How to Create a Custom Ink Transitions in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro January 5, 2019 4 min read

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use video footage to create a custom ink transition in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. This is a classic effect that might seem challenging to pull off, but the truth is that it couldn’t be easier!

Classic ink transitions are a great way to move between two clips while adding a burst of character to your video projects. To create this transition effect, you’re essentially going to tell Premiere Pro that you want black and white to mean two different things: white will show one clip and black will display the other clip. 

Before you get started, consider checking out our transitions tutorial to get the basics down. If you’re a pro, skip that, and dive into the steps below!

Premiere Pro Ink Transition Tutorial

Step 1: Grab the Clips You Want to Use

To start, select the two pieces of footage that you want to transition between and an ink clip to use as the transition. If you wanted to follow along using the same clip used in the video example above, we used this black ink bleed on white clip that you can download.

If you just want to get started with something that’s a better fit for your specific project, check out the thousands of ink stock footage available in the Motion Array library.

Step 2: Add the Clips to Your Timeline

The next step is to set up this transition by placing both clips on your timeline. The first clip should be the layer above the second clip that you want to transition to. Overlap your clips to where you want the transition to start, with the second clip at the beginning.

Once you’ve set up your footage, place your ink clip above both video layers and have it start at the same time as your bottom clip. If your ink footage is longer than both your clips, simply speed it up so that it begins and ends within the timeframe that you want.

Step 3: Apply the Track Matte Layer Effect

Once you have your initial set up, it’s time to tell Premiere Pro to use the transition clip the way you want it to. To do this, you’ll be using the Track Matte Layer effect which you can find by typing it into the search bar. Then, drag and drop it into the first clip (which is on layer 2 since the transition is on the top clip).

Under Effect Controls, you’re going to change the Composite Type from Matte Alpha to Matte Luma. Then, choose the Matte Layer that holds your ink transition clip (which should be video layer 3 if you are following our example).

When you playback your clips, you’ll be relatively close to your end look. But there are a few more steps to complete the transition. 

Step 4: Delete the Track Matte Effect from the Beginning of the First Clip 

You will notice that at the beginning of the clip, the playback is black because there is no track matte to pull from in layer 3. This is an easy fix. You’ll just need to take your Blade tool (which you can find with the shortcut key C) and make an incision at the beginning. 

Once you’ve done that, highlight the first section of your clip and in your Effects Controls delete the Track Matte Effect. With all of the above complete, the clip at the beginning should pay normally.

Step 5: Adjust to the Maximum Amount of the Transition  

You might notice that your ink effect doesn’t go all the way to completion. If this is the case, it will stop short of reaching the edge of your frame and actually completing the transition. To fix this, you’ll want to take your ink clip and scale it slightly so that the maximum amount of transition takes place. 

Even with that, if it’s still not quite enough, there is a simple fix. Ensure that your layer 2 clip is set to opacity and make two keyframes here (you can use Control or Command + click). Bring the second keyframe to zero when you want the transition to officially complete and keep the first keyframe at 100 (you can bring it closer or further away from the second keyframe to make it fade out more or less gradually). 

Step 6: Make Sure Your Transition is Fully Converting to the Next Clip

The final issue you might need to correct is that there might not be a full transition from clip one to two. Instead, there might still be a bit of the first clip that lingers around and doesn’t fully convert. This happens because these sections of the clip are not completely black, but the issue can be fixed!

Head to Lumetri Color and under Basic Correction you are going to drop the black slider to make the black portions of the ink footage completely black (therefore wholly transparent). If you think it’s needed, you can also raise the white slider to separate any bleeding of footage further.


With these steps in mind, you’ll be able to create a fluid ink transition in Premiere Pro. Ink transitions are a great way to flow one clip into another while adding style and professionalism to your project. But if you’re short on time, Motion Array has lots of cool ink transition templates for Premiere Pro you can download right away.