Summary: What is a match cut? How to make one by yourself? Today, we walk through match cut definition, match cut films and a breakdown list of top-5 video cutters that are considered as advantageous in creating match cuts. After reading the post, you can not only acquire a new film editing technique, but know how to create a match cut by yourself at home. Now, let's dive in.
Match Cut Breakdown: Definition, Examples
When staying at home, don't waste up the good time, try to spice up your life a bit by making some fun videos maybe. As is acknowledged by the whole universe, a seamless scene transition is praised by everybody. For several scenes you shoot, how do you connect them in a cinematic manner? Consider using a match cut then.
In the following, we will break down match cut definition and how it is applied in the film. Once you know match cut, you will understand why it is so effective than a regular cut that it is more frequently used in Hollywood movies.
What Is a Match Cut?
Match cut is a film transition technique that is applied in the post production process of film making. In the film industry, movie scenes are shot in advance, then they will be passed over to the editing. To make up a coherent storytelling, the smooth transition between two scenes is imperative. As the abrupt shift in time or place will break the harmony, making the story inconsistent, the flat and unwrinkled transition from one shot to another can get the audience more absorbed in the plot.
More importantly, diversified transition techniques used in the film can add up more fun, making the creation even more impressive.
As Jennifer Van Sijll, a consultant and specialist in film and television projects, mentioned in her book Cinematic Storytelling: A visual match cut is achieved when image at the end of one scene "matches" the incoming image of the next scene. It can suggest similarity or contrast. In plain language, two different scenes that hold parts of aspects in common, be it a gesture, action, object, graphic, symbol or color, etc., are combined together in a seamless cinematic way - that's where the match cut lies in.
The video editing trick is called the match cut because the shot you are cutting is similar in composition as the previous shot. After you join two shots together, the later shot "matches" the previous one to some degree.
Compared to what said on match cut, the counterpart film transition technique is jump cut.
Match Cut In the Movie
2001: A Space Odyssey
Amongst many films that use match cut to make a cinematic transition in a film, the most famous example is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, directed by Stanley Kubrick). One take in the film, the ape tossed the bone which he deemed it a tool into the air, as it span the scene switched, and a much more advanced tool - an orbiting satellite appeared. The two objects - the bone and the satellite are similar in size, and both of them are following a moving path in the shot. The match cut of the two scenes helps to draw a deep sense of connection between the primeval weapon and the advanced technology, which implies the two objects as humane technology advancement to that point.
Actually, match cut can be found everywhere only if you pay attention to it. There are many films that use this scene transition, just name them a few: Forrest Gump (1994), Titanic (1997), Shrek (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Up (2009), etc.. Back to 2016, the Netflix sci-fi web TV series, Stranger Things, used a lot of scene transition techniques, and match cut was repeatedly observed in its every episodes.
Match Cut Frequently Asked Questions
Although being presented with some words on match cut, personally you may possess other pending questions. In the following, we collected a list of frequently asked questions about match cut and that of its relative subjects, and offer you the best answers. Hope that helps.
Q: How many types of match cuts are there?
Q: Difference between match cut and jump cut?
A: The two editing techniques are different in genre. In brief, the match cut is to deliver a smooth transition between two different scenes, while the jump cut is considered as the discontinuity editing of two sequential shots.
The Secret to a Match Cut Creation
How to make a match cut yourself? Well, all 4 things are required to get the job well done. First, you'll need a set of equipment for video shooting. Cameras, mobile phones, camcorders, etc. are good options. Second, you're going to mark the position of both of two scenes in the video. Third, shoot some video clips with your machines. Use a tripod or a mobile phone holder providing you are going to engage in the scene taking. Forth, you'll need a computer with a video cutting program to edit the raw footage you've taken.
A warm tip: The video cutter you use to create a match cut should:
- read files exported from different machines;
- allow you to define the exact spot of each scene;
- cut out the parts you desire;
- join two scenes together in the most undemanding way.
Best Match Cut Tools [Windows, Mac, Linux]
Looking around massive video editing software out there, it would be hard for you to tell which of whom are for video cutting as well. In the following, we round up some best video cutters in the market place, make a brief introduction on them, and will walk through how to create a match cut with one.
