Export photos from video using QuickTime Player on Mac

We know that a video or animation is made up from a sequence of still images, known as frames. They are then played one after the other quickly so as to make the movement looks fluid which fools your eye into thinking the object is moving. Is it possible to extract these frames from a video file on Mac computer?

QuickTime is the default media player on Mac which is capable of handling various formats of video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. We have explored several of its useful video editing features in earlier posts. For instance, it can be used to extract audio from video on Mac, trim videos, merge multiple videos into one, and so on. Today, we will reveal another very useful hidden feature of the free app to extract frames from video on Mac.

Extraction of video frames with QuickTime Player is not as intuitive and straightforward as exporting audio track from a video which can be found from the Export menu. In order to export a video frame from QuickTime, we have to firstly find the frame in its Timeline, then copy it and paste the selected video frame to an image editor. Check out details below.

How to export video frames using QuickTime Player?

QuickTime can be used as a video frame extractor, as follows.

Launch the QuickTime player from the Launchpad on your Mac. Open the video that you want to edit with QuickTime Player. Play the video to find the right frame which you like to extract and pause. Alternatively you can move the play head to quickly locate image frames in the video. Then go to Edit > Copy to copy the select video frame to clipboard.

quicktime player edit video copy frame on Mac

Now we can go to create a new image from the clipboard using an image editor on Mac. You can opt for Preview, the default image viewer in Mac OS. In Preview, choose File > New from Clipboard to paste the copied video frame to Preview. Click File > Save. Choose a location and folder to save, select a different image format if like and optionally customize the image quality. Finally save the video frame as still picture to your Mac. The frame will be extracted in exact the same width/height as the source video.

Preview create new file from clipboard on mac

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