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How to Freeze Frame in DaVinci Resolve 18 - Essential for Filmmakers

Creating a freeze frame effect in DaVinci Resolve 18 is achievable through two main methods: using "Change Clip Speed" for a straightforward approach or "Retime Controls" for more flexibility. By following the step-by-step instructions for either method, you can add a dramatic touch to your videos, even if you're relatively new to this powerful video editing tool.

August 8, 2023
How to Freeze Frame in DaVinci Resolve 18 - Essential for Filmmakers
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DaVinci Resolve Freeze Frame Tutorial

The freeze frame effect has been a part of filmmaking for as long as film has existed. It allows us to pause for a moment at the peak of the action before diving back into the fast-paced footage. DaVinci Resolve makes it relatively easy to create this effect right in your timeline, without plugins or layered video effects.

Option 1: Using Change Clip Speed

This is definitely the easiest way to create a freeze frame effect in DaVinci Resolve, especially if you're already familiar with the "Change Clip Speed" controls. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Drag the Clip to the Timeline: Simply drag the clip you want to export a still from to the timeline.
  2. Move the Timeline Marker: Move the timeline marker to the beginning of the moment you want to freeze.
  3. Use the Blade Tool: Use the "Blade" tool (B key) to slice the clip at this point.
  4. Move One Frame Forward: Use the right arrow key to move the marker one frame forward.
  5. Create a New Clip: Use the "Blade" tool (B key) again to slice the clip, creating a new clip that's one frame long.
  6. Change Clip Speed: Right-click (or Ctrl + click) on the single frame clip and select "Change Clip Speed" from the drop-down menu.
  7. Freeze Frame: In the "Change Clip Speed" settings window that appears, check the box next to "Freeze Frame."
  8. Set Duration: Go to "Duration" and enter how long you want the freeze frame to last.
  9. Lock Changes: Click "Change" to lock in your changes.

Option 2: Using Retime Controls

On the other hand, if you want more control over your freeze frame effect, you can use the "Retime Controls." It's a slightly more involved method but gives you a lot more flexibility. Here's how:

  1. Right-Click on the Clip: Right-click (Ctrl + click) on the clip you want to freeze frame.
  2. Select Retime Controls: Select "Retime Controls" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Position Your Play Head: Position your play head at the moment you want to freeze frame.
  4. Open Retime Controls Menu: Click on the black arrow at the bottom of the clip preview to open the Retime Controls menu.
  5. Select Freeze Frame: Select "Freeze Frame."
  6. Extend Duration: You will now see two "speed points" applied to your clip (they will look similar to clip markers) where the yellow arrows are. Extend the duration of your freeze frame by grabbing the second speed point and dragging it to the right.

In-Depth Understanding of Freeze Frame Techniques

Adding Effects Outside of DaVinci Resolve

What if you want to add effects to your freeze frame outside of DaVinci Resolve? For instance, adding graphics or photo manipulations in Photoshop? In that case, you can export the frame and edit it in another application. However, this might require a more advanced understanding of both DaVinci Resolve and the secondary application you're using.

Considerations for Choosing a Method

All things considered, the method you choose for creating a freeze frame in DaVinci Resolve will largely depend on your comfort level with each of the control menus. If you're just starting out, I'd suggest using the "Change Clip Speed" method. Nevertheless, as you become more comfortable, you may find the "Retime Controls" method offers more flexibility and control.

In other words, DaVinci Resolve provides multiple ways to achieve the same effect, allowing you to choose the method that best fits your needs and skill level. It seems that with practice and exploration, you can master these techniques and enhance your video editing skills.

How To Grab Still In Davinci Resolve 18

Grabbing a still image from a video clip in DaVinci Resolve 18 is a valuable skill that can be used for various purposes, such as creating thumbnails, analyzing a frame, or using it in other projects. Here's a detailed guide on how to do it, even if you're relatively new to this powerful video editing tool.

Step 1: Select the Frame

First, navigate to the frame you want to grab within your timeline. You can do this by simply dragging the playhead to the desired location or using the arrow keys for more precise control.

Step 2: Open the Viewer Options

In the viewer window, you'll find a menu icon (three dots) in the top right corner. Click on this icon to open the viewer options.

Step 3: Choose the Grab Still Option

From the viewer options menu, select the "Grab Still" option. This will create a still image from the current frame in the viewer.

Step 4: Access the Still in the Gallery

The grabbed still will be saved in the gallery. You can access it by clicking on the gallery icon in the bottom right corner of the DaVinci Resolve interface.

Step 5: Export the Still

If you want to use the still outside of DaVinci Resolve, you can export it. Right-click on the still in the gallery, and choose the "Export" option. You can then select the desired format and location for the exported still.

Considerations and Tips

Image Quality

When grabbing a still, it's essential to consider the quality of the image. Make sure to work with the highest possible resolution to ensure that the still maintains its quality, especially if you plan to use it in other projects or print it.

Frame Accuracy

To be honest, selecting the exact frame can be a bit tricky, especially if you're working with high frame rate footage. Zooming in on the timeline and using the arrow keys can help you pinpoint the exact frame you want.

Utilizing the Stills in Other Projects

Once you've grabbed a still, you might as well use it in other DaVinci Resolve projects or even in other software. For instance, you can use the still as a reference image, a background for graphics, or as part of a photo manipulation project in software like Photoshop.

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