One of the most difficult aspects of cutting videos together is trying to avoid jarring viewers too much when you transition from one clip to another. If you are able to pull that off however, you can cut to a clip without viewers even taking notice of the fact.
While there are many ways that cuts can be ‘masked’, there are some that can be particularly useful:
- Cut on action
One of the most widely-used ways to make cuts less noticeable is the cut on action. As its name suggests, you will want to cut while a certain action is being performed in one clip, to a subsequent clip that shows that same action continue.
The reason this technique is so effective is that viewers tend to focus on the action in the clip and follow it to the next clip as well. Because of that they are less likely to notice the cut, and it won’t appear jarring to them.
When cutting forward to a point further along in the same clip, or any other visually similar clip – cutaways are often used to make the cut less jarring. It essentially ‘cutting away’ to a different clip in between the transition, and often clips that add context in some way are selected.
While the cutaway itself can be jarring, it is far less than directly cutting to a visually similar clip or using a jump cut. Still care should be taken in terms of the cutaway clip that is used, and its pacing.
- Cut on motion
Similar to cutting on action, cutting on motion is more general and can be used to cut between clips where the action itself doesn’t line up. With this technique the idea is to make sure there is motion of any kind directly before and after the cut to make it smoother.
Although not as ‘invisible’ as cutting on action, this technique can be effective especially if the context in both clips lines up.
To try the methods listed above all you need is some video footage and an editor that you can use to cut them together. For example you could try Movavi Video Editor and follow the instructions at https://www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-join-videos.html for a place to start.
At the end of the day your goal should be for the video to appear smooth with each transition so that viewers don’t feel distracted or lose their place. It may take practice to figure out the right place to cut each clip and the best technique to use, but at very least you should now have a list of ways that you can try to cut videos more smoothly.