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Top 10 Video Editing Effects

The Best Effects for Your Videos


The best video editing effects, some would say, are those that go unnoticed.  Color correction can subtly enhance the emotional effect of a scene.  A split screen offers a modern perspective for telling a story.  Superimposed shots provide an opportunity for reflection and contemplation.

These top video editing effects are the classics you'll find yourself using over and over again. 


1. Dissolves

Any time you have a cut that looks or sounds abrupt, try adding a dissolve to smooth the transition. This effect blends the two video clips together so that audiences barely notice the change.

2. Old Movie

The Old Movie effect adds noise, shake and dust to your video, making it look as if it's playing on an old projector. This effect is meant to add a nostalgic feel, but it can also be used to cover up mistakes made during filming (such as camera shakiness or a dirty lens).

3. Black & White

Making your footage black and white can add drama or nostalgia to your movie. This is also a handy effect to use if the color of your footage is off!

4. Split Screen

This effect lets you show two videos at once. It's a creative way to tell a story by showing multiple viewpoints. 24 is a great program to watch for getting ideas on using a split screen.

iMovie doesn't have an easy-to-apply split screen effect, but if you get creative with the Push video transition you can get the idea of a split screen.

5. Widescreen

Black bars at the top and bottom of the screen give your movie a Hollywood style widescreen look.  Many cameras now shoot in 16x9, but even if yours is 4x3 you can letterbox the video to get a widescreen effect.  Make sure, though, that you don't cut off anyone's head in the process!


6. Fast Motion

Fast motion is a creative way to indicate the passage of time. Accelerated clouds, city traffic or crowds of people are all good candidates for this effect.

Fast motion is also great for showing the progression of a project. Keep your video camera fixed on an object as it is being constructed or assembled, then speed it up to show the entire process in a matter of minutes or seconds.

7. Slow Motion

Slowing down a video can enhance emotional and dramatic moments. Try it in wedding videos or flashback scenes. And don't forget comedy--funny moments are often even more hilarious when seen in slow-mo!

8. Fade In & Fade Out

You'll notice that most professional videos begin and end with a black screen. It's easy to give your projects this same professional look by adding a Fade In at the start of the video and a Fade Out at the end.

Learn more about iMovie video effects:

9. Superimpose

Superimposing one video image on top of another can be a little bit tricky, but it is a powerful tool if used properly. Be careful where you apply it; if the scenes are too busy it won't work well. Montages or transitions from one scene to another tend to be good moments for this effect.


10. Iris

This effect creates a circular frame around your video. Use it to give your movie an old fashioned feel, focus viewers' attention on important scenic elements, or cut out anything unwanted at the edge of the frame.


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