Video editing: Premiere 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: Premiere 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 Adobe Premiere Pro. You can download a free 7 day demo version from the Adobe website.

Premiere Pro is a PAID app, often purchased as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud ‘All Apps’ subscription. It can also be subscribed to on its own. Here are example monthly pricing options:

Pricing can change at any time – Always see Adobe’s live site for the latest information.

Premiere Pro has a ‘baby brother’ called Premiere Rush, which is a simpler video editor designed to work as well on mobile devices as traditional desktop computers and laptops. It offers a ‘quick and simple’ workflow and doesn’t include many of the tools and features of Pro. Premiere Rush is part of Adobe’s ‘Creative Cloud Express’ bundle which may be suitable for content creators working between mobile and desktop devices. It’s worth trying a free demo to see if it includes the features you need.

Please review all subscription options before committing to a purchase, bearing in mind the various bundles and pricing plans available. Also look for special subscription offers which last between 1 month and 12 months depending on your initial subscription.

This month we’re also running an explainer series for Vegas Pro (paid as a one-off fee or by subscription) as well as offering a single full-workflow explainer for Premiere Rush. Check them out!

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 premiere 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’re waiting for something to happen or 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 scene). You’ll also find a crossfade refered to as a ‘cross dissolve’, as is the case in Premiere Pro. This transition is appropriate for use in the spring flowers video as prolonged fades fit 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 indicates to 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 for trimming clips is fine while you’re getting started or if you’ll only be using video editing software occasionally. For regular or professional use it’s important to learn ‘three point editing’. This method involves selecting ‘in’ and ‘out’ points for each clip BEFORE adding it to the timeline. See the Premiere Pro example below:

Where to next?

Cross-fades are just one example of a TRANSITION. Premiere Pro includes hundreds of built-in transitions for you to try out, though go easy for the sake of your audience!

Select the ‘Effects’ workspace then browse the ‘Effects’ panel on the right. Below, we’ve selected a ‘morph cut’, a very powerful transition that will attempt to ‘morph’ between the end of one clip and the start of the next. It’s often used with talking head / interview pieces, though in recent years has become less popular as editors are favouring leaving jump cuts in place.

See the morph cut in action in an interview below:

Here’s a very readable 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 8 of the 11 explainer videos made available during video editing month. Make sure you check out the others!