Exporting a Series of Stills

Posted on by Larry

[This article was first published in the July, 2006, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
Updated 8/19/2006 and May, 2007 ]

Dick Osso wrote in with a question that has generated a LOT of responses:

MY KINGDOM for a fix to this!!!!

I’ve got a problem that maybe you haven’t been asked……

If I’ve recorded an event and from that video, I want to make 100 stills to put into some slideshow, I have to do the following steps:

  1. Find Image
  3. Make Freeze Frame
  5. De-Interlace
  6. FILE
  8. Using QT Conversion
  9. SAVE AS
  10. FORMAT
  11. Still Image
  12. SAVE

Larry, that’s 12 key strokes…. times 100 images, or 1,200 key strokes! Help!

Larry replies: Dick, a faster way to create stills is to export your sequence as an image sequence. Here are the steps:

To export as an image sequence:

This should be much quicker.

Update #1 : As I was writing this, Brian Taylor sent me a write-up of how he creates still frames of his video files. It’s a one-page 65KB PDF file which you can download here.

Update #2
Just after publishing this newsletter, Nick Meyers, from Down Under, wrote in with a better idea:

Exporting as an image sequence is a nice bit of lateral thinking, but here’s a more direct way — use

Batch Export.

Here are the steps:

Larry replies: Nick, this is a very slick, and much faster, workaround. Thanks.

Michael Grenadier writes:

Regarding your tip last month on exporting still frames, if you make a subclip of an individual frame you don’t have to drag to the bin. I duplicate my sequence and put it in a new bin and then park on the frame, mark in, mark out, make subclip.

Larry replies: Thanks, Michael. I’ll add this to the list.


Robert Garry writes in with one more suggestion:

Here’s another way to export the stills quicker:

Just place them in a timeline that corresponds to your frame size and export using QT Conversion. The stills end up exporting in the aspect ratio of your sequence.

Larry replies: Thanks! Keep in mind that using QuickTime Conversion downsamples video to 8-bits, which can cause color banding.

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