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Windows Movie Maker: Tips for Using the Wipe Transition

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011

Here are some great tips for using the classic Wipe video transition in your Windows Movie Maker project.

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    In the Day

    The Wipe is a classic video transition that has survived from the early slapstick days of silent cinema. It has an energy and obviousness that does away with any subtlety and draws attention to itself. This makes the Wipe both great and dismal depending on the situation, and the absolute nature of it in Windows Movie Maker means you have to use it perfectly. Here are some tips for using the Wipe in your Windows Movie Maker video editing project.

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    Look At It

    The Wipe is best used when it is meant to be seen. If you are just trying to use “invisible” video editing by switching from scene to scene with a focus on story rather than on technique you are better off using a fade or no transition effect at all. If you want to have the attention brought to the transition then the Wipe will be perfect to keep a light tone, maintain energy, and make you aware that you are watching a video.

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    Wipes are great to use when the motion of the Wipe coordinates with some of the motion on the screen. The Wipe will either go left or right, so if the movement on either the previous or following scene has motion of the characters or objects in the same direction then it may feel as though the motion has extended from scene to scene. If both the scenes have that motion then it may be a good way to continue that motion.

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    Top and Bottom

    The left to right Wipe or right to left Wipe is a lot less obvious then the bottom top or top bottom Wipes. The bottom up Wipe will feel as though you are revealing a hidden object to the audience, so when using it in your Windows Movie Maker video editing project you can use this as a sudden reveal. It is also good for moving to an exterior, which will then cut directly to an interior.

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    Limit the Wipe from excess in your Windows Movie Maker project. If you use it more than once in a ten cut area it will begin to annoy the audience.