Create Shape Transitions from Scratch in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro 27/05/2021 4 min read

Adobe Premiere comes with a range of built-in transitions for you to use in your projects, and there are thousands of transition plugins available to download online. However, if you want to create custom shape transitions in Premiere Pro, it is super easy and can give you the skills to develop your unique transitional effects.

We’re going to take you through a couple of options for creating your own shape transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro from scratch.

Part 1: Learn to Create Shape Transitions in Premiere Pro

The first method we’re going to show you creates the look of a shaped window through to your following clip. This is an excellent look for promotional videos and communications.

Edit Your Clips

Because this method uses your media, you will need to edit the clips in a specific way. It is easiest to create these transitions once you are confident of the order of your clips.

  1. Move your second clip to the timeline above your first. Make sure they overlap by 1 to 2 seconds.
  2. Using the Blade tool, cut the second clip where the first clip ends.
  3. Move the second half of the cut clip back on to the first Video layer in the timeline. 

You have now isolated the portion of the clip that will be used in the transition.

Create Your Shape

With this effect, you can use any shape you want, including drawing your own with the Pen tool. For this method, we’re going to keep it simple with a circle.

  1. Using the Circle tool, draw a circle across your screen.
  2. Shorten your Graphic layer to match the transition part of your clip and position it directly above in the timeline.
  3. Place your playhead at the start of the Graphic layer and select it in the timeline.
  4. Create a keyframe in the Effects Control panel for Position and Scale
  5. Move the Circle so it is off-screen.
  6. Ensure your playhead is at the end of the shape, and create a second set of keyframes. 
  7. Increase the Scale and change the Position of the Circle until it has covered the screen. 
  8. Playback the animation to make sure you’re happy with the movement.
  9. Select your keyframes in the Keyframe Editor and right-click to select Easy Ease.
  10. In the Effects Control panel, search for the Track Matte Key effect and add it to your Transition clip on the second track.
  11. Also in the Effects Control panel, find the Track Matte options and choose your Transition layer from the drop-down menu.

Add Some Style

Your transition will already look great and move your viewer from one shot to the next, but we can still add a little flourish.

  1. Turn off your video Transition layer and select the Shape Layer in the timeline.
  2. Go to the Effects Control panel and enable Stroke by clicking the checkbox.
  3. Increase the Stroke in size until you are happy with the width.
  4. Turn the video Transition layer back on and go to the Effects Control panel.
  5. Find the Composite Using setting and choose Matte Luma from the drop-down menu. 

You will now have a relaxed, blurry dissolve around the edge of your shape. Play around with the stroke width until you are happy with the look.

Part 2: Learn to Create Colorful Shape Transition Wipes in Premiere Pro

The second method uses colorful shape elements to wipe across the screen to your next clip. This bright and bold transition style is ideal for slideshows and typography videos, where you want the animation to make a statement.

Create Your Shapes

The first step is to create the basic shape you need for your transition. You can use any shape you like, but for this tutorial, we’re going to use a square so we can create a cool arrow wipe.

  1. Edit your clips in the timeline.
  2. Using the Rectangle tool, create a Square over your clips.
  3. In the Effects Control panel, turn the Square by 45 degrees.
  4. Move the Square so it is just off the edge of the screen, and place your playhead at the start of the graphic element.
  5. In the Effects Control panel, add a Position keyframe to the square.
  6. Ensure the playhead is at the end of the graphic element, and move the Square across the screen, just off the opposite side.
  7. In the Keyframe Editor, select the keyframes, right-click and choose Easy Ease.
  8. Create a second keyframe for the Position parameter. In the Effects Control panel, select the Color Picker and choose your first shapes color.

Multiply Your Shapes

Your first shape now has all of the keyframes to animate across the screen. We need to duplicate the Shape to create our series of arrows.

  1. Select the Shape layer in the timeline and hold ALT to drag the clip to the timeline above. It should snap into place in the same position as the first.
  2. Grab your new clip and move it a few frames down the timeline. It can help to zoom into the timeline to see this better. 
  3. In the Effects Control panel, change the color of your new square.
  4. Repeat these steps until you’ve created a wide chain of arrows covering the screen at a point during the animation.
  5. Click on the very top of your Shape layer and use Command + C or Ctrl + C to copy it.
  6. Select all of the Shape layers, then right-click and select Nest… to create a Nest Sequence.

Create the Track Matte

The Transition now looks pretty cool and works to cover the join in our clips, but we can make it a lot more impressive by adding a Track Matte.

  1. Use Command + V or Ctrl + V to paste the layer you have just copied, and move it in line with the end of the Nested Sequence.
  2. Stretch the start of the Shape layer so it covers the whole of the nested sequence.
  3. Change the Color of the Shape layer to black.
  4. In the Effects Control panel, search for Track Matte Key and add it to your nested sequence.
  5. In the Effects Control panel, find the Matte setting. Choose your Shape layer from the drop-down menu and click the Reverse box.
  6. Select both the Nested layer and Shape layer and right-click to choose Nest Sequence to create one clip of your transition.
  7. Right-click on your newly nested sequence and choose Speed/Duration. Change the speed to your preferred transition time.
  8. Finally, line the transition up over to join between your two clips.

Creating Premiere Pro transitions can be a lot of fun and give you a chance to be creative in your editing. The more you use these skills, the more you’ll find new and exciting ways to use Premiere. If creating your own Premiere Pro transitions feels like a bit too much work, we’ve put together this handy guide to over 250 stunning Premiere Pro transition templates for you to download.