Video editing: Vegas Pro explainer 3 of 5

Trim video clips, add fades and cross-fades

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Trim video clips, add fades and cross-fades


Name of explainer: Trim video clips, add fades and cross-fades

Creative theme: Video editing

Software used: Vegas Pro

User level: BEGINNER

This is explainer 3 of 5 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Create a project, import video clips and save the project
  2. Sequence video clips and render an mp4 file
  3. Trim video clips, add fades and cross-fades
  4. Add text and music
  5. Putting it all together: Stonehenge!

The Software

This series of beginner explainers uses Vegas Pro. You can download a free 30 day demo version from the Vegas Website.

The Vegas website refers to ‘Vegas Edit, Vegas Pro and Vegas Post’. These are three different software ‘bundles’ / subscription levels, with Vegas Pro and Vegas Post including additional functionality and plug-ins. The core editing program used in these explainers, Vegas Pro, is included in all three options.

If you decide to purchase Vegas Pro, please review the subscription options in full first, bearing in mind different the different bundles and pricing plans available.

This month we’re also running an explainer series for Premiere Pro (which requires a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud) and a single full-workflow explainer for Premiere Rush (which is FREE on mobile devices and part of a paid subscription which includes access to the desktop version).

The final product

Here’s the simple ‘Spring has sprung’ video we’re creating as we work through explainers 1 to 4. Notice the added text, fades, transitions and music track.

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER workflow explainer, so you just need to install and open the software. We’ll take it from there.

We suggest watching the previous explainers in this series before continuing here.

If you’re new to IT / computing, you may need help downloading and installing the software. Start with a search for ‘how do i install vegas pro’ or speak with someone who’s familiar with downloading and installing.

Why would I do this?

Being able to trim video clips allows you to remove the rubbish bits! These can include the starts of clips where you were waiting for something to happen and the ends of clips where you forgot to press stop!

Traditionally, adding a crossfade between video clips is used to symbolise the passing of time (E.g. Moving from a daytime scene to a night-time scene). You’ll also find it refered to as a ‘cross dissolve’ in some apps. It’s appropriate for use here in the spring flowers video as steady fades fit in well with the relaxed pacing.

Fading in from black is often used to indicate the very start of a film or section/scene, while fading out to black tells the viewer that scene is over.

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

As mentioned in the explainer, this method of trimming clips is fine when you’re getting started or if you’ll only use this software occasionally, but for regular or professional use it’s important to learn ‘three point editing’. This method involves selecting the ‘in’ and ‘out’ points for each clip BEFORE adding it to the timeline. See the Vegas example below (It uses an older version of the software but the technique hasn’t changed):

Where to next?

Cross-fades are technically just one example of a TRANSITION. Vegas Pro includes hundreds of built-in transitions for you to try out, but please go easy for the sake of your audience! Get started below:

1: Select the transitions panel. Transitions are categorised as shown on the left:

2: Browse through the transitions and find one you like. We’re going to add a ‘page peel’:

3: Drag the transition on to the timeline, dropping it in between two clips you’d like to transition between. Here’s the result as we transition between the intro shot and the Buddha:

Creative transitions are fun to play with, but try and avoid them unless relevant to the type of video you’re creating! They can work well for fast-paced action sequences but be very annoying for more sedate pieces!

Here’s a nice overview of popular film transitions and their meanings / symbolism:

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in March 2022. This page was last updated in March 2022.

We at are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software gives users many ways in which to accomplish the same task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to reference multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risk.

Download the asset pack for this series

If you’d like to follow our explainers using the actual assets demonstrated, you can download them using the link below. Not only do you receive the logos and images used in this series – You also gain access to versions of the videos without the background music. Nice!


This is number 3 of the 11 explainer videos made available during video editing month. Make sure you check out the others!