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Tip #1384: Add Punch to a Dissolve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Additive dissolves add an extra visual “punch” in the middle of a dissolve.

Typical cross-fade dissolve (top) compared to an additive dissolve.

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Normally, when we create a dissolve, in any NLE, the transition gradually moves from one clip to the next by cross-fading the opacity between the first clip and the next.

However, there is a lot of visual potential hidden in even the most mundane dissolve – if you know what to look for.

Most NLE’s include different dissolve settings – either as separate effects (Premiere) or settings within the dissolve (Final Cut).

An additive dissolve, for example, not only cross-fades using opacity, it also applies an additive blend mode during the dissolve which boosts the highlights in both clips as the transition progresses. (See the screen shot.)

NOTE: This works best when there are highlights in at least one of the shots. If both shots are dark, you won’t see much difference.

This has the effect of calling attention to the transition, rather than simply letting it slide past.


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