What is a cross dissolve?
A cross dissolve is a post-production video editing technique in which you gently increase the opacity of one scene over the previous one. In contrast to the jarring transition of a plain jump cut, one scene fades into the next, and the two images briefly overlap.
Cross dissolves, sometimes called cross-fades, were at their most popular during the early days of cinematography and can be considered one of cinema’s earliest special effects. In older movies, they were often used to show the passage of time, create a montage-like effect, or provide a gentle transition from one scene to the next.
Considerations for cross dissolves.
Any footage can dissolve or fade into any other footage, but in order to create a nonintrusive dissolve cut, a video editor has to consider the following:
1. Composition. As one shot dissolves into the next, the two shots will both be visible for a few frames. The composition of each shot should complement the other.
2. Lighting. In general, scenes that dissolve into each other should also have similar lighting levels or be lit in different ways that look interesting together.
3. Film grain. Make sure that each shot has similar film grain. Otherwise cross-fades will lose the gentle, dreamlike quality that makes them effective.