By Stephen Schweickart
Today, in partnership with ReelSEO, I’m going to tell you about the L-Cut, an editing technique you can easily apply today that will help you smooth out your cuts so that someone might actually enjoy watching your video.
The L-Cut is named as such because looking at this type of cut in your timeline creates an L or J shape, and well, I guess J-cut didn’t have quite as nice a ring to it. An L-cut involves cutting the audio before you cut your video or vice versa. For example, if you’re transitioning from a scene inside a home to a scene on a busy city street, you can L-cut the audio so you will hear the sounds of the street before you actually see it. This can help to soften what might otherwise have been a harsh cut.
Creating an L-cut requires a little more thought than just slapping two clips in the timeline back to back, but not much. For a beginner, the easiest way to approach this technique is to create a simple cut, with one difference. Just keep the two clips on separate tracks. Then, simply drag the handle at the end of your first clip out so it extends over your second clip. Make sure each clip’s audio is on separate tracks as well. Then BOOM! you’ve got yourself an L-cut.
When you’re working with this technique, it’s crazy easy to make a mistake. Tweaking the cut is very important to make sure the audio from your previous clip cuts when it’s supposed to and your follow up audio comes in properly. If you drag your first clip too far, you may not see a problem, but you could introduce some audio that your audience was never meant to hear like an overzealous director yelling ACTION or CUT. This is a simple fix though. Simply cut your audio sooner, give it another listen, and when you get it right it’ll make for a nice smooth transition. Easy, right?
The L-Cut process is one that takes some finesse, but separating the cut into two stages rather than letting the audio and video cut at once will really soften that cut and make a more pleasant viewing experience for the watcher. And let’s be honest, if this is one of your first videos, it’s going to need all the help it can get. But with a little practice and patience, you can take your video to the next level. It’s professional, very versatile, and will make you look like an editing wizard. It’s definitely a tool you need in your tool box.
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Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s site at http://www.vscreen.com/.
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