Sometimes, it’s feature deletion, which means features we love to use are removed. So it is with frame grabbing in iMovie movie clips. Here’s how to get the functionality back and it’s nearly free.
Grab That Frame
Back in the days of iMovie– not the version that ships with Macs today, but the one with the standard video and audio timeline– there was an easy way to extract a frame from a video clip.
Why would anyone grab a frame of video? Actually, it’s a common practice to pull a still image from a movie clip.
What you get is a photo of a specific second of a movie, usually without the blur of motion, but a frame freeze is a good way to extract a still photo from a movie.
Frame Grab is one of a handful of new Mac apps which bring that freeze frame and grab functionality back to Mac users who are stymied when trying to do the same in the new iMovie.
All you need to do is open Frame Grab and open a video clip.
Move the Frame Grab playhead (the diamond on the timeline) to the exact frame you want to capture.
Then, click the Export button and Frame Grab will save the image to your Mac.
That’s about all there is to it.
Find the frame you want in the video clip, freeze it, then export the captured frame to your Mac.
From my own testing, pretty much any video clip that can be played in QuickTime can have a frame captured and saved, including M4V, MP4, and MOV files.
Images are saved to a location of your choosing on the Mac as JPG, PNG, or TIFF file. This is one of those useful features that Apple decided wasn’t useful enough and discarded in the new generation iMovie app.
That’s too bad, too, because freeze frames from video clips have all kinds of uses on the web today.