Let’s imagine you are watching some interesting video. At some point, you might want to stop playback and export that current image from a video. Maybe you want to send it to your grandma or just post it to your favorite social media.
I prepared this tutorial to show you 4 simple ways how to extract a photo from a video, using:
- GoPro Studio – free video editing software
- Adobe Premiere Pro – professional video editing software
- any media player available at your computer
- VLC media player – free program for playing your videos
If you would like to watch this tutorial rather than read, here is the video:
Export Still Image in GoPro Studio
Click on the video clip in the timeline (under the playback window) and find the exact position of your still image. You can just playback your video and stop at the frame you want to export. If you need more precise adjustment use arrows right next to the stop / play button. These arrows will move the playback one frame back or one frame forward.
Once you are at the desired frame go to the menu and click File – Export – Still Image.
GoPro Studio asks what size of the picture you want – I leave this on default Actual size. Then you can change the folder where you want to save it. You can also rename the file.
Export Still Photo in Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is more sophisticated video editing software which I prefer to use. It is even easier to extract your favorite image from this program.
Click on a video file in the bottom left quadrant. You have to be in Media Browser tab to see the files.
The video will appear in the top left quadrant and you can start playback. Similarly to previous way, you need to stop the video at the desired frame. You can also use arrows for more precise locating of the desired frame.
Find a little icon of the camera on the very end and export your picture. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + E.
You can change the name of the picture, extension and target folder where it will be saved.
Extract Picture in Any Video Player
What if you don’t want to use any video editing software? I will show you the way how to pull the picture from any video player but it has some limitations. It is the least elegant way which I use only if there is no other option.
Open a video file (double click) in any video player available at your computer. Switch to full-screen mode. Start playback and stop the video at the desired location.
Find the button Print Screen (or PrtSc) on your keyboard – usually at the top line, right next to the button F12.
It seems like nothing happened but your picture has just been copied to the clipboard. Now you need to insert it into some image editing software. You can use even the most simple programs like Paint which is available on Windows systems.
Open Paint program and press Ctrl + V. This will insert your image there. If you cannot see the whole picture you need to zoom out. Click on the tab View on the top and then Zoom out right below.
The problem is that my video player had an unwanted stripe at the bottom of the extracted image. If you have similar problem and want to get rid of it click on the tab Home at the top and then Select right below.
This feature allows choosing which part of the image I want to preserve. I click at the top left corner of the picture and drag the mouse to the bottom right corner. At the same time, I avoid the stripe down there so the final selection is only the part of the image above this stripe. Then I click Crop.
If you like the result photo save it by clicking the blue saving icon at the top left corner.
You can choose the target folder for saving the picture, rename it and choose its extension.
Extract Still Image in VLC Media Player
The last way is more convenient. You can download free program VLC media player which might serve as your video player. But it allows to do a lot more than just playing videos, for example, export the still photos from a video. VLC is available for multiple platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android etc.
Launch VLC media player and open your video file. Click on Media at the top and then Open File.
Again, find the exact location of the desired frame for export. You can playback the file by pressing the play button (triangle icon at the bottom left corner). You can also drag the cursor right under the video. Stop the video at the frame you want to export. Click Video at the top and then Take Snapshot.
At the top of playback window, there will appear (just for a second) the target location where the picture was saved.
I would like to point out that it is almost always better to take a photo during an action rather than pulling it from a video later. The reason is simple – photo has a higher quality than a frame in the video unless you have the camera with extremely high resolution.
That’s it. I hope this tutorial helped you successfully export your image. If you have any problems, please let me know in the comments below this blog post and I will try to help you. If you have experience with other ways of exporting image please share it. But any comments are welcomed!
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