Throughout all of my commercial editing career, I've added picture fade ins and outs on all of my videos. I'm mainly talking about TV commercials here. This typically provides a "kiss of black" between adjacent commercials in a block, thus providing separation for the audience between advertisers.
But I wonder - is that's still advised? For example, if you distribute through Extreme Reach, their specific guidelines mandate that the last frame of your file is video and not black. So, this would presume that you cut - not fade - out at the end of the commercial. No specification on the start of the commercial. In addition, since everything is so highly compressed these days, fades tend to cause visible macro-blocking on many of the files during the fade, which makes a cut look better.
What are the thoughts here about fading or not fading?
Some servers and Master Control switchers may be programmed to do the fades at their end, automatically, so starting and ending on full frames would not be an issue there.
If the place taking your deliverables demands no fades, that's what you do.
I generally use a 7-to-15-frame fade top and bottom on spots, as a default, sometimes the fades are faster, may come up faster and go out slower, but occasionally, if I want a more jarring effect for some reason, or the spot is *really* cramped for time, I'll also skip the fades. It's literally one second more of viewing time, but sometimes that one second makes all the difference in the pacing.
For web-bound stuff, players generally pause on the last frame, so to keep the logo or other information screen up and visible for people to read/copy down info without them having to manually pause, I'll also end there on a full frame, which becomes a freeze frame in the media player.
Today, every network gives specific specs and thats what you have to fullfill. If not specified, I still do it the right way... 29:20, fade or cut. I usually add a 10 frame fade. Depends on the content, really.
It bothers me that tone is used more today to censor or create cuss words than it is to set up levels. No intern at any station even knows what bars and tone are for. Hence nobody being able or willing to watch commercials anymore. Levels are all over the place.
Really, anyone still advertising on tv is just doing business how there Dad did when he gave them the business.