In this short HOWTO video, we show you how to (smoothly) fade in and out Kdenlive titles over a video clip, fading from and to transparency. The key to success is to use a Composite & Transform transition with keyframes (Affine and Composite will work too). Don’t use the Fade from/to Black effects though, as these effects remove the title transparency information.


These are the individual steps shown in this HOWTO video:

  1. Add a Composite & Transform transition to the title clip.
  2. First keyframe: set the opacity to 0%. This marks the beginning of the fade in (ramp up).
  3. Second keyframe: add a new keyframe where you want the title to be fully faded in, set the opacity to 100%. Set the type of the keyframe to Linear.
    • The rationale to set this keyframe to Linear is that otherwise Kdenlive (MLT) calculates a smooth curve fitting to the previous and following keyframe, causing the opacity value to overshoot. With a maximum possible opacity of 100% you won’t notice. However, when you use a maximum opacity of less than 100%, then this overshooting may become visible.
    • Ensure that the first keyframe is Smooth. You can only adjust the type of the first keyframes after you’ve added a second keyframe.
  4. Third keyframe: add another keyframe near the end where you want to start fading out the title. Leave the opacity at 100%. Set the keyframe type to Smooth.
  5. Fourth keyframe: add a final keyframe, where you set the opacity to 0%.


In case you are scratching your head now, why this mixture of smooth and linear interpolated keyframes? Then head over to our new article on the smooth interpolation.


  1. Aslanex

    I just don’t get the Smooth logic – why does it overshoot? And why is it used in the first and third and fourth keyframe then?

    • The DiveO

      Yeah, it took me some time to realize this too. The rationale is that “smooth” only limits the spline to cross through the keyframe value. In contrast, “interpolated” and “discrete” force the (outgoing) tangent at the keyframe value to be either horizontal (“discrete”) or the slope to the next keyframe (“interpolated”).

      1. For the first keyframe, the tangent is 0/horizontal (I think this is the starting assumption). But you cannot use fixed or interpolated, as we want to get a smooth spline up to the next keyframe.

      2. For the second keyframe, force the tangent to be horizontal again, so you need either a discrete or interpolated keyframe. Smooth would not constraint the tangent, resulting in the overshot.

      3. Third keyframe: we neet a smooth spline, and the tangent is automatically forced to be horizontal to fit with the constraints of the second keyframe.

      4. Last keyframe: probably doesn’t matter, but I’m forcing a horizontal tangent again by using an interpolated keyframe; discrete should work too, imho.

  2. Dika

    can we do this with windows’ version?

  3. Daudi

    What version of Kdenlive? I have 15.12.3 but there is no transition called “Composite and Transform” … only “Composite” and it won’t ‘stick’ to the title clip.

    • The DiveO

      Daudi, version 15.12 is a rather early KF5-based Kdenlive, now well over two years old. If my memory serves me right, “composite & transform” came on board sometime during the year 2016.

      As for transitions not sticking to a clip, did you right click on such a transition and made sure that it is set to “automatic”? Only then it will move and resize with a clip. In newer versions of Kdenlive you can even control the behavior for newly created transitions using a status bar button.

      I even don’t remember anymore when I added this statusbar feature, but I suspect it was not before 2016…

  4. D Thomas G

    I have v19.12.3 and its a bit different looking than the video but i came to understand it. The only issue I am having is if I move the video some seconds from the beginning and have the title screen play before the video, the opacity changes are not visible. Only when I have the title directly over the video, are the opacity changes visible. How can I have the title fade in and out otherwise?


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