Final Cut Pro: How To Export Still Images

Sometimes you need to take still images from your video project for promotional purposes. It could be for a DVD cover, a press release or even a thumbnail on a website. Whatever your reason may be, Final Cut Pro allows you to easily export still images directly out of your video project. Here's how:

Step 1: Find the Still 

Using either the canvas or viewer window, you will position the play head on the precise frame that you wish to export. Be careful in your selection because you don't want to chose a frame where someone's eyes are closed or mouth is open. You want to pick the most appealing still you have--a shot where the composition is better than the rest.

You're also going to want to pick a still where the video has already been color corrected. After all, this still is going to be the visual image that will represent your work. You want it to look it's best. Take the time to enhance the image before exporting it.

Step 2: Exporting the Still

The next step in this process is the actual exporting of the still. Choose 'File'-> 'Export'-> 'Quicktime Conversion'. You will then navigate through your computer's hard drive to select a location where you will save the clip. It's important that you are conscious now of where it will be saved rather than searching your computer for it later.

Once the location has been picked, you will choose 'Still Image' as the 'File Format'. By default, Final Cut Pro will save the still image as a jpeg. Once you are satisfied with your settings, hit 'Save'. You have now exported a still image.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Still

Despite your still being exported, it is not quite ready to be shared with the world yet. Open the jpeg in your computer's photo viewing program and blow up the image. Carefully examine it to make sure that this is the very best image to send. Look for anything to disqualify it. You need to adopt a mentality where you want to look for as many flaws as possible. People are very judgmental, and if they can find an excuse to not like your movie, they will. A poor still image for promotional purpose will get them to not even consider watching it. Although this work is your baby, you need to be very selective. If the still image does not look so great after it is blown up, then look for another one to share.

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