How To Freeze Frame In Adobe After Effects

In the world of video editing, Adobe After Effects is a highly capable tool that offers a multitude of features. One particularly useful and innovative function is the ability to generate a freeze frame. This function enables you to pause the action on screen and capture a static image, which can be utilized for dramatic impact, highlighting a specific point, or crafting an original visual display.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of creating a freeze frame in Adobe After Effects. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Import Your Video

The first step in creating a freeze frame is to import the video you wish to edit into After Effects. This can be done by navigating to the ‘File’ menu, then selecting ‘Import’ and ‘File…’. From there, choose the video file you wish to use.

Step 2: Create a New Composition

Once your video has been imported, you’ll need to create a new composition. Select your video in the ‘Project’ panel and drag it to the ‘Create a new Composition’ button at the bottom of the panel.

Step 3: Select the Frame to Freeze

With your video in the composition timeline, scrub through until you find the exact moment you wish to freeze. You can do this by dragging the playhead along the timeline or using the spacebar to play and pause the footage.

Step 4: Create the Freeze Frame

Once you’ve identified the frame you want to freeze, you’ll need to create the freeze frame itself. Here’s where you’ll need to use a bit of After Effects magic. This can be done by adding a ‘Time Remap’ effect and using expressions.

To begin, select the layer of the video and then navigate to ‘Layer’ > ‘Time’ > ‘Enable Time Remapping’. This will add two keyframes – one at the beginning and one at the end of your layer.

Then, you will need to set a new keyframe at the point where you want to freeze the frame. You can do this by moving the playhead to the desired point and clicking the keyframe button.

Now, here comes the coding aspect. To freeze the frame, you will have to use an expression. To do so, hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click the stopwatch icon next to ‘Time Remap’. This will open a text box where you can enter your expression.

Type in the following expression:

thisComp.layer("your video layer name").time

Replace “your video layer name” with the actual name of your video layer.

What this does is tell After Effects that you want the time of this layer to always be the same, essentially freezing it. As a result, no matter where you move in your timeline, the video will be paused at the frame you’ve chosen.

Step 5: Finalize the Freeze Frame

With the freeze frame created, you can now finalize your composition. You can add any additional effects or edits as desired, then export your video by navigating to ‘File’ > ‘Export’ > ‘Add to Render Queue’.

Congratulations! You’ve just created a freeze frame in Adobe After Effects. With this technique, you can add a dramatic pause to your videos, highlight important information, or create a unique visual effect.

Happy editing!