The release of DaVinci Resolve 16.2 saw the introduction of drag & drop transitions, directly from the edit page effects library onto the footage. This had been available in previous versions, however, these were just the stock transition which are bundled with DaVinci Resolve.
This led to a flurry of transition packs being released onto the aftermarket (including our own) but no-one realised how powerful this feature would be. In this article, I am going to attempt to explain some of these new options we all now have.
I am making no assumptions here, so we will start at the beginning. The transitions are to be found in the “Effects Library” on the edit page.
In the screenshot you can see the Fusion Transitions which have been included to get us started. The best one to experiment with is the Cross Dissolve.
When you add your own transition (or ours) it will appear in this list, which you may have noticed is in alphabetical order. If you dragged the cross dissolve over your cut point on the timeline and changed a few parameters you can then save that as a user transition. Initially the user transition panel is not visible until you add your 1st preset. We’ll come back to presets soon.
Drag the Cross Dissolve Transition across the cut on the timeline. Ensuring the clip has “handles”* to use. If you are unable to add the transition always check that the clips have these handles (frames)
*Handles are a few frames at the end of the 1st clip and at the beginning of the 2nd clip for the transition to take place.
Occasionally a transition can’t be placed over the cut, this is caused by the clips having no or too few frames for the transition to work. If your cut has to be at the end of the clip you can right-click on the clip and add frames.
Right-click at the top end or beginning of a clip will bring up the option to add frames for the transition to work.
Once the transition has been added you can make adjustments, either by dragging the ends of the transition or by using the controls in the inspector.
Under the Resolve Tab in the inspector you are able to change the transition parameters. As the cross dissolve is a basic transition these are limited.
So far that is the basics of the transitions, simple drag & drop, adjust a few parameters and done. Transitions which are more complex may require a little render time before they are stutter-free. Transitions containing motion blur seems to cause issues at present but I am sure a future update will remedy that.
What is a Transition Tool?
A transition tool is an empty transition in which you can select a full screen wipe transition. These transitions are PNG sequence files which VFX software can handle with ease. They usually are a larger file size then mp4 or jpg but work very well.
You could bring in the PNG Sequence as you would any other media and place it over the top of the cut, adjust the centre position and as long as the sequence has an alpha channel the transition would work. However, we want to play with the new feature so let’s do it differently.
Full Screen Wipes
A full-screen wipe is just as it sounds when the animation covers the full screen it in effect hides the cut, by adding in the cross dissolve which we spoke about earlier the effect becomes a smooth cut from clip A to clip B.
Drag the transition tool between the edit.
Just like the Cross Dissolve you drag the transition tool over the cut and then using the controls in the inspector select your full-screen transition.
Select browse and choose your full screen wipe. You can choose your wipe using the live preview gallery first.
Navigate to the location of your wipes and select the first png file in the sequence. This will cause DaVinci Resolve to import the whole sequence.
Select the first png in the sequence.
On loading the PNG Sequence you will get a popup asking if you want to change the transition length. Select yes, this is due to each transition having different amount of frames.
Once the transition has been loaded place the CTI (Play-Head) at the centre of the cut, adjust the length of the transitions until the wipe covers the frame (or mostly covers the frame)
We can now go a step further and save this as a user preset. As long as you do not move the png sequence from its location on your computer it will save the path. This means you only have to do this once for each wipe you intend to use. Next time just drag & drop the user preset you saved across the cut in any project.
Right-click the transition tool and select create transition preset. Name it and it will appear in the user panel of the effects library
Transition Matte Tool
This tool is similar to the transition tool however by using 2 DeltaKeyer nodes we are able to use a transition matte. A transition matte is a black and white matte which wipes from clip A to clip B. Allowing the original footage to show through as the wipe takes place. Prior to the new drag & drop transition feature, this was a long process in DaVinci Resolve. First, you imported the matte via the media page, you couldn’t just simply drag it in. Then you had to place Clip B on top of Clip A, head to the colour page, add the matte, an alpha output and then cut clip B to the length of the matte. Although some transition mattes could be left on the uncut clip B and change the loop setting. Like I say, long-winded.
The new Transition Matte Tool is simpler to use, drag the tool to the cut, select the desired matte, adjust its length and done!
Currently, this composition needs refinement as the first frame of the transition darkens the footage, but I will release it as soon as I can.
You can download the transition tool and 30 full-screen transitions here:- Transition Tool.