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Transitions are probably one of the most interesting features of non-linear video editors. They are used between two clips and they allow a soft, or a sophisticated way of passing from one scene to the other. This is a contrast with the "hard" or "dry" cut between scenes -- which, prior to the computer adoption, were very hard to make or required special equipment.

For using a transition effect in Kdenlive, you must place the two clips you want to join in different video tracks, in such a way that they "overlap" each other a little bit --- exactly in the points you want to place the transition. Then, right-click the mouse over the first clip (the "outgoing" one), then select Add transition in the context menu, and point the mouse towards the arrow for seeing the transition types available. Then you will see a yellow rectangle placed between the video tracks, representing the transition. For having a live preview of how the transition will look like, simply drag the timeline cursor from left to right over the transition area.

You can modify the transition effect, or the way it works, by left-clicking the mouse twice over this yellow rectangle. This will turn it into red and cause the "Transition" tab in the top-left panel to pop and show the properties you can set for the currently selected transition effect --- and, if you want, you can choose another type of transition, clicking at the icons at the left of this panel. We will call this operation as "entering in edit mode" for the transition.

Generally the top strip displays on the project (lower strip number). Default transition order is from down to up, so for a crossfade from clip1 to clip2 first should be on strip#1 and second is on strip#0. (Reverse order can be handlead easily by using "reverse" checkbox in the effects.)

AffineComposite[edit | edit source]

AffineComposite composes upper and lower strips, using lower as background and upper as "picture in picture".

You apply rotation, shear and mirror effects to the upper (usually smaller) clip.

You can set the size and the position of the upper clip by moving the red rectangle in the bottom positional area of the settings of the effect. (It's pretty buggy as of 0.7, you have to select effect, draw the invisible position, deselect, select again, and it shows.)

Composite[edit | edit source]

Simple picture-in-picture effect, uses upper clip as background and lower as picture-in-picture.

Luma[edit | edit source]

Luma effect in action

This transition goes from one video to another using effect defined by an image file ("luma" file). The lighter an area of luma file is, the sooner following clip will appear in this area.

Luma transforms from lower clip to upper one.

You can download some luma files using "Settings" -> "Download new lumas" in pull-down menu.


  • Softness: enables control over how soft the transition looks
  • Invert: inverts the luma file, therefore making black areas appear first
  • ImageFile: The luma file
  • Reverse transition: transition goes from upper strip to lower one

Wipe[edit | edit source]

Classic slide-in effect. Start and end parameters give where the upper strip starts from and ends up. Starting and ending transparency gives a possibiity to crossfade apart from sliding.

(Plain crossfade can be simulated by having both start and end in the middle, and start from 100% transparent to end at 0%.)

Align parameter aligns the ...

Comments[edit | edit source]

At the time of version 0.7, Kdenlive provides four major kinds of transitions: AffineComposite, Composite, Luma, and Wipe. Unfortunately these are not documented yet, but it has been suggested on IRC (#kdenlive, FreeNode) that crossfade is achievable using the Composite transition. Please also see the Video Effects and Transitions section of the forums.

Version 0.5[edit | edit source]

At the time of version 0.5, Kdenlive provided four major kinds of transitions, documentation for which is kept below for posterity until more uptodate documentation can replace it:

Crossfade[edit | edit source]

This is the most known and used transition effect. Two scenes are softly blended: the first scene gradually starts to fade out with transparency while the second scene fades in over it until it completely replaces the first. The time of the overlap and thus the speed of the cross-fade can easily be adjusted.

This effect can also be used for the widely known fade-in and fade-out effects. For creating the fade in/out, assuming you simply want you to use the standard "fade to/from black", you can simply go to edit mode and, at the top-left panel, click in the combobox Perform transition with: and choose "Background track (black)". Alternativel, you can fade to white or any other color by first creating a color clip with any desired color and use it as the first or second scene of the transition.

Push[edit | edit source]

This transition does not blend the clips --- instead, the "outgoing" clip is "pushed out" of the screen by the incoming clip.

In the edit mode for the Push transition, you must use the Start and End radiobuttons to define, respectively, where the first scene will be "positioned" in the screen during the transition --- in other words, you set the push direction. For that, just click in the rectangles of the 3x3 matrix shown. Usually you will click in the central rectangle for "Start"; you will certainly see no transition effect if you choose another start position.

The Transparency control allows you to set, well, transparency to the clip which is going out of the screen. It is applied also according to the "Start" and "End" buttons. You will normally want the outgoing clip to vanish during the movement, so you will set 0 or a low value for transparency at "Start", and a higher value at "End".

Anyway, you might want the second clip to "come into the screen" --- so you can use the "Invert direction" checkbutton, and use suitably inverted values and directions for "Start" and "End". Play around with the options until you get the desired effect.

PIP[edit | edit source]

PIP stands for Picture in picture, and this transition effect causes the impression that the second clip is growing from a point, or the first clip is shrinking to a certain point.

Wipe[edit | edit source]

Makes the scene from the first clip to be "wiped" from the screen in an animated way, giving room for the second clip.

Creating and using Luma files[edit | edit source]

The Wipe transitions are based in Luma files --- grayscale images in which the white-to-black variation "drives the wipe" for a transition. You can either create your own Luma files or download them from the internet.