If you’ve ever worked with video editing programs like iMovie or Adobe Premiere, you’re probably accustomed to adding transition effects between your video scenes. Cross-fades, blurs, and wipes are all standard fare for simple but professional video edits.

As online video platforms become increasingly dominant, the editing process has also moved more and more to the web. There are several important reasons for this: online storage is highly manageable, web apps don’t require any downloads or bulky desktop apps, workflows are easily transferred across different devices, and team collaboration is enabled in shared online workspaces.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to a quick and intuitive way to add basic transition effects to your videos online, using an editor that allows you to make all your video edits in the same place. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Add your video files to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Arrange your clips in the Timeline
  3. Add your transitions
  4. Export and download

Step 1: Add Your Video Files to the Kapwing Studio

I’ll be using the Kapwing Studio to show you how to add transitions to your video clips. Head over to Kapwing.com and click Start Editing to enter the Studio, where you can upload your video files using the Upload button, pasting a link into the URL field, or dragging and dropping your files directly into the Studio window.

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio, highlighting the ways to upload content.

Most likely, you’ll be uploading several different video files to use in your project. For a project with transition effects, you’ll want to keep all your video clips in the same scene, so all you need to do is upload every video you want to use straight to the Studio canvas, one video layer on top of the other.

Step 2: Arrange Your Clips in the Timeline

When you’ve added all your video clips to the Studio, select the Timeline button in the upper toolbar. Here, you’ll see all your video clips on different levels of the Timeline. To order them the way you want, drag them to the right or left on the Timeline – when you put the beginning of one layer at the end of another, the clips will snap into place. You can also click & drag the ends of your video layers to trim them, or select a time in the middle of a clip and select the Split button to split it into separate video layers.

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio, showing how to arrange layers in the Timeline.

If you want to add a transition effect in between two video layers, make sure you’ve put them on the same line of the Timeline, so their edges are touching. It should look like this:

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio, showing how to align videos and add transitions.

Step 3: Add Your Transitions

When you’re done arranging your layers in the Timeline, it’s time to add your transitions. First, I’ll show you how to add cross-dissolve or cross-blur transition effects. When your video layers are on the same line and touching each other, you can select any video layer and click Beginning or End under “Apply Transition” on the left side of the Timeline. Now, you can select either the Cross-Dissolve option or Cross-Blur effect. Play through your clips to see which effect you like better for your video.

You can also add other transition effects to your videos in the Studio view. Leave the Timeline viewer and select the video after the transition you want to add. Click Animate in the right-hand toolbar and choose one of the transition animations: Flicker, Reveal, Drop In, Fade, Pop in, and Slide Up. The names are pretty intuitive, but you can click on each one to preview it on the canvas. Once you’ve selected the transition style you want to use, you can adjust their speed to see which one works best.

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio, showing how to add transition effects using Animations.

For these animations, only the second video in the transition will be affected, so you should return to the Timeline and move the animated layer just a bit to the left so it barely overlaps with the clip before it. This will make your transition smooth, so both videos are playing on screen during the transition animation.

Step 4: Export and Download

When all your transitions are added, play through your project from beginning to end and make sure it looks the way you want it to. Once you’re satisfied with your project, click the red Export button in the top right corner and give Kapwing some time to process your video – for longer projects, this can take several minutes. When your video is done processing, click the Download button on the right side of the screen and your project will be saved directly to your device’s files.

A screenshot showing how to download content from Kapwing.

I hope this article helps you build your video editing toolkit using online tools! If you're interested in more content about high-level video production using web-based software, check out our YouTube channel Kapwing App. And while you're here, look through some related articles on professional video editing tasks:

•  An Online Screen Recorder for Videos and GIFs
How to Add a Highlighter Effect to Video
How to Make Professional Explainer Videos
How to Create Podcast Cover Art