Working with Ren’Py: Part 6: Transitions


Working with Ren’Py:

Advanced Ren’Py:

Customizing Ren’Py:

Ren’Py + Python:

Ren’Py is a engine for creating visual novels. It comes with a suite of tools for taking code and transforming it into programs that can be run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even, with a little more work, mobile platforms like Android and iOS.



By default, Ren’Py will show one one selection of text after another. When used with scene or show, images can be shown, hidden, or replaced. However, sometimes there is a need for an effect to better inform a player of movement between events or places. For this, transitions can be used.

Transitions work with other keywords like scene and show to use effects like fade, dissolve, or none to merge from one set of one or more interactions to another.


Open the “script.rpy” file for “The Question”.


The first use of a transition occurs on line 18. It is paired with the line immediately above it, line 17.


The use of the keyword with pairs a transition with another keyword. In the case of line 17, the keyword fade is used with the keyword scene to fade into the use of the “bg lecturehall” image.

Note: The use of the keyword with groups one or more uses of the keywords scene and show together. It will work on all of them up until the next text, interaction, or transition is used.


The next use of a new transition occurs on lines 34 – 37.


The keyword dissolve is used to create an effect of the image “sylvie green normal” appearing slowly in parts.

Throughout “The Question”, the transitions of fade and dissolve are used in the same way. The keyword fade is often used with the new establishing of a scene and the keyword dissolve with a character appearing in the same scene.

Later in “The Question”, the use of the keyword dissolve is used to express the quick passage of time, as if it is “dissolving” between different points in time as the story moves quickly between events.

Note: Although not used in “The Question”, the last major transition keyword, None, bypasses any timed transition effect and simply updates. It can be paired with other transitions to break up complex visual events such as using scene and multiple uses of show with their own transitions.