There are two methods for exporting an individual frame from a Premiere Pro project. One is quick and simple but doesn’t give you much control. The other involves more steps but gives you more control over things like size and compression amount.
Method 1: Quick and Simple
This is the quickest method. But it doesn’t give you much control over the output.
1. Position the playhead on the frame you want to export
2. Press the keyboard shortcut SHIFT + E click on the camera icon
The icon doesn’t exactly leap out at you. Here’s where to find it.
3. Set export settings
You’ll then get a small export frame dialog box. You don’t have a lot of options here, but you can choose the filename and where to save it.
You can also choose the file format. There’s the option of JPG, DPX, OpenEXR, PNG, Targa, and TIFF. You don’t have any control over the amount of compression, etc.
Method 2: More Control Over Output
There’s also another way to export a single still frame from a project. It gives you far more control but is also more convoluted.
1. Position the playhead on the frame you want to export.
You can technically do this later, but I find that the control is a bit more precise here.
2. Open the Media Export dialog by either using the keyboard shortcut CMD-M (Mac) or CTRL-M (Windows).
You can, if you prefer, use the timeline under the preview to position the playhead on the frame you want to export. It automatically goes to the frame you’ve chosen in the main timeline, but you can change it here if you like.
3. In the Export Settings at top right, choose the image format
If you can’t see these options, click on the small arrow to the left of “Export Settings” to expand the panel.
It should automatically check the “Export Video” box, but in case it hasn’t, check that. The “Export Audio” option that’s usually there for exporting video will be unavailable for obvious reasons.
If you want to set the filename of the exported file, click on the “Output Name” filename that should be bright blue.
4. Choose the Video tab and expand the Basic Settings panel
There are three main things to set here:
- Quality. Use the slider to choose the compression/quality for the exported file if you’re using a compressed format like JPG. The slider isn’t there for other formats like TIFF–there’s no option to choose TIFF compression, for example.
- Size. If you check the box to the right, it will automatically match the size of the source. If you uncheck that box, you can specify a width and height. If the small chain link icon just to the right of the width and height is enabled, it will maintain the aspect ratio. That is, when that’s enabled, if you change one, it’ll automatically change the other to maintain the same aspect ratio. You can also uncheck that small chain link icon which uncouples the width and height. That is, you can set the width and height independently to stretch in one direction or another.
- Export As Sequence. This is an important one to remember. If this option is checked, it will export every frame from the project as an individual image file, so you’ll end up with hundreds or even many thousands of individual files in a sequence. To export a single frame, uncheck this option. The single image is selected according to the playhead on the timeline, not the first frame of the project.
There are two more options: aspect (referring to video aspect, not the aspect ratio of the finished image) and render at maximum depth. In most cases, you can ignore those for this purpose.
To export immediately, hit the Export Button. To enqueue with other export jobs, hit the Queue button.