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How to use transitions to make your TikTok videos more interesting

How to use transitions to make your TikTok videos more interesting


Move smoothly from one clip to the next

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you’re a TikTok creator, then you know how quickly those minutes of video can fly by. One of the ways you can move storytelling along is by using transitions between clips. 

While TikTok offers a handful of templates that resemble slideshow presentation transitions, these don’t seem to be very popular. Instead, many users opt for manual transitions that use video editing and recording tricks to make their video flow from one clip to the next. Some of these transitions are relatively simple and only require a couple of steps, while others need a little bit of planning. 

All the transitions serve a purpose, though, and that is to move the video along and keep pace with either the music or what the person is saying. Transitions can also be used to reveal something new, like an appearance change, or to signal the speaker is moving onto the next topic. 

Here’s how to do a simple TikTok transition:

  • Use one hand to hold your phone.
  • Turn your camera so it’s on selfie mode. 
  • Press and hold the record button.
  • Say or do whatever you would like to say or do.
  • Once you’re finished talking, use your free hand to cover the phone’s camera.
  • Stop recording.
  • Set up your next shot by moving elsewhere or getting ready to start speaking again.
  • With your hand still on the camera, start recording again. 
  • As you start speaking, move your hand away from the camera. 
  • Finish the clip and stop recording.
  • Play the clip back on the next screen to make sure the transition looks smooth.
  • Either continue recording or publish the video! 

If you need an example, I use this transition method below:

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can begin experimenting. Making transitions convincing really comes down to placement of the camera and timing. Some combinations require your phone, body, or both to stay in the same place for each frame. Other transitions, especially with objects or body movements, need the right timing when you’re editing the clips. Matching up the previous movement to the next movement is what makes a transition feel seamless. 

Here is an example of a more intricate transition and a visual explanation of how the creator did it:

The Verge on TikTok /

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