Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Export a image from video footage, part of Photo Tools Weekly.
- Hello and welcome to another episode of Photo Tools Weekly. Thanks so much for joining me in this one. In this day and age, our cameras give us the ability to capture still and video files as well, whether they're small or large, and this little guy right here, it allows me to capture 4K video, which is really high resolution. As we start to shoot more and more video at these higher resolutions, we may come into the situation where we really want to export or extract a still frame from that video file.
Well how in the world do we do that? Well that's exactly what we'll be covering in this week's episode. Here we'll talk about how we can start off using Adobe Premiere, and then also look at how we can finish the file off in another application. All right are you ready? Well let's dive right in, here goes. Whether you're working with still images or video files, it's always helpful to get organized before you begin, and that's what we want to do here. What you want to do is select the video clip or the clips that you want to work with, and put them in a specific folder in a particular location.
And that's what I've done. I have this clip here inside of my Videos folder. Now, once we've done that we're ready to open up Adobe Premiere. You can do that by clicking on the app icon, or I can go up to my Creative Cloud pull-down icon here, and then choose Open from that menu. So either way just open up the application, and one of the first things that we're going to need to do in order to begin to work is to create what's called a new project. So we can do that by going over here to click on New Project. Or you could also go to the File pull-down menu and choose New, Project.
Either way will work, and you're going to use the default settings here. You want to give this one a name. I'll go ahead and name this Snow. Location, let's choose a specific location. Where I want to save this is that same location that I have for my Photo Tools Weekly files. That's right next door to that video clip. I want to keep them all in one spot just to stay organized. Here we'll click Choose. Now it's going to save it in that location. Created a new project for me, and then click OK. Now when you click OK, you'll basically see an empty interface.
Now, with this interface, before we can start to do anything or work with it, we need to import in media. Whether that's video clips, audio files, or still images. The way that you can do that is go to the File pull-down menu, and then choose Import. When we click on Import it allows us to navigate to a specific location and say, hey I want to work with this file, so we click Import. When you click Import, basically it's just telling Premiere that that file exists, so you haven't really done anything with it yet. You can see it exists right here.
We can view this in different ways, as a list, or I like to view this as a thumbnail. Make sure I have the right one. To begin to build something with this we can click and drag it from the Media Browser on the left, over here to the timeline on the right, and then let go. You can see that that brought this in here. We have a playhead needle which you can click and drag in order to move around and view the footage that we have. As you're doing that, if you get to a point and you realize, you know what? There's kind of a scene that I like here that might make a good still image.
Perhaps something like, let me just see if I have something here that might be kind of fun. Maybe something like that right there. You want to see that bigger, you saw earlier that you can just position the cursor between these dividing lines to open up more space for them, so you have a larger preview of what you're actually working with. Once you see that you like the spot you're at, where the timeline or the playhead needle is right here, all that you need to do to export an image is click on the little camera icon. So we go ahead and click on that.
That will export that frame out as a still image. I'll name this one Snow. We can choose different file formats if we want. I'll select JPEG. We could also choose where we want to save this, and I'm going to save this to that same exact place as before. That's my Photo Tools Weekly folder, and then I'll click Choose. Next click OK and that will then export that frame as a still image. Now you could do multiple images, right? If you wanted to do one, I don't know, maybe a little bit more pulled back like right here. That's kind of cool too. Just click on this and I'll call this one snow-2.
Same location, click OK, and voila. All right, well that's really all that we need to do with Premiere. We're using default settings. We're importing in the media by going to File and Import. Then after we've done that, we drag from left to right. We drag the playhead needle to the right spot and then click on the camera icon to export that as a still image. All right well now that we've done that, let me hide the application. Command + H on a Mac, or Control + H on Windows, and I'll go to Adobe Bridge, and here with Bridge we can go to the folder where I have these images that I've exported out, and we can select one of them that we might want to work on.
Let's say that I'm going to select, I'll select this one right here. One easy way to process the image would be to use Camera Raw. Of course we could also use Photoshop or Lightroom, or another tool as well, but here just for simplicity's sake, I'll go to File and Open in Camera Raw, and I'll open up this JPEG inside of Camera Raw. Now sometimes what you'll discover, like I have here, is that you may discover a problem that you wouldn't really have noticed in the footage. It was snowing, exposure was kind of all over the place, and if we go to click on this icon here which is Spot Removal and turn on Visualize Spots, and crank up the sensitivity, can you see how I have all these little kind of artifacts? Well what we can do is we can retouch those away by clicking and dragging over those.
We can do those in this view here where I'm in this view which is showing me the problem areas that I have to work with. Or we can also of course turn this off, because there may be some other little issues that we aren't seeing here. So if you turn off Visualize Spots, you can always go in and try to find any problem areas, and in my case, I'm just looking through the image trying to clean it up, if I notice anything that won't hold up as a still image. So you have to keep that in mind. The quality is going to be different based on the camera that you're using, and all the different things that you have, the variables.
In this case it was snowing, and so here as I move around, I'm noticing a couple other little problems, and just want to fix those up. I want to get rid of that sign too. That would be kind of fun to get rid of that little sign right there. Let's go ahead and bring this over here, just cover it up with some more snow. It really was a banner year for us in California. This area, Mammoth, had seen more snow than it had ever seen on record, and I love the concept of this cabin just buried. Like this is the second story of the cabin. It was crazy, so beautiful.
So anyway, what will we do next? Well we may want to crop the image, so we could select the Crop tool. Just do a Normal crop, and I'll click and drag this over, and then maybe bring it in so it's a little bit more of a aspect ratio like a still photograph. Little bit less like that video type orientation. Just change that and then double-click to apply that. If we want to reactivate the crop, just click on the Crop tool, as you know, and click and drag that around, and double-click to apply. Next, what about some basic adjustments? Well yeah, we could warm this up a little bit.
Might be nice to have a little bit of warmth in this image. Bring up some contrast, bring down those highlights. Shadows, let's bring those up. Bring back some of our shadow detail there. Add a little bit of clarity, touch of vibrance to bring back a little bit of color. Maybe even a little bit more color temperature there. Not too much, but just a touch, might be nice to have kind of that little bit of sunrise in the snow type of feel to it. Well now if we press the P key, you can see this is the before, and then here is the after. Some pretty simple adjustments, but definitely improving the frame.
I'm going to brighten it up and add more contrast. Create a little more dramatic look here than we had. I want a little bit more. You can do so much with Camera Raw, or Lightroom, or Photoshop for that matter. Yeah something like that, that's a little more vibrant, and just a little bit more warmth. I don't want too much, but a little bit more. There we go, so now when I press the P key, you can see here's my before, and then here's the after. That's the advantage of looking at your before and after. It helps you evaluate, make sure you're going in the right direction.
I feel like I went a little too warm with that. It's always give and take, isn't it? Well anyway, that wraps up our look at how we can do something like this, where we start off with a video clip, export a frame, quickly bring it over to a tool like Camera Raw, and fix it up so that we have a really beautiful still image that we were able to bring out of one of our video projects. Now if you want to learn more about how to work with Premiere, I need to give a shout out to Ashley Kennedy. She has a phenomenal course in the LinkedIn Learning Library.
It's called Premiere Pro Essential Training, and she is an amazing teacher. So if you want to dig deeper into that whole topic, I highly recommend that course. All right well that wraps up this week's episode. Thanks so much for joining me. See you next time.
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