One of the first things that beginners need to learn when they want to create videos is how to join clips of video footage together. That is the cornerstone of video editing – but there is a bit more to it than most beginners tend to realize.
The manner in which you join videos together and transition from one clip to the next can affect the pace of your video, its flow, and even convey visual meaning. That is why there are a few important types of video cuts that every beginner should learn:
- Cut on action is a type of cut that uses action (i.e. movement) to make a transition smooth and less jarring. To use it you need to show an action that starts in one clip continue into the next so that viewers are focused on it and are less likely to notice the cut.
At times implied action can be sufficient to pull off this cut and make the transition look smooth.
- L cuts and J cuts are used to transition the audio independently of the video to preserve its flow. In an L cut you would transition the video to the next clip and then transition the audio a few seconds later. Conversely a J cut would transition the audio first, and then the video a few seconds after it.
Overall both these cuts are great ways to make sure that your audio transition is as smooth as your video and its flow is preserved.
- Jump cuts are when the video is cut to a point in time later on in the same clip. Because it is visually similar, only the subject (and a few other elements) will seem to ‘jump’ to different positions. It is very jarring to viewers, and should be used sparingly or masked by reframing one of the clips to be visually different.
In some cases jump cuts may be used intentionally however to show repetition visually, or to indicate the passage of time.
- Cutaways are cuts that quite literally cut away from the main scene and to a different scene. In general they are used to provide additional context, but on occasion may be used to mask jump cuts.
The duration of the cutaway is important as if it is too long it will distract viewers from the main scene, whereas if it is too short they may not be able to absorb what is being shown.
All that you need to do next is to try each type of cut using a video merger such as Movavi Video Editor. It will make it easy for you to cut videos together, and you can use its other features to enhance their quality, apply effects, add audio tracks, insert text, and more.
By trying out each type of cut you’ll be able to see how it affects the pace and flow of your video. That will help you to cut together far better videos in the future – once you get a bit of experience under your belt.
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