Freezing Frames from Video

on Monday, November 30, 2009

The first part of this chapter shows you how to use still pictures in your movies. But there will also be times when you might want to freeze a video image for posterity, so to speak. You may want to grab still pictures from video to help promote your movie, or you may want a still image of someone or something, and the video clip is the only image you have. Just keep in mind that the resolution of video images is really, really low compared to even the cheapest digital cameras, so frame grabs from video will have a lower quality. The lower quality will be especially apparent if you print the frame grab because image details will look blocky and pixelated. To freeze a frame of video and turn it into a still picture:
  1. Open the video clip that has the frame that you want to freeze. If you don’t have a video clip of your own, you can use the sample video clip on the companion CD-ROM. In Pinnacle Studio, you must place the clip in the timeline before you can freeze a frame. To add a video clip to the timeline, simply drag it from the album to the timeline.
  2. Move the play head to the frame that you want to freeze.
  3. Grab the frame. In Apple iMovie, choose File➪Save Frame As. A Save As dialog box appears. In Pinnacle Studio, choose Toolbox➪Grab Video Frame. The Grab Video Frame toolbox appears. Choose the Movie radio button next to Grab From, click the Grab button, and then click Save to Disk.
  4. Save the frame. In iMovie, name the picture and choose a format in the Format menu. The available formats are JPEG and PICT, but if you’re not sure which format to choose, I recommend JPEG.
In Studio, name the file and choose a format from the Save As Type menu. Several formats are available, but I recommend the JPEG format for the greatest versatility.
After you have grabbed a frame of video, you can use the image on a Web page to promote your movie, use it as a background image for a DVD menu, or share it as you would any other still photo.