Turning a dull video dissolve into something sexy: Hawaiki Super Dissolve

Video transitions are boring unless you spice them up with special effects. The trouble with special effects, however, is that they usually make you nauseous or are cheesy at best. Few movies made by professionals therefore use more than the two least spectacular transitions: the cut — the abrupt scene change — and the dissolve. Hawaiki has come up with a way to make dissolves — by far the most commonly used transition of them all — more interesting, sexy even. They’ve turned that into a Final Cut Pro X plugin: Super Dissolve.

Hawaiki has its Super Dissolve plugin managed by FxFactory, so installing is a breeze. Once activated, you’ll find six Super Dissolve video transition effects in the Final Cut Pro X Inspector. The basic workflow is that you start out with one of the simple dissolves, which offer basic controls over how the dissolve should run, and then add some of the advanced control effects to it. You can also create a Super Dip transition, which covers the otherwise dull “Fade to colour” transition.

Hawaiki Super Dissolve video transitions

Even the basic settings of Super Dissolve will keep you happy and experimenting for as long as you wish. For example, if you want to change the blend mode of the outgoing and incoming clips during the transition, you can easily change that. You can also play with the opacity of each clip while in transition. Want to change the layering of the clips during the video transition? No problem. Easing is covered as well, of course. By the way, it’s also easy to create a dissolve that complies with broadcast rules using Super Dissolve.

video transition plugin Hawaiki Super Dissolve

To make Super Dissolve super-easy to use with a rich visual feedback of what you’re doing, you can drag the Super Dissolve CD effect on top of the dissolve type you selected first. This will give you even more control with direct and very user-friendly feedback where it concerns the easing. You can make that process asymmetric and even split the two clips so you can mask them out exactly the way you want. If you want to know what I mean by that it’s best to pay the instruction video a visit. It’ll become immediately apparent how much control you actually have.

To be quite honest I didn’t expect that Hawaiki Super Dissolve was going to have such a big impact. After all, how long does a video transition show and how much influence can it have on the overall atmosphere of your movie? It turned out it has more influence than you would expect. I’m not going to say Hawaiki Super Dissolve is an absolute must-have like for example some colour correction plug-ins, but it sure helps your footage look more polished than without.

The plug-in can be purchased from within the FxFactory interface and costs around €45.