Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter published a short yet helpful video on how to use the “morph transition” in any of the common video editing software to morph on clip into the next.
Morph cut transition is used quite often to fix mistakes in takes when the actor/presenter needs to correct something and there is no B-roll to cut to (always have more B-roll than you think you will need – better to have it and not need it than to need and not have it). It is quite effective in this way although depending on the clip it might be a bit noticeable.
What Pike is showing here is just a nice way of using the morph cut to morph products. More specifically it is a way to morph one product into another as if it is coming out of it which is really cool (this isn’t necessarily right for every video of course but for some commercials, it can be a really fun thing so long as you don’t overdo it.
So how do you make a morph cut transition? it is actually pretty simple. It all begins with the shot. You need to have a static subject (or really as close to static as possible). Pick the subject that you want to morph and carefully replace it with the morphed subject. Make sure that you have a clip with the first subject and then record the one with the subject replacing it. The closer the location and position of the new subject will be to the original the more convincing the morph will look.
If possible add some movement to your shot, a slider can be cool but you need to make sure you align your two clips exactly the same on the timeline (in this case a motorized slider that can do exactly the same motion time and time again is ideal).
You can do a morph transition in Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve and Final Cut to mention just a few. The basic idea is the same in each program just align the clips to make sure the movement is matched (that is if you are using a slider and not a simple static shot although you can of course animate that one as well). You can lower the opacity to make sure that you are really matched.
Now you need to place the two clips one after the other and apply the transition effect on both. The name is different but the transition itself is fairly similar in each software (Premiere Pro – Morph cut, Davinci Resolve – Smooth cut, and Final Cut – Flow).
You can play with the speed of the morph transition – sometimes a faster one can look nicer and in other situations, a slower morph will fit better.
You can find more articles and videos looking at different aspects of video editing on our special section here on LensVid.