The very first thing that you should do… no, let me try again. The very first thing that you must do after installing and opening the new Premiere Pro CC is to set a keyboard shortcut for Deselect All. Trust me. This will save you a lot of trouble later.
This is something that you must do as well, if you think that applying transitions in Premiere no longer works.
Open the Edit menu, choose Keyboard Shortcuts…, and in the search box type “deselect”. Fortunately only one option will be visible, the one that appears in the Edit group – “Deselect All”. Assign a shortcut to it which will be easy for you to remember. I sincerely recommend D , because D is also used to apply default transitions. And if you have used Premiere before CC, you will have to learn this new shortcut combination: D , Cmd /Ctrl + D to apply the default video transition, or D , Shift + Cmd /Ctrl +D for audio transitions.
Set this shortcut right now!
Premiere Pro CC introduces what is called “the primacy of selection”. Translated to plain English it means, that if you have anything selected in the timeline, Premiere will attempt to use the selection for any operation you choose, disregarding track selections, playhead position, etc. While there is an argument to be made that it’s more effective, more consistent (well, perhaps some day), it is changing the behavior which was long established in Premiere – using the playhead position for applying transitions.
Here’s how the new behavior works: if a clip is selected, and it is between two other clips, nothing happens. If the clip has at least one edit point where it does not touch anything, then the selected transition is applied to the loose ends. And if multiple clips are selected, the transitions are additionally applied between these clips. Not very obvious, right?
The clip on track V2 is selected. You might not even notice it. At least I didn’t!
And here’s the result – instead of applying the transition to the edit point under the playhead, the selected clip receives the transitions on both sides.
If you are like me, and you select and deselect clips all the time, whether to adjust effects or for any other reason, then this new behavior is going to bite your muscle memory hard. Before you learn the D , Cmd /Ctrl +D combination, you will find yourself cursing two times: once when the desired transition does not appear in the place you think it should, and the second time, when during preview you find stray transitions in various places.
This is the collateral damage or “the primacy of selection”. If you forgot to deselect, and want to use the old way of applying transitions – by the track selection and playhead position – then you are screwed, and need to adjust. It does not help to know that this behavior is the result of Final Cut Pro’s inability to select multiple edit points at once, and was introduced there as a remedy to this limitation. Supposedly a lot of FCP users asked for this functionality in Premiere. They got it, and it came at a cost to established workflows. Like the introduction of patch panels in CS4, only more mischievous, because the results may not be immediately visible.
Here the selection is a bit more obvious. Watch what happens, when the shortcut is pressed now.
The transitions are applied at the end, and in between the clips. Remember to learn the new combination of keys – D, cmd/ctrl+D – if you want to use the playhead to apply the transitions.
To add confusion, there is a keyboard shortcut to “Apply Default Transition to Selection”, which works exactly like Apply Default Transition if clips are selected, although it applies both audio, and video transitions.
My little mind can’t comprehend the idea behind this change, especially since I’m not the only one who was taken aback upon the first encounter with the new behavior. But I know of others who are happy about it, and I found some use of it as well… only to encounter a stray transition during the final viewing of a recent production.
So remember – D , Cmd /Ctrl +D is your new shortcut for Apply Default Transition at the Playhead.