Knowing a bunch of useful editing tips and tricks is always an excellent way to enhance your post-production workflow and power up your skill set. There is a simple, yet super efficient technique that definitely will liven up your edits by adding more dynamics to your post-production workflow thus making it even more effective.
This time, I won’t suggest any ready to use drag & drop transitions or animated mattes. Instead, here is a powerful transition that is more effective, unique and fun than the built-in digital effects of your NLE. In the following video tutorial by TunnelvizionTV, we’ll see how to create and customise a whip pan (or swish pan) by following a few simple steps.
The Whip Pan is the act of panning the camera very rapidly from one subject to another, frequently blurring the images in between the subjects. It is commonly used as a transition between shots, and can indicate the passage of time and/or a frenetic pace of action.
To create and apply the effect to your editing, simply open After Effects and import the clips that you need to cut by using a whip pan transition. Drag the two clips into a new composition. In this particular case, the whip pan duration will be around a second but you can adjust the right timing of the transition depending on your project and your personal preferences. Both clips need to be overlapped in the section where you will apply the whip pan transition as shown below.
The next step of the process is to slide the second clip either to left or right depending on the direction where the pan whip transition will take place. You can easily do that by selecting the clip and then pressing P button on your keyboard for changing the position of the given clip. Then you should create a Null Object and pair both clips to the newly created layer in your composition.
The next step is to access the position settings of the Null Object. Changing these settings will actually slide both clips simultaneously, so that’s why you need to add a few key frames to automate the process. Finally, you will need to activate the Motion Blur of the two clips so that when you play back the overlapping part of both clips in the composition you should see the following effect.
To eliminate that black line between the two shots and fine-tune the transition you need to add an Adjustment Layer below the Null Object and by right-clicking on the layer navigate to Effect>Blur & Sharpen and choose Directional Blur. In the Effects Panel set the appropriate direction of the effect and increase the Blur Length to an appropriate setting.
Now you have a perfect whip pan transition between these two shots. Furthermore, here is as another tutorial that covers how you can create and stylise the same effect in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
If this workflow is too complicated or time-consuming for you, you can always utilise the available whip pan transitions in Premiere Pro. Either way, this is another effective way to create a very fluid transition that can add more dynamics to your project, thus making it even more interesting and fun to watch. You can also download a free dedicated Swish Pan plugin compatible with FCP, After Effects, Premiere Pro from FXFactory that will also pan your shots seamlessly and effortlessly with a click of a button or two.