A laptop displaying video editing software on its screen, placed in an ornate theater with red seats and a brightly lit stage.
A laptop displaying video editing software on its screen, placed in an ornate theater with red seats and a brightly lit stage.

Video editing: Premiere Pro explainer 3 of 5

Trim video clips, add fades and cross-fades

All our video editing explainers are waffle-free and work-tested. That’s the pixels.cool guarantee!

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: Project Stonehenge!

This explainer series is also available in a microlearning course format! The course is completely FREE and you can download a PDF certificate of completion like the one below at the end! See our sister site pixelsofcourse

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:

ADOBE pricing June 2024

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?

Trimming video clips allows you to remove the ‘rubbish’ bits, including the start of a clip when you were waiting for something to happen and the very end of a clip when you forgot to press stop!

Traditionally, adding a crossfade between video clips symbolises the passing of time (E.g. Moving from daytime to night-time). You’ll also see crossfades refered to as ‘cross dissolves’, as in Premiere Pro. This transition is appropriate for use in the spring flowers video as gradual fading fits well with the relaxed pacing.

Fading in from black is often used to indicate the start of a film or section/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.

Download the video clips used in this series

If you’d like to follow the explainers using the video clips demonstrated, you can download them below. These files are for personal use only and must not be distributed or sold.

Good to know

As mentioned in the explainer, this method of trimming clips is fine while you’re getting started or if you’ll only be using video editing software on a casual basis. For regular or professional use it’s important to learn ‘three point editing’. This method involves selecting ‘in’ and ‘out’ points for a clip BEFORE adding it to the timeline. See the Premiere Pro example below:

Where to next?

Cross-fades are an 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 and browse the ‘Effects’ panel on the right. Below, we’ve selected the ‘Morph cut’, a 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 clips, though in recent years has become less popular as editors increasingly leave jump/hard cuts in place.

See the ‘morph cut’ in action in an interview below:

Here’s a 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 2023. This page was last updated in June 2024.

We at pixels.cool 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 8 of 10 explainer videos available for video editing month. Make sure you check out the others!