Handles, these are applied to Clips. Now, these may be from different Video sources, or they may be from the same Video source, but experpted from that, as instances of Clips (think of scenes).


                                                What needs to be considered is the "overlap," between these Clips.


                                                There has to be material to cover this overlap. These are the Handles. One can create them with A-B Roll editing, or by setting the necessary In & Out points on the Clips.


                                                Here is an example of Handles:




                                                Here is another one:




                                                I hope that this makes sense. It is basically what you did with A-B Roll editing, but with In & Out Points on Clips, can be done on the same Video Track.


                                                Good luck,



                                                • 21. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                                  Lame Tigrrrr Level 1

                                                  Thanks a lot, Hunt. But just before you post this message, I've already figured out what you mean on your message you mailed me--in just a few puffs of my cigarette.

                                                  • 22. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                    Gotcha'. While typing, I was enjoying my cigar!


                                                    What you listed is almost identical, though with just the use of one Video Track, instead of two.


                                                    Thanks for posting your method, as that will likely help others "see the light."


                                                    Happy editing,



                                                    • 23. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                                      Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      You can do this without the transparency keyframing if you:


                                                      1) Split the clip and put the the second part on another track (above or below).

                                                      2) Overlap the amount of time you want the transition (ie: 2 seconds).

                                                      3) Put the transition on first clip and make sure it is "end of cut" (not "center of cut") or put it on the second clip and make sure it is "start of cut" and  also make sure the transition is set for the same amount of time as the overlap..

                                                      • 24. Re: Cross dissolve doesn't do what manual says
                                                        Lame Tigrrrr Level 1

                                                        Thank you Bob, I have actually done and made this work already. This is what I mean in the illustration I've attached with my post on Aug 3, 2009 in response to Felix. See the picture if it coincides with your explanation.