Have you been hearing a whole lot of bad things about jump cuts, and how you need to avoid using them? That’s great – but before you can avoid jump cuts you need to understand what they are.
“What is a Jump Cut?”
A jump cut is a type of video transition between two shots that are visually similar to one another. Because of the visual similarities, some elements (typically the subject) will seem to suddenly ‘jump’ to a different position.
It can be very often found in clips that are edited from footage recorded from a single camera and from a fixed position. When a part of the video is trimmed from its middle, the transition that it results in is a jump cut.
“Are Jump Cuts ‘Bad’?”
While there is technically nothing ‘bad’ about a jump cut, the reason it is often advisable to avoid them is because they can be very jarring for viewers and not visually pleasing at all.
From a viewers’ perspective the subject and other elements will suddenly jump to different positions without explanation. That can distract them from the actual content of the video momentarily, and make them lose focus.
The exception to this is when jump cuts are used for a specific reason – such as to show repetition, visually illustrate the passage of time, or to add tension to a scene with an abrupt shift.
How to Hide Jump Cuts
Although avoiding jump cuts may sound easy, it may not always be an option – especially when you’re trying to edit a single video clip that was recorded from a fixed position.
In such cases your only option may be to try to ‘hide’ the presence of the jump cut by either:
- Cropping one of the clips to reframe it so that it is visually different. For example you could crop to a zoomed-in close-up shot of the subject.
- Adding in a cutaway from other footage that is preferably relevant in some way. The cutaway should just be a short clip that adds context to the video.
Essentially the key is to establish some sort of visual difference so that the transition isn’t as jarring. In practice that can be difficult or even not entirely viable at times, but you should make an attempt regardless as it can make your video significantly smoother.
The best way to start to learn how to hide jump cuts more effectively is by actually trying it out and practicing it.
For that you can use Movavi Video Editor to merge MP4 files in different ways. Its other features can help you to produce far more impressive videos as well, complete with music, animated transitions, stylish filters, and various effects.
Aside from hiding jump cuts, you should try to experiment with other types of cuts as well. The more you learn how different types of cuts can be used in different situations, the better the videos that you create will be.