Is possible to take snapshot of videos and save them as still image files on Mac? If you are using the Mac version, you have various options to capture frames from a video. Check out details as follows.
Method 1. Take screenshot on Mac
Mac OS offers the native support to screen capturing. So if you want to create still pictures from videos on Mac, you can play the video on Mac using a media player such as QuickTime player, then use Apple’s way to capture screen and thus you get images from the video.
Play the movie or video on Mac using QuickTime player, then pause at the frame you want to capture. You have two keyboard shortcuts to do capturing on Mac. You can either press the “Command+Shift+3” keys at the same time to capture a screen shot of your entire screen on Mac or press the “Command+Shift+4” keys to turn your mouse cursor into a very little crosshair. You can use this crosshair to select any portion of your display, capture it and save it in a screen shot image file. This method can help you take snapshot of any videos you can play on Mac, including MOV, MP4, M4V and so on. If your video player is powerful enough, you can virtually create still pictures from any videos on your Mac, such as AVI, MPEG, OGG, DivX, XviD, RM, MP4, M4V, MOV, WMV, etc.
This screen capture feature is built-in Mac, so you do not need any third party screen capture or video snapshot tool. However it has its own disadvantages, it doesn’t allow you to create video snapshot with full resolution and you will compromise image quality.
Method 2. Copy image frame from video with QuickTime Player
QuickTime Play has a hidden feature which can be used to grab still frames from video with the best quality. Play the video in QuickTime Player on your Mac and pause on the frame which you like to export. Then go to Edit > Copy to copy the select video frame to clipboard. After that you can paste the frame to an image opened or create a new image from the clipboard in an image editor on your Mac. Check out more details from 3 free ways to extract frames from videos on Mac.
Method 3. Take video snapshot using VLC player
VLC media player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player. Other than playing all kinds of media files across various devices, it also offers plenty of useful tools and utilities.
Just play the video using VLC media player on your Mac, pause at the scene or frame you like to capture, right click (or control+click) on the video, then choose Snapshot from the contextual menu. Alternatively click the Video from the top menu, choose Snapshot from the drop-down menu. You can find more details from this VLC video snapshot guide for Mac.
Method 4. Take video snapshot on Mac using video converter
Video snapshot is a hidden feature of
the Video Converter Ultimate for Mac. To create pictures from video or convert videos to images on Mac, go to download the app below. Note that this is a premium app you have to pay to get full version without any limits, however you can use the free version to take video snapshots without any watermark or limits. That’s to say, it is totally free to use it to play videos, take video snapshots on your Mac.
Run the video converter from the Launchpad on your Mac. Then drag and drop videos from Finder to the video converter.
Mouse on the video clip in the Video converter, the play icon shows above the video. Click on the play icon, you will then open the built-in video player within the video converter software. Play the video and pause until you find the frame you like to capture or drag the play process bar to quickly find any video frames you want, then click on the Snapshot button at the right bottom section, choose Snapshot from the pop-up menu to take snapshot of the video frame and save it as image file in the full resolution.
If your video is 1080p, then the snapshot will be saved as a image which is also 1080P. You can also edit the output snapshot size by editing the video resolution. This allows you to create snapshot from videos and save them in any size you want. It is a more flexible method than making QuickTime screenshots as described above.
Once you extracted video frames and saved them to your Mac, you can click on the the Snapshot icon, then choose Open Snapshot Folder to open the folder where your snapshots are saved. You can then use the video snapshots in making demo, presentations, tutorials, send the snapshots through email, or share the video snapshots on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. You can also go to Snapshot > Set Snapshot Folder to change the default video snapshot folder for the video converter app on your Mac.
Updated Aug 2022: This article was originally published in 2019 and has since been updated. new methods to export frames from video on Mac were added; the previous video editor was replaced by VLC media player which is cross-platform, free and open source in this update.