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Transitions in Final Cut Pro can always be edited right within the Timeline, however, if you want to make more precise changes to a transition, or even create your own custom transition, you will want to make use of the Transition Editor.  What exactly does the Transition Editor do?  It's a specialized editor that pops up in the Viewer window when you double-click on a transition in the Timeline.  You can use the Transition Editor to make detailed changes to a transition's timing and effects parameters.  You can change the duration, adjust the alignment, trim the edit point between 2 clips, even reverse the direction of a transition.

Once you have a transition placed in the Timeline, (over/between 2 clips) double-click on the transition to open up the Transition Editor in the Viewer window.

transitioneditor2.gif Now you can see all the different parameters you can set.  First, you have the time code duration field in the upper left corner; (circled in red) the default duration is one second, but you can set it to however long you want.  You can also change the duration of the Transition by dragging the end points of the transition.  Dragging on either end of the transition will extend the transitions equally in both directions.  Next are the Alignment Buttons, (circled in yellow) which indicate the current alignment of your transition.  You can change the alignment by clicking a button to see if there are enough overlapping frames in the direction in which you want to realign the transition.

Recent Clips Pop-Up menu (circled in green) lets you choose from a list of recently used clips.  A clip is added to the list when another clip replaces it in the Viewer.  The last clip that was replaced in the Viewer appears at the top of the list.  Next to that is the Drag Hand (circled in purple) which you can use if you want to apply the current transition to another edit point in your sequence in the Timeline, by dragging it to the desired location in your sequence.  Circled in Orange is the Reverse Transition Button, which you can use to reverse the direction of an effect.

The Start & End % Sliders (circled in Blue) allow you to set the starting and ending percentages of the transitions visual effect.  The Reset button (circled in pink) indicated by a Red X will reset all of a transitions' parameters to the default value

The rest of the parameters you see in my Checker Wipe example are Custom Parameters (indicated in black rectangular box).  Many transitions have additional parameters that you can use to further customize their effect.  They are shown below the controls for the properties which could include color, border, feathering, etc.  More complex transitions have more elaborate effects.

Here is a great little tutorial utilizing gradient wipes as a transition; be sure to check it out!

So next time you are applying a simple transition to your clips, try opening one up in the Transition Editor and play around with some of the controls, you never know what kind of cool effects you might come up with!


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