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How to Capture a Still Image From Video in Photoshop

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Extracting frames from a video is a great way to create custom images for your projects. You can use Photoshop to extract individual frames or even small sections of a video and save them as separate images. This article will show you how to extract frames from a video in Photoshop.

three still images from video street musician Jaipur India
Three frames captured from a video of a street musician in Jaipur, India.

What You’ll Need to Capture a Still Image From Video

  1. A video file
  2. Photoshop

That’s all!

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1. Open the Video in Photoshop

First, open the video file in Photoshop. Lightroom will not let you export the video to Photoshop for editing. So you will have to open it directly. In Photoshop, go to the File drop-down menu and select File > Open (Ctrl or ⌘O). Navigate to your video file. The video will also open if you drag the video file directly into Photoshop.

Photoshop recognizes the video and opens new features on your workspace. A Timeline appears below the video. This panel lets you trim and do some simple edits to the video. Here, I’ve opened an iPhone video of a street musician in Jaipur. I am going to use Photoshop to make a still picture from the video.

Photoshop screenshot video workspace

Step 2. Select Frames

Photoshop will separate your video into individual images. But this can result in hundreds or thousands of frames. A video shooting at 24 frames per second will create 240 images in 10 seconds. It is best if you can limit this.

Drag the playhead (slider above the red line) along the time ruler along the top until you find the frame you want to make into a still image. Move the beginning and endpoint sliders to either side of the red line.

Screenshot Photoshop video timeline
Screenshot showing the playhead positioned roughly in the middle of the video. The initial position of the beginning and endpoint sliders move towards the playhead to reduce the number of selected frames.

To see a selection of images, you can expand the area by moving the beginning and endpoints. Move the beginning a little to the left and the end a little to the right. This will give you more individual images.

Screenshot Photoshop video timeline
Screenshot showing selected area the around frame to be extracted from the video.

Quick Tip: If you already know which frame you want to convert to a still, place the red line on the frame. Go to the File drop-down menu and select File > Save (Ctrl or ⌘S). Save images as a JPEG or TIFF file.

Step 3. Separate the Images

The next step is to tell Photoshop to separate the images that make up the video. Click the Render Video button in the lower left-hand corner of the timeline. (It looks like an arrow.) This will open a Render Video dialog box.

Screenshot Photoshop render video dialogue box
Screenshot of Render Video dialog box with steps highlighted.

With the Render Video dialog box opens, do the following:

  • Switch Adobe Media Encoder to Photoshop Image Sequence.
  • Select the format of the images. I have selected JPEG, but TIFF is another option. Settings lets you adjust the image quality and size.
  • Select the Work Area radio button. This enters the frame or frames that you selected in Step 2. You can also select All Frames or enter a range of frames.
  • Click the Render button.

Depending on the selections you made, another dialog box may appear. Save at the highest resolution possible and click OK.

Step 4. Navigate to Saved Images

Photoshop quickly extracts the individual images from your video. But Photoshop will not send you a notification when the process is complete. The images will save in the background.

To find the images, go to the folder containing your video. You can then import the images to Lightroom or open them in Photoshop.

Quick Tip: You can specify a different folder to save the images in the Render Video dialog box.

Screenshot files created from video render
Screenshot of files created by Photoshop video render process.


Now you’ve learnt how easy it is to use video mode to capture action stills! This is a great trick to add to your growing Photoshop skills. Once you’ve created your JPEG or TIFF image, you can edit it like any other image.

Check out our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course to master all things post-processing!

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