Final Cut Pro: How To Create Freeze Frames from a Video Clip

Freeze frames are always cool to include in a video. They're a throw back to all the great 1980s TV shows that used freeze frames at the end of the episodes before the credits. They're easy to create and include in you're videos. Here's how:

Step 1: Export the Frame

Usually, a freeze frame is used in one of two ways. It's either used at the very end of a clip, like the 80s TV show example with the credits, or it's used in the middle of the clip. You might insert a freeze frame in the middle of a clip so that the action can be paused for voice over narration to occur. However, you want to use it the process begins the same way. You need to export a still image of the clip you're going to freeze.

Exporting a still image is easy. Choose 'File'-> 'Export'-> 'Quicktime Conversion'. Select a location on your hard drive for the image to be saved to. Then choose 'File Format' -> 'Still Image'. Then click 'Save'. You have now exported a still image in the jpeg format.

Step 2: Import the Still

If the still image has not been automatically added to your project, then you will have to manually import to your project. Choose 'File'-> 'Import' and select the still image from where you have saved it.

Step 3: Creating the Freeze Frame

Adding a freeze frame to the middle of your video clip is easy. Your play head should still be at the exact frame you exported. Using the razor tool, you're going to split the clip in two at the play head. The frame you exported should be the first frame of the second clip.

Next, you want to create room for the still image in your timeline. Move the second clip and everything after it about 20 seconds down the timeline. Then, drag the still image from the bin to the timeline. Make it's length whatever you feel will be appropriate. If you have not added the Voice Over yet, then you're going to end up changing the length later anyway.

Once the still image has been added to the timeline, drag the second clip and everything after it down the timeline so that the second clip and still image become spliced together.

Step 4: Watch the Play Back

Play back your work to make sure that the freeze frame effect is working properly. You should see your video play, freeze, and then resume playing again.  

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