#Businesslike Video Cutters
After Effects is one non-linear video editing tool by Adobe Suites. For Windows users, Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit) versions 1803 and later can have it on your PC. As for Mac users, macOS versions 10.13 and later are available to install it. In After Effects, a variety of cutting patterns can be chosen from: you can cut by frame, trim unwanted parts, and split the original file into several segments.
Lightworks is available on cross-platform operating systems: Windows (32bit, 64bit), Linux (64bit) and macOS X. Cut, trim, split videos precisely to your desired lengths (either by second, frame, or keyframe) can be accomplished without any excuses.
Here are the merits and demerits of above mentioned two professional-level video cutters:
- Professional video editing software
- Massive video editing features packed in
- Costly in price
- Complicated UI that is not easy to use
- Takes up big space to be installed
- May not be the optimal choice for a mere cut
#Handy Video Cutters
VideoProc supports mainstream OS platforms such as Windows OS and Mac OS . It is designed with the most intuitive interface that is very easy to use. Cut, trim, split are handy to use for any cutting patterns in need. With its GPU acceleration technology, the final export will be rendered in a jiffy with a high resolution.
Gihosoft Free Video Cutter is available to have on both Windows and Mac systems. This video cutter interface is designed in a hand-drawn style, which is cute and special. However, you can only make a simple cut that allows you to cut out one clip at a time.
WEENY Free Video Cutter can only be used on Windows systems.
It is built in with video codecs in its directory, so you don't need to install additional codec packs to get it working properly. WEENY Free Video Cutter can convert videos with 3GP, ASF, AVI, FLV, MP4, MPG, RM, RMVB, VOB, WMV and more container formats into XVID, MPEG4, H.264 files.
The above mentioned three easy-to-use video cutters share the following pros and cons:
- Free to download
- Intuitive UI that is easy to use
- Lightweight packs to install
- Very qualified to all cutting patterns such as cut, trim, split, etc.
- Some of them can't cut by frame or keyframe
Here's the feature to feature comparison of the three handy to use video cutters:
|VideoProc||Gihosoft Free Video Cutter||WEENY Free Video Cutter|
|Windows, macOS X||Windows OS, Mac OS||Windows only|
Intuitive and easy to use
Clean, simple and cute
Simple but old-school
Various input video formats
|One-click cut feature, precise cuts, clip duration adjustable||Can cut out one clip at one time, can not merge||Can only make a rough cut, can't define the clip duration by second, frame or keyframe|
Render or not
Output quality / resolution
|1080p, 2K, 4K UHD, etc.||Source quality||Source quality|
|Very fast. Boosted by Level-3 Hardware Acceleration Tech||Fast||Ordinary|
Simple Steps to Make a Match Cut [Tutorial]
The secret to a terrific match cut creation lies in editing with a handy video cutter. This versatile tool we edit with should be easy to use, have several cutting patterns built-in, and support a variety of input/output media formats for sharing on different platforms. After Effects and Lightworks are too professional for a mere cut feature, Gihosoft and WEENY Free Video Cutter lack rendering when exporting. Taking all factors into consideration, VideoProc outshines its peers for its intuitive interface and potent video cutting feature. Therefore, we take VideoProc as example, to see how to make a match cut within 4 simple steps.
First off, free download and install VideoProc. This may cost you 2-3 minutes.
Step 1. Import source videos into VideoProc.
After you finish the quick installation, launch VideoProc on your desktop. Click the Video tab on the launching interface > in the upper toolbar on the top left side, click the +Video button (for some single video files) or the +Video Folder button (for several videos packed in one file folder) to import your video files.
Step 2. Choose an output format.
After videos are imported, head to the bottom toolbar, click the Popular / Video tab and pick up a container video format for your video. Then, you may adjust the order of imported video (tip: this is the key to a match cut).
Step 3. Mark out the clip duration and cut out desired clips.
Click on the first imported video profile > click Cut under its profile > dragging the marker (the two green knobs) on the slider to mark out the exact spot of the first clip > hit the Cut button to cut out the first clip of your match cut shot > click the Edit button to adjust the clip duration > hit the Done button to finish it.
You may repeat the process for the second clip of another match cut shot.
Step 4. Merge the two shots into one and export the complete match cut.
After two shots are ready, check the Merge box > set an output path for the creation > hit the RUN wheel to initiate exporting. In a flash, the export will pop up and you can enjoy your creative match cut now.