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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?

Trimming video clips literally means cutting away the rubbish bits! This can include trimming the start of a clip where you were waiting for something to happen and trimming away the end of a clip when you forgot to stop recording!

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

Fading in from black is often used to indicate the start of a film or individual section or scene, while fading out to black tells the viewer the 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 ideal for new video editors but for regular or professional use it’s important to learn three point editing’. This involves selecting an ‘in’ and ‘out’ point for a clip BEFORE adding it to the timeline. See the Vegas example video below (It uses an older version of Vegas but the technique remains the same):

Download the video clips used in this series

If you’d like to follow this series using the video clips demonstrated, you can download them below. These files are only to be used for personal practice and must not be sold or used commercially.

Where to next?

Cross-fades are just one type of TRANSITION. Vegas Pro includes hundreds of built-in transitions o try out, though please use them sparingly for the sake of your audience! Get started with them 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 thumbnail image on to the timeline, dropping it between the 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 for the type of video you’re creating!

Here’s a helpful 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 2023. This page was last updated in March 2023.

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.

This is number 3 of 10 explainer videos for video editing month. Make sure you check out the others!