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Freeze Frame

Creating a stylized freeze frame effect in Adobe After Effects By Stephen Schleicher

A reader asked how he could create a freeze frame effect one might see in a movie where the actor is highlighted from the surrounding elements.  There are several ways to do this, and in this Adobe After Effects lesson, Ill show you one method.

For this exercise, I will be using a clip taken from a project done several years ago as a humorous homage to the cheesy cop films of the 1970s.  In it this shot the lead character is seen for the first time as he enters the Chief of Polices office.

Step 1:  Import your clip into After Effects and make a New Comp by dragging the clip to the Create a New Composition Icon in the Project Window.

Open the Composition Settings and change the length to accommodate the length of the freeze frame you will be adding.  In this case, I increased the length of the comp from 3 seconds to 10 seconds.

Step 2:  In the Timeline scroll to the point where you want to create the freeze frame, then split the layer by selecting Edit>Split Layer.

Step 3:  While still parked at this location, it would be a good idea to actually create the still frame.  With the Timeline indicator at your freeze point select Composition>Save Frame As>File.

In the Render Queue select the Render, Output Module and directory of your choice.  In this exercise, Ill export the file as a Photoshop file.

Since you will be using this freeze frame right away, you can save a step by clicking on the Output Module option and change the Post-Render Action to Import.

Render the file.


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