A guide to morph cut in film.
Learn the tips and tricks of video editing to produce professional-looking results. This article explores uses for the morph cut in filmmaking.
The techniques and methods used by an experienced professional filmmaker can seem like magic — but they’re not. With knowledge and the right video editing software, anyone can create great films and videos. The morph cut is one of those film techniques that, when done correctly, makes your project seem like magic was applied.
What is a morph cut?
To understand how to use a morph cut, let's consider a jump cut. Simply put, a jump cut is when you splice two pieces of video together. If the subject or scene has somehow changed, an abrupt jump cut will be very noticeable. You may use a jump cut to obtain a dramatic tension-building effect, but it's not the best solution for editing out pieces of what should be a continuous shot.
Often, a morph cut is a better way to edit out video frames. Commonly used when shooting subject interviews, a morph cut smoothly blends two remaining clips without the abrupt effect caused by a jump cut. Imagine shooting an interview. Invariably the subject will stammer or use filler words like "um" or "ah" as they think about what to say next. Leaving these blemishes in the final cut may leave your video looking unprofessional.
However, morph cuts work best when the interview subject is mostly stationary. Even the smoothing effect of a morph cut will not completely erase all evidence of the edits if the subject is moving excessively.
To smooth out those rough spots in an interview or similar video, you can use video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro in post-production. There’s no need to start the interview over, just use a morph cut to remove the unwanted frames.